Idyll #297, The Glory of Christmas

cheloneDecember 25, 2006

OK, I was rather uninsprired by the "list" provided me by the helpmeet. I followed most of it (practical I AM, when a budget is concerned), but decided to make him a shirt. Mind you, it's been several years since I've done that. I found a length of raspberry cordouroy in my "stash" and cut into it. Wrapped it carefully...

I presented it last of all... "Oh, hon. it's been a long time since you've made me a shirt... it's beautiful and I love the color. Thank you so much."

I was reminded that life "gets in the way" of too much (more important) stuff... like feeding your soul whilst demonstrating devotion and appreciation.

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Chelone, what a beautifully wrapped package. Wrapped with love :o)

Enjoying Christmas:

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 10:30PM
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Jerri, sorry to hear of the loss of your mom. (((hugs)))

Michelle and Eden thanks for sharing glimpses of Bella and Kenzies special moments.

I tried to get a group shot of the grandkids but they came out goofy looking so will just share this one of Wyatt and one of Rebel snoozing through it all. He sleeps with his eyes half open.
The kids got a kick out of the grab bags. The girls loved the earrings I picked for them so I am pleased that I suited their tastes in Bling. The boys liked their stuff too. Jake surprised me with gift of a little fold up nail file knife thing that was a part of a set of things that he had. I had admired it when he was showing me the set awhile back. So that will be a treasured item for me.
I got to talk to the other grandkids in Florida on the phone too. So it was a good day all around. But now what do I do with all this leftover food and goodies. LOL
Think I will invite the best friends over for a night of cards tommorow.
I'm fading out here. So catch you all later. Norma

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 11:49PM
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Happy Wednesday! I'm so enjoying all the pics and will be adding a few when I have more than 10 minutes to sit. Our day was happy and peaceful and I was able to sneak Rich's gift into the house, get it wrapped and under the tree without him knowing. Since he's a snoopy snoop that was the best gift.

((((((Jerri)))))) I bet your Mom already has her wings :-)

All kids and animals look so well loved and so in love with what's going on and their adults. The magic of Christmas lives on, and I'm glad.


    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 7:09AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

It's just wonderful to see and read the special moments!

We have not officially had our Christmas yet, but having DS here with us is already a treat as we haven't seen him since early September. I made some 'meaningful' cookies for him, favourites from way back when. He has given us books, gifts to tide us over until we celebrate with his sister and her guys on Saturday. (Mine is The Places In Between, by Rory Stewart)

This morning snow is falling and DH and DS are out for a walk with Charlotte in the woods along the Indian Trail. All is calm, all is bright!

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 8:00AM
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We have a fine and steady drizzle this morning. Not an auspicious start to day when friends are due to drop in with their two dogs... not much of a day for a "play date". :/

Kenzie, Wyatt, and Bella are just great... I'll bet they slept well last night! LOL about "bling"... get 'em started early, I always say!

Rex had a bone yesterday morning and after working it over thoroughly, he passed out just like Rebel. The cats had their cat nip treats and the rug was COVERED with cat nip for several hours. They'd come back periodically and have another roll and eat some more before scurrying around under the wrapping paper. We had roast beef for dinner and all animals enjoyed some of that, too.

Today we will clean the house up a bit. Good day for it.

I had a poignant realization repeatedly yesterday; that this is, in all liklihood, Mum's last Christmas here. I watched her struggle to open her presents... she looked at them dumbly, turning them over in her hands, as if she was looking for directions on how to do it. She asked repeatedly, "Who is coming for dinner, dear?". She wasn't able to remember that it was Christmas. Very sad.

Enough of that, though! it will be great to read about everyone else's day.

Marian? Taryn? Nurse Ratchet? Saucy? Cynthia?

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 8:47AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning :-)

I have been following and enjoying everyone's posts. I was very saddened by your news of your Mom's passing Jerri. Having lost my own parents I do understand. I found it a blessing when they were released from any further suffering and it sounds like you are feeling that too. I hope only your fondest memories will replace any others. When it is my time, I hope to be remembered at my best, so I am sure that is what they would want to. :-)

Loving all the photos of Christmas decorations and kids and animals and gifts. I got a new camera for Christmas so just getting used to it and slow to have any photos ready. Since we did not have a white Christmas this year, I thought I would share one of last winter's photos.

Hope you all are enjoying the holidays.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 9:12AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA


My MIL has been going through a similar situation and it has been very sad. It sounds like you have been very close to your Mom and I am so sorry you have to go through this too. I hope you find strength and comfort in knowing that taking such great care of your Mom is something she would be very grateful for if she were able to express it. It is also something that will bring you comfort when you remember it later.


    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 9:23AM
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Good Morning, I'm Christmased out. Time for some r&r here. It was a great Christmas though. Jen called this morning and she was up all night with the stomach flu. So I went out and got her medicines and supplies and took them over to her. She's there alone, her housemate is in Ohio for Christmas and I felt like just wrapping her up in a blanket and bringing her home with me so I could take care of her but she said she'd be ok there. I'll be calling periodically throughout the day to make sure of it though. I'm just going to straighten up around here and maybe start taking down decorations a little at a time. I'll leave the tree up for a few more days. It sounds like all on the Idylls had a peaceful and happy holiday and it was great how many checked in yesterday.

Michelle, Kenzie is such a doll and she's growing up so fast. Someone said to me yesterday that Bella is losing the baby look and looking more like a little girl and I see that in Kenzie too. It looks like she had a great Christmas. I see a little of her cradle there, what a special gift!

Norma, what a cutie Wyatt is. I love the way he's standing so straight and proud showing off his gifts. Rebel looks Christmased out like I feel today, lol.

Marie, It's so nice that you and dh get to spend some quality time with ds before the rest of the family arrives. And you still have lots of good times to look forward to later this week.

I'm off to do some dishes and then maybe a nap later this afternoon since it will be quiet here with me being the only one home all day. Have a good one and hope to hear and see more of Idylls Christmas 06 throughout the day today.


    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 11:31AM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Jerri, I'm so sorry that you lost your mom.

I don't think I've said hello to Prairemoon2 yet. HELLO and welcome to the Idylls! I don't post too often, but enjoy reading during my lunch hours at work and sometimes in the evening also.

We had family over on Xmas eve day. The niece and nephew had fun opening their presents and my niece watched me do some agility with my dog out in the backyard. She just got a Corgi and wants to handle her in Agility, so she practiced a bit with mine. I think she'll have a blast. My SIL is excited b/c niece has lots of energy and in the few weeks that they have had their dog, she hasn't complained about being bored once. The Corgi might have more energy than she LOL.

Yesterday we didn't do much except eat leftovers. However the day turned very bad in the evening when the neighbor's dog came into our yard to attack one of our dogs again. Fourth time over the past few years. He found a weak spot (few inches wide) between the arbor and a shrub. We are not letting it go this time; either they find a new home for the dog immediately or we take action. I'm tired of trying to be nice just b/c they are our neighbors. I did not sleep well at all last night and the strange thing is I didn't dream about my dog getting attacked, but instead about the woman next door yelling at me that she wouldn't get rid of the dog (which really happened). I don't like confrontation, but I'm at a point where I will take action to save my dog.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 11:39AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

A Belated Merry Christmas to all -- it's been hectic, rainy and crazy here in No. Va. This is the first day I think Im seriously considering doing nothing -- I think i've o.d. on food, decorations, frolic, etc. Hoping to creep back in here more regularly (hmm, that's deja vu, right - said it before...?).

Jerri - Im so sorry to hear of your loss. I hope peace and consolation warm your heart & take away the pain.

This has been a holiday of rememberance but spent it w/ my DD & her DH in the a.m. and off to a friend's for dinner-- I enjoyed it despite its "changes" -- I do miss the little ones' frolic -- so it's great to see the Bella & Kenzie and other grandchildren hear.

Very excited to have received a Meyer Lemon for Xmas -- have to pot it up today. Some $$ to put towards a WFF purchase and other woodies on my garden list.

I hope everyone is enjoying a day of rest -- I need to decide on a few returns - whether to brave the stores later in the week or spend $ & go the simple route of just sending by return mail (another line to stand in though I suspect). Is anyone else tired of standing in lines??

Okay - the 10 mins are up and now I need to contemplate the rest of the plan for the week.


    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 11:40AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

In spite of Michael Pollan's latest book sitting under the tree (The Omnivore's Dilemna) there's not a healthy morsel in the house.
This fruit cake from my sister in southern France- pretty much demolished already:

The gift I made for DS:

These made last night to accompany dessert next Saturday:

And this young lady is on a diet, in another part of the house far away from people food.

Cindy! Terrific that you got LIVE gardener-type presents!

Monique, I've heard that story from you too often. Enough is enough! So sorry for you - and for the dog whose owners don't love him enough to train him.


    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 12:39PM
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Oh Monique, not again! Did your dog get injuries? I hope not.

Prairiemoon, That is a peaceful looking snow scene. Just what I need today, peaceful.

I got up early because of the painful hips (why is it things hurt worse at night?) anyway I went to the couch and fell back asleep and dozed off on on for a long long time.

GB those cookies look great but I don't want to eat another sweet thing for awhile. At least an hour or two. LOL

We are just chillin out today. DH is napping again right now.
We are so exciting. Have a good day everyone. Norma

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 1:44PM
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So, Monique, what's the story with the neighbor and the errant dog? I suspect I must've missed it. But, as one with a large, energized dog (whose barking and "display" can scare the daylights out of many) you have EVERY right to require that their animal be controlled. I never worry about viciousness with Rex, but at his size, it is MY job to keep him under control. Stick to your guns. What sort of dog is the marauder?

We're waiting for our guests and their two dogs to arrive (probably within the hour). Rex will be out of his little pea brain, lol. Not one, but TWO... both neutered males just under a year old... methinks Biggie Boy is going to have his "hands full". Hehehehe...

We just finished watching "Longitude", a gift from Santa. Last night I enjoyed "Sense and Sensibility". Just what the doctor ordered for someone with a head cold.

OK, gotta do some reading now.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 1:54PM
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Happy Boxing day to those out in Idyll-land I am enjoying some peace and quiet as I took by guests to the airport this morning, DS is still sleeping (as are all pets ) and I am gradually cleaning up here and there, doing laundry etc like PM2 and Martie IÂve been enjoying checking in here between festivities and viewing the pics .I may have a few to share myself later .

Sure seems like the last few days went by fast Âlike many others of you I feel like IÂve done nothing but eat drink and cook for the last few days ! (not neccesarilly in that order) . My BILÂs got out of town just in time, a big storm is blowing in this afternoon and we are supposed to get a boatload of rain over the next 24 hrs.

Saturday night was my Christmas open house , which went very well indeed, not really sure how many people came but the house was usually full of partiers at any given time. By about 9pm it had trickled down to a small group of mostly family and neighbors , and the grand finale came when DS and DD took DSÂs bed apart and proceeded to conduct a series of mattress stair-rides ! So when was the last time you saw a group of adults riding a twin mattress down the stairs ?? Quite a sight I must say.. thank God all my employees had left by that time LOL !

Went wine-tasting on Christmas eve, and had our gift fest . We donÂt exchange tons of them, and most are very modest, but we always drag the party out for hours. I got a very cool Miles Davis collection CD , and a couple of books , and two more 8x10 glossy autographed Dodger pics to add to my memorabilia collection.
On Christmas we cooked and watched a few of the I Love Lucy cdÂs that I gave my BIL for Christmas- (we got him the complete seasons 1 through 4 ) , and had our yummy beef tenderloin in roasted shallot-port sauce , with fingerling potatoes and a selection of veggies roasted in garlic and olive oil Âyum ! And I have leftovers too.

Will try to get back with some pics later, right now I have to work on the laundry some moreÂ.

Hi to all !

Kathy in the Napa Valley

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 4:37PM
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The tree and would-be tree hacker. I can't make these things up :-)

My favorite ornaments, a gift from my Mom the year Ky was born for being a Mom.

For all the "Plain Trees are Best" club members. And those who typify the New England hospitality custom ...

When my Mom and Dad came for dessert, Mom told me that with two more, I could've been called Snow White. This is what it's all about!!

And, it's good to have men in the family who don't mind cleaning up. LOL


    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 5:47PM
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The pics above don't do the day justice. It was a wonderful, warm, loving time. Rich (at the end of the table) hates having his picture taken so the fact that he didn't make a moon face was the best gift.

Today was back to work and went and got some fresh essential oils on my way to a client. Tonight is Trans Siberian Orchestra for which I am hostess. Late night and 8:30a.m. new tire appt (best gift I got) tomorrow morning.

Marian -- Come Back!!

Cynthia -- I've missed you.

Taryn -- You Live! How about filling us in on your goings on?

Monique -- It's time to take action on behalf of your dog. Period, no question. Very cool that your niece wants to get into agility.

Everyone else -- Love the Pics and Notes. Keep the Peace!


    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 6:00PM
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Happy Boxing Day!

Martie - I love your table full of men!!

Wonderful pictures of Wyatt, Kenzie and Bella.

GB - everything looks delicious, but that fruit cake would be my first choice.

Kathy - it sounds as if you guys know how to party!

CIndy - a Meyer Lemon sounds a wonderful gift - will it bear fruit do you think?

Monique - how miserable that the irresponsible owners are still letting their dog through. I'm sure you'll rise to the occasion if a confrontation is necessary. Was it Emma who got bitten?

Ruth and her two little ones (Ivan 5 and Iris 3) are getting settled in for the night. They had a good drive up from DC and we are all over the moon about having them here. We opened presents together and it was almost as much fun as Christmas proper. Ruth loved the bag and Iris looked so sweet in the pink scarf and hat Annie had knitted her. The boys are cleaning up in the kitchen and I need to head to the family room to start a fire.

Hope to have pictures tomorrrow.

Have a great evening

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 7:55PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Marie, those cookies look fantastic. I feel like I could pick them right off the computer screen.

Martie, wonderful tree and great photos of the company. I love the TSO.

Mary-it was Ollie-its always Ollie. Have fun with Ruth and the kids!

Norma, yes he has injuries yet again. 2 puncture wounds. The vets said we could either get stitches or they should heal fine on their own-so we opted for none. He was bad last night, but felt better after we gave him some painkillers leftover from when Emma had Lyme. My poor guy! He wants so much love right now-all he wants to do is snuggle.

Chelone, the dog is a GSD. I love almost all dogs, never have a fear of them (no matter what breed or mutt) and I reserve opinions until I have personal experience with a particular dog. This dog has come into OUR yard 4 times now to attack my dog. The first didnt require a vet visit, but the last 3 have. We installed a wood fence in May of 2005, but didnt finish it until September and he found a way in August of that year b/c it wasnt complete (even though we had a living fence there). This is the first incident since we completed the fence.

Ive enjoyed the photos of all the Christmas festivities, especially the ones of the kiddies. Im glad we put the tree up this year-my family appreciated it. Last year we didnt have any company for the holidays and decorated the fireplace mantel and the stairway railing-no tree.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 8:31PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA


What a busy few days it has been for most of you. We had a very relaxing day home with our grown children yesterday. Two of the kids returned gifts today and one had to work. I wanted to get outside to try out the new camera, but once I got out there, I lost all interest. It was so gray and drab. So I practiced a little in the house with the macro function and after about 10 photos of ornaments, I got one good one. [g] [Posted below]

Hello to you too Monique. :-) Sorry about the problem with the neighbor's dog. I hope it can be resolved quickly once and for all. Hard to understand how people don't realize that their dog is a danger and a nuisance and do nothing about it. We don't even have a dog right now and we watch The Dog Whisperer all the time. :-)

Norma, I hope your hips feel better. Does heat or ice help at all?

Kathy... Well, that is quite a vision of your DS + DD going down the stairs on mattresses!! lol Fun and exciting at your house!

Martie...very pretty tree and ornaments. Wow, men that clean up. We have some of those here but I guess they are not as rare as they used to be. Something to be grateful for for sure.

Bug...that fruitcake looks so moist for a fruitcake. Your treats look scrumptous but I am glad they are at your house and not here. I wouldn't be able to resist. [g]

Look forward to your photos Mary...

Back to a regular routine here tomorrow. *sigh* Christmas is over for another year.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 9:16PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Calling all Idylls!!!!! WE almost missed a Birthday Today!

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 9:40PM
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Happy Birthday Monique

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 10:31PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

A quiet "day after" here on the prairie. It was clear and cold; we went up to the woods to tag some buckthorn and the wind was brisk but not unbearable.

Christmas overall was quite nice. We started with breakfast for eight. The dogs got the first gift (lovely roasted bones from the butcher shop that still had marrow in the middle) so that they would stay out of the way the two over-eighty guests with macular degeneration. They were more than happy to do so! Everyone enjoyed their gifts, and I got a really cool pair of Fiskars pruners that are very easy on the hands. Then we went to MIL's for a lovely dinner and wonderful family time.

The only downside of the day was that I was a little unsettled by my MIL. (Warning - this is a vent. It's only a vent and you are welcome to ignore it.) I'm getting frustrated by the whole gift issue with her. It's a big deal every year, but more and more it seems that I am "difficult to buy for" and she lets me know at every opportunity. She is due for knee replacement surgery next month, and asked everyone for a list of websites to shop from this year. I sent a list of gardening requests (with websites) and was told yesterday that my list wasn't very good and that she just couldn't shop for garden things in December. So she went out shopping for my gift. Yeesh! I'm asked to pick my gift, then I'm told it's not right and that she had to do the one thing that she was trying to avoid - go out and shop. And no one else was told that their choices were bad ones. Okay - rant over. I had to get that off my chest.

Jerri, I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers.

Monique, give Ollie a (gentle) hug from me, and one for yourself also. I think you're right to pursue it with the neighbor at this point although it will be unpleasant. They obviously need to be doing more to control their dog and they are not taking responsibility.

'bug, I'm about halfway through the Michael Pollan book and really enjoying it.

Okay, gotta run and cleanup before bed. DD and DH are deep into a sarcasm war and I need to be the DMZ!


    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 10:52PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 11:01PM
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    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 11:12PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

V, I'm deep into corn. I only got 30 some pages read so far and the book is a gift for someone else! I keep thinking of Michelle and Brenda....

Monique, DD begins agility with her dog Indy on January 10th. She's so excited!

The fruitcake is all gone now. Sorry Mary! DH and DS are fighting it out over a serious game of checkers right now. I'm off to bed. Tomorrow will be a busy busy day.

Good night!

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 11:18PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Sorry we are a little late!!!


    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 1:17AM
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Happy Birthday Monique!!!

Even the third time seeing them -- Trans Siberian Orchestra is amazing. Long show and very late getting home, but worth every minute.

PM2 - I'm a firm believer that Christmas isn't over 'til Three Kings Day, the 12th day, January 6. That way it doesn't feel like there's a ton of emotion and energy and then Bang!!, over. Perhaps you'll join me in the tradition of putting in a bulb to force every day for those 12. The display lasts through the drudge of March and the Holiday feeling stays in the house for a long time!

Thinking of you, Marie, and the anticipation you must be feeling to have your DS and crew in the house. LOL about the checkers game as I know how serious they can get. Don't get me started on the cribbage wars ...

Am so loving all the pics and to see the different styles and traditions. Imagine if the Idylls could morph into one place and make Holiday favorites all at once? None of us would be able to move, except to the closest nursery.

V. - Rant all you wish. I despise the term "buy for" someone. What about "get a gift for"??? An ex-Aunt used to say that to me .. "you're so different from the rest of the family and how do you buy for someone like you?" My answer: "Please don't. My gift will be your happiness :-)" Stopped her cold.

My garden gift was a Chia Herb Collection. It actually is incredibly appreciated since some saved seeds got damp and moldy. Nothing fresh to snip this year but now the gift! Chia is flexing it's wings, and now includes Lemon Basil!!!

Michelle: I'm fascinated by your pic to Monique, and am trying to figure out if it is the edge of a pond or frosted foliage?? Beautiful, whatever.

Kathy: I think it's a hoot about the mattresses, and understand your gratitude about employees not being present though my guess is that if they work for you they might've joined in. Enjoy your leftovers. Yummmmmm right along with you.

Mary: Glad everyone arrived safely. Annie knits, too? She sounds like one wonderful young woman. Has her cell phone run out of power, yet?

Norma: Take care of that pain in your hips. Do you have access to some kind of hot tub or place to soak? Chronic pain is the worst.

Chelone: Watching your Mom had to be hard. I have nothing to compare but can imagine. Was anyone playing golf on Monday? They were here, and I was stunned when I went outside and heard "Fore!!!!" which means there was more than one group. I don't understand that passion but am grateful for the open space golf courses bring.

I'm forgetting someone or something, I know I am, but I'm half awake and need some stronger coffee.

Have a sparkling day, everyone.


    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 7:09AM
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Happy Birthday Monique!

And hugs to poor little Ollie too!


    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 7:20AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Happy Birthday Monique. :-) Since your Birthday is so close to Christmas, do you ever get short changed at all?

Another early riser Martie :-)

My DH and DSs were out playing golf the day before Christmas. They came home a little earlier than Apparently it was windy and a bit brisk out there. [g] But they were happy, they got in 9 holes. Then they all went bowling last night w DD too.

I am not sure I have heard of Three Kings Day, Martie. I imagine that is what the 'Twelve Days of Christmas' is all about? I'm not sure I am following you, do you have bulbs [daffs, tulips, etc] that you bought in the fall, but you save them to pot up during this twelve day period? Don't they have to be put in a cold garage for awhile? You can see I don't force bulbs. [g] It sounds like a great tradition! I haven't found a place at our house that is ideal for storing the potted bulbs for that required cold period. Tell me more about what you do Martie, I think I would like to try that. Our son was home from school and going back today, so that takes a little adjusting to again. Some beautiful spring bulbs might just be a great distraction. :-) My DH loves Hyacinths. Can you still buy them?

I started winter sowing last year and that is something that actually made the winter go by quickly. I am looking forward to starting that in January sometime. Haven't even started ordering seed. Isn't January catalog month? [g]

V. --- I can't imagine who could be an easier person to purchase a gift for, than a gardener???!!! LOL

gardenbug...your photos aren't showing up for me. 'bug, I hope I didn't insult you when I said 'moist for a fruitcake'. It really was a compliment. We have never been fruitcake fans here at our house and aside from the fact that they are usually too chockful of dried fruits, they have usually been very dry. Your sister's fruitcake on the other hand, was very tempting. It looked like it had the right amount of fruit and it looked exceptionally moist for 'any' cake. :-)

Did anyone have a fire going this holiday? We had ours going for the first time in quite awhile. I think I am going to try to do that more often this winter. Especially with this warmer weather here in Massachusetts. If the heat isn't coming on every minute, then I won't be losing it all up the chimney. [g]

Norma....Ollie is your dog's name? Oh, those puncture wounds are painful. I hope he heals up quickly. :-)


    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 8:02AM
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Monique, may I come down and personally dope slap your neighbors? please? As you know, I hate dogs. Always have. Dogs need 3 things: exercise, discipline, and affection. Your situation clearly shows the offending Shepherd is missing at least 2 of those 3 vital ingredients. What a shame. Your dog is small(ish)? Rex sends his best birthday wishes to you:

Well... ol' Rex got the shock of his life yesterday when friends arrived with their TWO yr. old Labs.. Rex is not very well socialized with other dogs. He grows the full Mohawk, barks furiously, and then bounces around like a total idiot. It took 10-15 minutes of on leash introductions to get it all worked out. :) Then the leashes came off... and it was bedlam. Running, growling, posturing, wrestling... we humans watched in delight, shrieking with laughter. There was no hint of any territorial squabbling/viciousness, just good ol' dog play. I put Rex through his obedience work, off leash, and from a distance of about 20 yds.; he performed perfectly in spite of the distraction of two other dogs. Sit, Down, Come, Down, Heel, Stay, Down, Sit... no matter how I mixed up the commands he did them all. Our friends were amazed at what attention to obedience work can do for a dog. He's a good dog; stubborn and willful at times, but intelligent and gentle (the best traits of his Shepherd heritage). But he is a "high maintenance" creature, NOT a dog for someone who is uncommitted to training. But that seems to be pretty common in shelter dogs, or so I've been told. I can readily see how he could have become a dangerous animal; he is large, with the bold personality traits of Shepherds and Bull Mastiffs that make them such wonderful protection dogs. Traits that, without training and a firm hand, can quickly get out of control. The instructor in the obedience classes was impressed by how strongly we corrected transgressions; using Rex as an example of how a handler must adapt training techniques to personalities.

V., I cracked up at your MIL. She has a nasty case of "Old Lady Disease", huh? One day, I guarantee it, it will become the stuff of family legend. Practice up on list making techniques, willya?! :)

I've enjoyed all the pictures, too. The intensity on the little ones' faces is just precious... the rapt concentration; you cetainly can see the grave importance they give to play. Single minded pursuit of fun. A very fine thing, indeed!

Michelle, those ice crystals in your card for Monique are just amazing. Looks like fairyland...

I have to get some things done this morning before addressing the urostomy... ring around the the stoma has returned. Ugh. I can't wait until this chapter in my life is finished.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 8:14AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Martie, did you see me waving at you from skybox 101 at the Trans Siberian Orchestra show last night? lol It's the reason Monique's card is late. From work to dinner on Franklin Ave to the show on our company executive coach. Home around midnight. Yikes, I never stay up that late.

Busy week...


    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 8:24AM
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Happy Birthday to Monique!

Is that hoar frost on Michelle's card? I think she was the first to introduce me to that. Turn around for a year and look what happened to McKenzie, she's looking like all the fair blonde 'wimen' in her family. Bella is so bella and I've been tracking her (thanks to Eden's pictures). Love the smug photo of Wyatt with his treasures.

Snuggles and get well wishes to Ollie for a swift recovery. Monique you have more patience and kindness than I do. One ruthless unprovoked attack on my Monty last April and I called animal control. The neighbor's claimed it was my fault for walking past their house (yep!) and that my dogs 'taunted' their dogs. Not sure how they taunted them since they never barked or even looked at the wild unfenced ones. And I'll never know, because they moved out of the neighborhood, then paid the fines the day before the hearing scheduled for 12/19. You have been a good neighbor to them, I hope you will continue to be a good neighbor by pushing to get that dog under control. It's not a stretch that it will maim a child or human next, or kill another dog.

Hello to old friends. It's fun to read your stories again and see all of the gorgeous photos. And to PM2, nice to meet you!

GB, I can't see your pictures this morning either, so I'll bet the college server is down again :-) I do remember a few things!

I'm on vacation this week, one of just two I've managed this year, and digging out the cellar. It would be a wonderful time to need plumbing or heating repairs as I'm not ashamed to have anyone see it now :-) Audreyhepburn has been on mouse duty and I've found three dead ones so far. But today I'm not dressed yet, and someone is coming to see Foster Fritz at 10:30, so I should get moving. My camera died just before Christmas, and I'm photo free at the moment, but do have a picture of Fritz the foster:

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 9:04AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Indeed Cynthia, the university site is down this morning. Photos should return whenever someone shows up for work. (next year?)

In the meantime, "on the Fritz" takes on a whole new meaning. :-) Fritz is very appealing. I don't know how you ever decide which ones are forever pets.

While waiting for photos, take a look at this site. I think Marian will like it too!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 9:24AM
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Good Morning Idylls,

I just finished packing up all of the remaining Christmas goodies for Brad to take in to work with him today. I need to get them out of the house. I'm sick of all the sweets and heavy food from the holidays and am craving veggies today. Bella will be here in a few minutes and I'll have her here everyday through Sunday this week. Megan picked up a New Years Eve shift at the restaurant to make some extra money. I've been taking down decorations slowly. The day after Christmas I'm ready for it all to be over and get back to regularly scheduled programing here.

Kathy, I loved the story about the mattress sledding, lol. Sounds like you know how to throw a party!

Monique, yes you must put your foot down about the nextdoor situation. Enough is enough. Your pets should be able to feel safe in their own yard. Especially after all of the precautions you guys have taken to make that so.

Martie, loved seeing your group. Is that Kyle on the right with the milk? And Rich is at the far end? Pretty tree too!

Nice pooch pictures this morning. Good to see Rex, Indy and Fritz.

Cynthia, bet you were glad to see those neighbors go! I have tidying up the basement on my list, AGAIN...things do seem to pile up down there and how does it get so dusty? I love going down and seeing everything neat and organized.

I do have some bad news to share. Tim (my squirrel) got hit by a car on Christmas Eve morning. Brad buried him beneath his favorite tree and I'll put a marker there for him in the Spring. I'll miss him.


    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 10:31AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Happy Birthday, Monique!

(((Eden))) - so sorry about Timmy - I'll miss hearing his antics.


    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 11:06AM
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"Psst! Hey Jake! Did you know we missed Monique's birthday?"

"Oh no Josiah! I didn't know it was her birthday! Grammie said you were suppose to keep track of birthdays!!"

"Well Jake, it isn't too late to wish her a very Happy Birthday........"

"Happy Birthday Monique, from Jake and Josiah & Grammie T., too!!"

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 11:23AM
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Rest in Peace Tim.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 11:26AM
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oh Eden, To sad about Tim! ((hugs to you)) I'm sure you will do something special for his spot.

Be back later with a card for Monique. Happy belated Birthday Monique. Norma

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 11:32AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Good Morning!

Beautiful pictures everyone and on the separate posts too! I haven't had time to comment, but they are all just beautiful. I too love Michelle's horefrost and think it is so cool looking and enjoyed seeing Christmas through McKenzie's eyes! :-)

Indy is a handsome boy is that Wrecks, Chelone! :-)
And so is Fritz, Cynthia (enjoyed your story and the charming and loveable Katie and your two handsome boys). And Rebel is a beauty, Norma...I get such a kick out of seeing dogs and cats relaxing, they seem to really know how to "be in the moment"...LOL!

It was wonderful seeing Bella too, Eden...such a cutey pie! So sorry to hear about Timmy! I'm a little worried about Nappy Head. He hasn't been here for about a week, even though all the other squirrels never miss their lunch time. Good to hear about your mom too! :-)

Martie...I think that's neat to have such wonderful men in your life! :-)

Am still very busy putting in the floor, but we are seeing the light now. Even though I wore gloves, I still have 3 blood blisters and a nasty cut on my finger as testament to my hard work.

Next will be getting the house in's amazing how much dust breaking up tile and chiseling out mortar can make....

We are having 3 of the garden girls and their DH's over for a little laid back New Years Eve Party. These 3 garden girls live in the neighborhood and can walk home from my house, so no worries about imbibing. There will be wine tasting. Karin's DH is a wine conna sewer :-) He's a sales manager for a wine distributor, so it should be fun and educational. Now I will confess my shame...I am not a big wine drinker. I'll have a glass, to be social, but just never developed an appreciation. Maybe it's because as a child my dad always had this very strong red Italian wine that he would drink with dinner every night. He was always telling us kids to have a small glass...that it was good for you. "Eileen have some wine, it's good for'll put hair on your chest"...Gee, that's what a young girl dreams of...LOL! Anyway, I hated it and only drank it a few times, so I am happy to say that my chest is hair free! :-) We'll also be playing some games and having finger foods. I'm making a delicious cheese platter (copying from something I had at a wonderful organic restaurant out here called "Sunflower"). There will be cheese from Italy, Spain, England, Wisconsin, and California, along with yummy almonds, fig spread, wine jelly,honeycomb, dried cranberries, figs, and a nice crusty baguette loaf.

Anyway, it looks to be a very busy here for awhile, so I don't know when I'll be able to get back here, but wishing you all a Bright and Peaceful New Year!


    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 11:46AM
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The fabulous weather continues here. They do say its going to change this week though.

Eden, Im sorry to hear about Tim. Hugs to you and Brad. One of our cats got run over this past week also. Love the color of that hibiscus.

How nice to see all the pretty pictures for Moniques birthday. I hope she had a great day.

Martie, I loved seeing pictures of your home and family. I see a glimpse of a Village. It looks pretty extensive. My mom passed on to each of us kids this year one of her Dickens Village pieces.
The card for Monique is a picture of our creek last Dec. It was the coolest hoar frost that Ive ever seen. The crystals were something like 1 ½" high.

Cynthia, how great hear from you and see all the great pictures on the other thread also. I love the one with the 3 dogs and you on the blanket.

Chelone, that Rex really is a big boy. I love his ears.

PM2, I cant believe all the seed catalogs that I have gotten already. Several that I have never heard of.

Monique, sorry to hear about Ollie, you give it to them.

Ei, that Scout is such an adorable dog and he poses so nice.

bug, your roses and foxgloves are just stunning.

Kathy, that sounds like some party.

Hi, Cindy!

Norma, Wyatt looks so grown up. I love the expression on his face.

T, what an adorable picture of the boys.


    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 12:18PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Thanks to everyone for such good wishes and gorgeous photos of butterflies, flowers, grandkids, dogs, etc. They really cheered me up!!! You guys are the best!

PM2, that is a popular question since my bday is so close to Xmas. No, I never got shortchanged. In fact, we always went over to my relatives house for Xmas and I would always get bday cards and little extra gifts. My brother never even got cards once he got older b/c no one remembered his bday in September. I always felt fortunate. Now, however, Im usually so full from Christmas and the days that precede it, that I have no appetite to go out for a bday meal. Well, sometimes.

Chelone, youre right. Their dogs only get affection (Im assuming that of course since I dont see it as theyre tied up to their shed barking every summer evening for hours while the neighbors are either in their front yard or 2 doors down visiting another family). No exercise and no discipline. The neighbors made no attempt to keep their 2 dogs in their yard by erecting a fence (we did that, but cannot build one on their property to fully close off the access to their side yard and into our yard) or by walking the deviant dog on a leash at all times. In fact, 2 weeks after the last incident in August of 2005, while I mistakenly thought they were still trying to find a new home for him, I heard the wife yell to her son to unleash the dog from the shed and she would call him to the house. Hubby and I were sitting in our yard and I was flabbergasted. She couldnt trust him offleash and had to have known we were all outside, even my poor injured dog. So, I immediately picked up my dog to protect him in case their dog came into our yard again. What is wrong with me? I should have gone directly over to them and said something. However, I hate conflict and I have to live next door to these people w/o much privacy since our street is a former cow pasture. I dont want to be stressed everytime I see them, but obviously they didnt care enough about our feelings or our dog to do anything last year. Now, Im so upset that the dog might be put down instead of being given to a new family. They had a 1.5 years to do that, now there isnt time and the neighbor is concerned that a new family would hold him responsible if their dog bites another b/c of the prior history. I have to keep telling myself that it isnt my fault if hes put down, but I feel sick to my stomach when I think I had any little part in it.

Eden, sorry about the squirrel. I know what you mean about the Xmas sweets. Im so sick of them. I was glad to be back at work today with my soup, crackers and yogurt for lunch. I need more willpower at holiday time.

Marie, Agility is fun with dogs and pretty good exercise if you practice often. The other sports Ive participated in with my guys, Earthdog and Rally Obedience, dont burn too many calories LOL. Im sure your DD and her dog will have a blast.

Ei, may I fly over for the cheese platter? Sounds wonderful. Unfortunately, cheese is my favorite food but I cannot indulge in the full fat varieties too often. Maybe once a month :o) However, what would I do w/o my daily lowfat stringcheese(s) LOL? To be honest, I havent had any string cheese the last few days b/c there is smoked Swiss and French Gruyere in the fridge right now from the holidays.

T, no worries about missing my bday. It is a hard time of year for people to remember. My best friend never even remembers to send bday wishes, even though she sends a whole Xmas package of goodies to us and I sent her and her kids cards every year. I know it is a busy season :o) Cute grandkiddies :o)

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 12:44PM
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Monique, the dog is untrained, out of control, and has injured your dog on more than one occasion. The animal is likely NOT beyond redemption, but obviously your neighbors are not the people to seriously undertake the project. They're nervous about rehoming it for fear it might bite the next owner?! seems a reasonable fear, given the history of the poor thing. The shame of it is that it's all so unnecessary. Big dogs with behavioral "issues" rarely get a second chance... it's a sad fact, but the grim reality. Frankly, I think the poor thing would be better served with the final needle than the life it presently leads. I understand how conflicted you must feel (obviously, you care about the animal's welfare), but you shouldn't have to live in fear in your own yard. No way! stick to your guns.

I've just learned about Rally Obedience while persusing the website of the trainer we used for Basic and Advanced Basic Obedience. I'm really curious about it, like that you can do the lower levels on leash and voice control is permitted/encouraged. I have been unable to get out of the house to take more classes (can't leave Mum alone), but really, really want to. I had such fun with Rex at them and it was so helpful to have someone watch us with an unbiased eye. He needs more exposure to other dogs in the sort of controlled situation offered by a class.

The more exercise and discipline he gets the better he is. And "discipline" doesn't have to be draconian. "Discipline" is most effective when lovingly included in every aspect of his day. "Sit" and "Wait" while the bowl is put on the floor, take the food only when released to do so. Under control when visitors arrive, "Sit" until released to say hello. Etc.. It takes a ton of work, and attention to "GOOD boy!". But it's really very, very easy to do. And it works.

Sorry to hear about Timmy, Eden. Cynthia's card made me smile. And sorry, too, to hear about Michelle's kitty. It's so sad when automobiles and animals collide.

We leave the tree up until the 6th. of January, too. Even when I was a kid, we did that. I always feel a bit "down" when it's all over and the debris is cleared for then I know the depth of winter is upon us. I probably ought to start some paperwhites... the helpmeet emerged from the boardroom with a few Amaryllis this very morning.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 1:16PM
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Wow! Had a few minutes' break and am I glad I checked in! Would've taken a few hours of reading to catch up. LOL

Yes, Eden, Ky is the one with the milk and in need of a "real" haircut.

Rich is at the end of the table with his eyes closed trying to look bad enough that I won't show anyone the pic. Phooey to him!

The Village is North Pole and we have the first 65 pieces. It came out when Ky was 4 and it's become the standing joke that when he's ready to buy a house, he can sell the village :-)

Is that Hibiscus, The Path??? Did you ever get one of your own, Monique?

I want a dog!!!!!!!! Until, that is, I get back into the "real" swing of work post-Holiday.

The 12 Days are a real thing, PM2. The "Wise Men" or "Three Kings" depending on version didn't arrive right away, but followed the Star for 12 days. (Trying to put this into historical context.) Three Kings Day is a huge holiday in the Hispanic culture and is the 12th day of Christmas. It's why the song gives gifts each day, as that is a tradition based on the arrival of camels with humans.

I do easily forceable bulbs -- Amaryllis, "paperwhites", Hyacinth, and don't do much to anything except pop it into gritty soil or aquarium rocks and watch it grow. I've not tried daffs or tulips, but a friend of mine does and she stratifies everything in a tight sealed container in the fridge (away from other vegetation) and has success. I wouldn't remember to take them out, I don't think. LOL Anyway, a bulb for each day means something in bloom for several weeks.

Have to go back to work. Good thing!!


    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 1:59PM
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January 6th. is the Epiphany. It was on the Twelfth Night that Jesus was revealed as the Christ to the Gentiles in the form of the Magi (the Wisemen) It was on the Twelfth Night that the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh were presented to the Christchild. In medieval times gifts were exchanged on the Epiphany and there was a feast to celebrate the arrival of the Christ. I believe that is the custom today, in Orthodox branches of the Christian church.

The tree, seasonal greenery, and the Yule log where concessions to the pagan celebrations of the winter solstice and way to "marry" the pagan and Christian beliefs to unify newly conquered peoples in northern Europe and the British Isles.

It is for this reason that we burn a piece of our Christmas tree on the evening of January 6th.. It's a nice way to officially close out the Christmas season and honor our forebears. The tree comes down the next day or shortly thereafter.

I love stuff like this!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 3:26PM
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    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 3:50PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Jerri, so sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 4:46PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Happy Birthday Monique!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 4:48PM
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Pm2, I like your bird ornament. Congrats on the new camera. Hope that means more photos for us. Ollie is Moniques dog that got attacked. You will get us and all our pets figured out after awhile.LOL

Lots of pretty pictures to look at on this thread. Keep em coming.

T, those cute little guys are growing.

Deanne I think you may have said before but I have forgotten. What program are you using for your gorgeous cards?

And Mary, what is that flower please?

V, good to hear news from the prairie. Good thinking giving the dogs the bones first. Bet they enjoyed them.

Ei, now how did you get Scout to pose so nicely. LOL

Martie some nights the pain is bad other nights not so bad. I would take Ibuprofen before going to bed but don't like to take more than absolutely nessecary because of stomach issues. And now they are saying on the news that taking( nexium for acid reflux) for an extended period can lead to hip fractures. Oh great! I hate taking meds anyway. But have tried to get off the nexium and the reflux comes right back. Guess I'l just have to quit eating. That might be a good thing. LOL

Eden I love the color of that hibiscus. I am going to have to start new cuttings on most of my coleus . They are outgrowing their pots and require a lot more water now. One of many projects I need to get started on.

Chelone I hope the dog wrestling took place out side. I could only imagine what damage they would do indoors. Rebel knocks things over just wagging his tail. LOL

Cynthia, bummer about your camera quitting. We love seeing your dogs and kitties.
I really liked the picture of you and the dogs on the quilt also.

Michelle, Wyatt is growing up fast, he will be four in a couple of weeks. I loved the picture of Kenzie sitting on the chair. What pretty eyes.

Hi Sue and Cindy, and missing Idylls.


    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 5:05PM
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I'm worried. My mom called for the results of the PET scan she had a week ago and they wouldn't tell her over the phone but made an appointment for her to see the Dr. on Friday. She was so upset when she called to tell me.

That's beautiful Norma. Those colors especially. I love his work. There was a Chihuly exhibit here in Mi a while ago and I'm still kicking myself that I didn't make the effort to go.

Martie, that is The Path. I had to go back and look for the village. I must have been concentrating on the beautiful tablescape to have missed it. The village is very cool and I love the way you have it set up at different levels.

Marie, those cookies are a work of art!

I've been playing with Bella and her Christmas toys all day. We both took a nap this afternoon too. Thanks for the kind words about losing Tim, loved the card Cynthia! Only you guys would understand me mourning a squirrel.


    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 5:13PM
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Oops, forgot to tell T how precious those little guys are! They still look so tiny to me! I just love their big, innocent eyes. So cute!


    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 5:17PM
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Oh Eden, try not to fret too much. I know how hard it's been for you and your Mom, but more worry will serve no good purpose. Try to remind yourself of that, in all liklihood, NO results are given out over the telephone. Especially with increasingly stringent HIPA regulations. What if they dialled the wrong number and the person mistakenly dialled was also awaiting test results?! I know you're scared, but you have to take a deep breath and R E L A X. If you're able try to relate this to your Mom, too. Thinking of you...

And yes, Norma... all "rasslin'" took place outdoors, lol. When we finally came inside (light was nearly gone outside) they were thoroughly soaked and pooped. Each of them selected a toy from the Rex's toybox and settled down for some chewing. :) I was impressed at how nicely Rex "shared". The Three Stooges... all sacked out with assorted chew toys... lol. Wisely, the cats remained in the sanctity of Mummy and Daddy's room, secure in the knowledge that the latch to the bathroom was secure. :)

I concur, the photography has been wonderful.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 5:27PM
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Happy Birthday Monique !!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 5:42PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Cynthia's card in honour of Tim- fantastic!

Cindy, hellebores already? Lucky duck!

Norma, amazing canoe card! I think we'll be canoeing on our Christmas day. (30th)

Eden, I'm certain that no PET scan results are delivered by phone! They should never do that business of making people wait. That is so very tough. Your Mom looks just wonderful in your holiday photos.

Well folks, it was worth every penny. I have friends who needed some cash, and I was desperate to have the house cleaned, so we did some bartering. I simply don't have the energy to do what 2 people accomplished in 4 hours. Of course it will need it again in a week's time, but for now, we're both delighted! They even stored pots in the garage and put the potting bench there too. YEAH!

DH went out on a mystery spree and returned with a package that said "GB: Feed me!" And so now I am GB at home too! I was feeling poorly this AM, and he brought me some yellow mums. :-)

Tomorrow after a haircut, the food preparation begins in full force here. I hope to get vegetables sliced and chopped for a casserole, the phyllo defrosted, the salmon thawed, a pudding made etc, so that on Friday and Saturday I can have fun with family as well as prepare the dinner.

Charlotte has enjoyed long walks in the early morn with DH and DS. She comes home with burrs in her coat and sleeps for the rest of the day! I caught her on the couch twice today... At nine years of age, she seems to have less stamina. I know the feeling. We're about the same age I think!

Lovely iris reticulata Wendy. Please tell me they're not blooming for you today.

PM2, The fruitcake was indeed moist. It had been baptised frequently over the past few months with alcohol. ;-) (I would have preferred more nuts in it though.)

Enjoying all photos, both people (little and big) and 4 footed friends. We definitely need more felines though... And so Minou and MeToo send greetings to Ms Audreyhepburnoneword.


    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 5:59PM
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Thanks Chelone and Marie, I just talked to my mom again and the appointment that I thought was this Friday is for next Friday the 5th, so it will be a wait. They told her the Dr. would discuss her "options" with her...I told her to try not to worry. I'll try to take my own advice. She's been feeling so good these last few weeks.

Chelone, I can just picture the stooges all sacked out. Nothing like a bunch of tired, floppy, big dogs. Glad Rex had such a successful play date.

Marie, I was just thinking we were needing more kitty pics on this thread. That's a nice one. Charlotte is looking quite regal in her picture too.

Bella got a doll for Christmas that's keeping her busy. She has a high chair, bed, etc. and a diaper bag full of supplies. So she's been playing "mama" all day today.


    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 6:17PM
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Greetings everyone, its Wednesday afternoon , and thought it time to take a chore break and check in. I started pruning my roses today, so I feel pretty good about that. This time of year one must take advantage of any rainless opportunities that come ones way. Its cool and windy today but no rain . I took note of quite a few interesting happenings in the garden while I was pruning. Nigella is coming up all over the place already. Daphne is budded and about to open her wonderful fragrant flowers. Hellebores all budded or blooming. Everything else looks like h**l !
Tommorow its back to work for a couple of days and then the three day New Years weekend. No rain is forecast, so I hope to be able to get many more roses pruned, maybe all except the climbers .

Eden good vibes out to your Mom and so sorry to hear about Tim. Im with you on wanting to get rid of all the sweets in the house. Thanks goodness theres not much left here.If the weather holds Ill start my walking regimen again- I was up to 25 miles a week at one time, buts its difficult now when the days are so short.which reminds me
bug thanks for posting the Length Of Day link, I loved it ! I saved it in my favorites .

Monique, I hope you can get a good resolution to your bad dog neighbor issue. So many irresponsible pet owners out there, its just infuriating. I feel pretty fortunate here in my neighborhood.

Ei, that New Years cheese platter sounds mighty tasty.. might be worth a photo shoot like bugs cookies ?

Chelone, loved your photo of Rex. He looks very dignified how much does he weigh ? My little dog would not have fared well with Rex and your other dog guests-shes always been terrified of big dogs, and now that shes blind really wants nothing to do with any other dogs at all.

bug , good for you getting someone to clean your house , even if only a one-shot deal ! I keep up with it pretty well in the winter, but when spring and summer come I just hate to be cooped up inside. I would love to have someone even once a month. Oh well. I must say Im very partial to the photos youve posted of Charlotte

PM2 , I m afraid it was not only DS and DD on the mattress toboggan. I did it, BILs did it-all of us well beyond the big 5-0!

We all got Christmas checks from FIL , and I am going to use it to buy a camera. Im thinking a Canon A540. Anyone have one ? The other option would be to get DSs tide pool dropped camera fixed but were told it may be almost as much as a new one as the innards are fried.

All for now, and a wave to all I missed ---and yoo hoo to Marian if you are out there lurking !

Kathy in the Napa Valley

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 7:31PM
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Rex tips the scales at about 100 lbs.. He's a formidable dog... the victim of no socialization at a tender age, a year and half of bullying his way into "having his own way", and NOW, in the canine equivilent of Camp Pendleton he's BEGINNING to fall into line. ;) A work in progress... !

Kitty pictures you say, eh? (hehehe...)

We have a new tradition here "on the compound"...
Bong hits for the kits:

Followed by the "thigh master"

And then there were the presents...

Afterglow... ("good chit, man")
Mummy's "silken mauvekin"

And "little missy Squarekins"

And lastly, Mummy's Doodlekin Boy-boy...

A splendid day was had by all!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 8:12PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good evening!

Chelone, there was certainly some kitty debauchery at your place! What a riot; they look pretty pleased.

'bug, I have to confess the iris pic was from last spring - everything in my yard is brown and gray now, nothing suitable for birthday cards.

Eden, good thoughts to you and your Mom. How frustrating not to know the test results, but explaining them in person does make sense. Sorry to hear about your Tim.

Cynthia, nice to see you here! Congrats on the addition to your family. I did read your story thread, I love it when your dogs tell stories.

Michelle that pic of the frost is beautiful, it looks like a magical ice world.

Norma, your ship is cool too. Clever of you to put the lettering on the boat!

Enjoyed seeing the pics of all the younger ones at Christmas. My DS (who is 9) has figured out the Santa thing this year, but he really did not want to let go. He still put out cookies and threw the reindeer food in the yard. On Christmas Eve he wanted to set up a "web-cam" in the living room to catch "him" coming down the fireplace to prove that he is real! My kids are so different - DD figured it out when she was 6, and asked us point-blank "Is there a Santa, or do the parents do it?" We told her the truth, along with a warning to keep the magic alive for her little brother. She accepted that, didn't really bat an eye, and never mentioned Santa again unless it was to talk to a younger kid that still believed.

Martie, I think we have the same village that you have (I had to go back and look at the pics again, I didn't notice it before). We only have 5 buildings, and a bunch of the little accessories. I showed DS your set-up with the "hills" under the white covering, he liked that.

I am listening to DD play the drums. My BIL, who has no children, bought her a drum set for Christmas. She is really enjoying it - the smile on her face when she plays is priceless. She and her friend that plays clarinet had a "jam session" this afternoon. They played "Mary Had a Little Lamb", with DD playing the song on bass drum and bass tom. DS said it sounded like "Mary Had a Giant Lamb".

The drum serenade is over for tonite, DD wants to go on ITunes and look for drum solos. She got an IPod for Christmas, and I have to say, that thing is amazing. It is a little bigger and thicker than a credit card. We loaded a foot-high stack of her CD's into the computer and onto her pod, and it is not even half-full. She has turned me on to podcasts, which I can listen to on the computer since I am podless. I found one by Ken Druse - I guess he has a show on satellite radio.

Have a great evening!


    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 8:56PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Boy you folks have been chatty today. Chelone, you crack me up with your "good chit". You sure you didn't go to HS with me?

Wendy, I got my DH an iPod for Christmas and he has turned into a podman. He's spent most of the last two days finding podcasts to download. I think he enjoys his new toy!

Monique, I forgot to add my birthday wishes last night! I hope you had a nice one. Here are my two favorite dogs to wish you many more:

Eden, so sorry to hear about Tim. He was such a delightful chap. I did like Cynthia's card. I hope all goes well for your mom. How stressful to have to wait so long for the results. I once worked in an office where we would occassionally get wrong number calls for a doctor's office. One elderly gentleman called several times one day trying to get his test results. He didn't hear very well and wasn't understanding that he was calling the wrong number. We laughed that if he called one more time, we would tell him that we had the results and that he was pregnant. I did wonder if his hearing was so bad, how would he understand the results anyway?

Ei, I'm dropping in for the cheese platter also. It sounds lovely.

Oh yes, Chelone, after reading your catty captions, I think that you would understand why I occassionally call Mystic my "Misty-moo".

Now DH is teaching himself Spanish on his iPod... oh my.

Norma, I love the Chihuly boat. The colors are wonderful!

I know I'm forgetting ten other things that I should be saying, but I need to make a couple of phone calls. TTYL!


    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 9:20PM
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Hey Wendy, CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? Lol, Drums huh? How neat.
She will really enjoy them I bet. Your DS sounds like he has a great sense of humor.
I was thinking I would like an ipod myself.

Chelone,nice photo essay of the kitty "partah"

Gb, how nice you could barter with friends and both get what you need. I think we are all looking forward to your family get together too. It means more fun pictures I hope.


    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 9:29PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Here's one of the ten things I forgot.

My nephew brough his PlayStation over on Christmas Day and we all had some good laughs playing Guitar Hero. You get a mini guitar with colored buttons on the fret, and you need to press the right button and strum at the right time - sort of like karaoke meets air guitar. I modestly must say that I was the best of the "grownups" and definitely got the most "style points" from the audience. What a riot! My son is worried that I will go out and buy my own!!!

Wendy, maybe there's a drum version out there?


    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 9:45PM
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OK, where the hell is Marian?!

I "figgered fer sure" she'd have surfaced by now...

Can you hear me??? lol, Norma.

You guys crack me right up... never fails! ;)

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 9:59PM
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DH very sweetly offered to take me out to eat tonight.

Eden, good thoughts and prayers for your mom and for your peace of mind.

V, funny but I have actually just recently played the Guitar Hero. Our DSIL has it. Neither Rick or I were very good.

Norma, the boat is fantastic, what an idea. The Mayo Clinic where Rick has doctored with his neck has 13 Chihuly chandeliers. It really is amazing.

Wendy, LOL on the webcam and Santa. Now thats tradition meeting modern technology.

Chelone, what fun to see the cats partying around the Christmas tree.

Martie, Id love to see a picture of your village.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 10:32PM
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Long time no see: )
The whirlwind of activity is slowing finally.
Chris' interview was long but very promising....and naturally they will make him wait until after the new year for results. I will let you know either way. made me lol...yes,just how *did* I go from Martha to Nurse Ratchet-just when you think you know a person. Funny thing is that for Christmas I recieved a new KitchenAid mixer...Martha with nurse Ratchet undertones?

I am so sorry for Jerri's loss. I've been there too-my dad had a rare dementia. We lost him eight years before he actually died-it's no easier the second time. Give yourself time-you will still grieve the same even though you are relieved she is whole again. I can tell you I am grateful she went as peacefully as she did-that is a blessing. Hugs Jerri-always feel free to email me if you need a shoulder.

Oh Eden: ( I loved Timmy! Hope you guys are doing OK-hugs to you too!

Monique I hope it was happy and fun like you: )

I miss all of you-hopefully I can finish getting all my thoughts out to y'all.

Chelone what the hell are you feeding your cats??!lol

PS-Ei! The tree above is our Canaan fir...I'll fill you in more next time I come back...sorry-it's movie night! Where's the wine....better go before Chris flies over this cuckoo's nest; ) [I have no idea what that meant but It seemed right to wine yet either!--that's scary]

Wait-forgot to say-I loved the pic of Sue Monique and Deanne! What a fun time you had: )

I'm going now-really.

Really I am

Ok I'll go---bye!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 10:48PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I am just mesmerized. This group can go from zero to 60 in 2 seconds flat! [g] No way can I read all these posts tonight or respond to everyone's stories, as much as I would like to. And all the photos! Let's see, kiddies, dogs, cats, food, Christmas trees,Christmas decorations, Christmas presents, I think I saw twin babies, more cats, more dogs, then we start in with flowers of every kind, along with butterflies and lest we forget, frost crystals, a squirrel, a dish of nuts and a canoe filled with All of which I have found fascinating as I checked in throughout the day.

I'll come back tomorrow and try to catch up. Not that I have anything fascinating to Nice to see everyone feeling up to posting and enjoying what's left of the holiday. I will say I am now missing having a cat and a It has been about 8 years since we had a dog and haven't had a cat in 25 years due to allergies in the house. I am also amazed at how well you all know your way around a computer and software programs. Lovely garden photos people have been sharing.

Quite a group! :-)

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 10:52PM
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Chelone, here's a picture of my cats in that same condition after opening their "treats" last Christmas...


    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 12:57AM
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Good morning, everyone!

Will get a pic or two of the Village up later today. Ky sets it up so all kudos to him for arrangement.

Thanks, Chelone, for filling in the missing pieces for PM2 re: January 6. We'll be burning together :-)

I want to be an Idyll cat in my "next life" and go live where the owners grow the Good Stuff. LOL

Those babies are precious, T. Such little men!

Eden - (((you))) and (((your mom))) to grant patience. I'm an advocate of Dr.'s offices with results calling to say: "Be here in a few hours" rather than making people wait. When my mom had her kidney out it took 10 days for them to tell her everything was AOK and that all Cx was gone. Those ten days could've been better spent, but I understand the necessity of it all.

Hi Babs, Wendy, and other Idyllers who popped in.

Running, this morning, but not before I say to Sue -- Didn't see the wave but up in 213 I'm sure the entire hall heard us. Rock on!!! Where on Franklin Ave??? (The best Italian food in all of CT, IMHO>)


    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 7:15AM
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T, where did those adorable little boy babies come from!? I guess I've missed a lot. They look like an Anne Geddes photo with those faces.

I see Babs has a new career and the boys grew up too.

Wendy, this cracked me up:
"My BIL, who has no children, bought her a drum set for Christmas..."

Looking at Sunrise and Midnight (am I close on the names?) I can't tell which one is the puppy anymore.

Eden, your Mom has a strong and supportive family and that's one of the most important things with any illness. (That statement has no scientific basis at all, I made it up but I know it's true.)

I really am sorry to here that Tim has gone. He was such an remarkable little thing and I loved his story. I was actually thinking about him a few days ago when I found one in the street at the end of my driveway and moved him with a shovel to the woods where I buried him with leaves.

Remember Finnegan? Finnegan

Charlotte and Minou and Meetoo look gorgeous in the sunlight! Chelone your cats reminded me of the friend who found a bag of marijuana when she was walking her dogs. I'm convinced it was catnip but she flushed it before I could test :-)

Fritz had a nice date with the potential adopter yesterday. I think he'd be a good match for her since he's a mellow boy. I brought the spinning chatty Katie down for a while so that she could see just how mellow that boy is. I think she's meeting to more greys this week and then will decide. He's been here two weeks and when I got up this morning he had pulled one of the dining room curtains into his crate. It got pretty ripped up with all the pulling. Agh. Those curtains are 6 years old and I can't replace just one panel.

This is just another good reason to move the dog crates to the cellar. There's a big finished room down there that's the warmest room in the house. Also has good light and I'd really like to have my dining room back. But I want to clean the whole cellar before I start moving crates down. Moving the crates will be the reward for getting it ALL done? I may get a fridge for down there too. Katie and Dannie do raw and I could free up space in kitchen by moving all of the food and Monty's dry bags down cellar.

Where are the Christmas pictures of Sue's two? And where's Rahji!!! Deanne????

Vacation is going by too fast. Hi to all....


    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 8:49AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

Looks like we are finally going to get a bit of sunshine here today. About time! I'm feeling like I've been living in a cave for the last two weeks or so.

Eden, I'm terribly sorry to hear about Tim. That's so sad. I know how much you enjoyed his antics. That's awful. ~~ Also, I'm hoping for only good news for your Mom. I hope you both to try not to worry too much.

V. great to hear from you! I'd love to have been a fly on the wall to see you playing air guitar. LOL Sounds like it was a lot of fun. ~~ RE MIL, blow it off. You cannot ever please a preson like that. She is looking for fault because of her own issues. No matter what you do it will never be the right thing.

Welcome PM2, you've jumped in with both feet!

T, the twins are adorable.

Babs, how very neat to hear from you. I miss your posts. Glad you could drop by. ~~ BTW, how the heck do you grow lisianthus? I've never had any luck with it. It blooms a bit then fades away for me.

Wendy, drums? OMG ~~ BTW I've got some plants here with your name on them. I'm going to need to make room sometime soon so we need to plan to get together for lunch or something.

Loving all the sassy cats photos!

Norma, I use a combination of programs for the photo cards, I edit the pics in Corel Photopaint 11 and add the fancy frames with something called ArtBorders. I found it online and it had a library of fancy frames. Lots of fun to use.

Sue, what is that chartreuse plant to the front of the iris? looks like some kind of veronica but I've not seen one that color. Beautiful.

OK I've got to run and take some of the chunks off this house. I inherited the ham bone from the Christmas Eve dinner and we are having company for ham and pea soup Friday night. The house is a disaster and I need to so some cleaning and perhaps get that ham bone boiled down today.

Hello to everyone I've missed, sorry if I missed anyone but there was way too much to catch up on.


PS Oh yes, Luke asked that I not show this photo of him being so undignified but since this is a 'Tell All about our Cats' thread I thought I'd show how Luke sleeps of a dose of catnip

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 9:07AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

G'morning - loving the pics as usual.

Like Kathy, Im debating the "fun" of cleaning 3 bathrooms all at once or attempting to conquer the utility/garden room -- eeks - cant even get in thru the door at present. But me thinks I need some more shelving so perhaps instead I should go (again) shopping for shelving instead? LOL, nothing like avoiding work by shopping, eh? Decisions, decisions.

The week has flown by and I can't believe I have done so little on the to-do list....been chillin too much!

Great to hear from Nurse Ratchet at last ... Glad things are a-ok with you.

Cynthia -- heehee - by the time you have your basement re-equipped sounds like it will be an apartment! or you could rent it out? Hope you conquer the camera problem so we can see more recent pics of all. I had a TV & toaster oven die the week of Xmas -- it's amazing how those things seem to know when it's too late for gift ideas. The computer here too is on death's door; hence quickie posts before it freezes. Drat.

Chelone -- aside from the sated cats pics that have me rollin, I love that you have numerous nicknames for your "kids" -- have you ever counted how many "other" names they have? DD & I counted 28 sillies for our last (Frosty) -- my precious Chloe seems to only have 15... maybe I've become last creative -- but we're all animal nuts aside from gardenfiends arent we?

Well, have to get into some real re-organizing here so best decide about shelves, etc.

We have sunny and 50s here today - not bad; Im almost tempted to be distracted and go weed; but better try to accomplish at least 2 things on "The List"! Pleasant day all.


    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 11:35AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Missing a Christmas report from Ms Saucy!

Wet white stuff falling from above...

I should be in the kitchen, but my knittting needles seemed more exciting.

My whole gang should be here at midnite tomorrow. Am I excited???

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 2:46PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Phew! I think I am caught up on reading and know what's going on in everyone's lives. So much better to be caught up with that than caught up with housework!

We leave tomorrow morning to visit friends for three days, so I will get behind once again (or even more if you are thinking about housework!) We have very vague plans for New Year's Eve and I have no idea what to pack.

No snow here; in fact, we worked in the woods this morning and I was without my jacket most of the morning since it was warm. I even pulled some dame's rocket since the ground is not frozen. There's only about 4.5 million more to pull... The good news is that we are making great progress in removing the honeysuckle and buckthorn. My winter tree id skills keep improving all the time!

prairiemoon, I don't think I've said a proper welcome to you yet, so - welcome! I'm glad you jumped in. I'm also glad to see Cynthia posting again - I've missed you!

Marie, you should have a wonderful time with your DD and family. The sweater turned out great.

Well, we have a lot of vague plans that need to be firmed up and details nailed down. so I guess I'd better get to that. DH and DS are getting ready for a "boys night out" with the uncles and cousins and the clothing decisions are pretty funny here.


    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 4:46PM
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Woo-hah ! Who knew that our Chelone was running a kitty opium den ! I've never seen such a giant jug of catnip in my life ! (uhh-it is catnip right ?)

Cynthia, I had never seen the Finnegan pics, they are awesome! Thanks for posting..

Hope you all have a great Friday ! I'm a working girl again so will just drop in till the weekend..

Kathy in the Napa Valley

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 9:36PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Thanks for the additional photo cards for my birthday! Hubby told me that he'll take me out for lunch on Saturday to celebrate since we spent the afternoon at Animal Control on Tuesday.

Ok, the cat photos are very cute. Not as cute as all the dog photos, but close :o)

Cythia, loved the Finnegan story and photos.

Martie, I think they were out of The Path Hibiscus at Logees last January, so I bought a Hibiscus Morning Glory (pink and white), but it only made it a couple of days. We do keep it fairly chilly during the middle of the night in our house-55 degrees minimum. In contrast, the two Gardenias I bought are still going strong. They were outside for the summer and I cut them back before bringing them in for the cool season. Gardenias dont mind our chilly nighttime temps. The Rex Begonia I bought is also doing well. BTW, I forced a couple of Hyacinths one year in Hyacinth jars by keeping them in the garage. So, the following year, I tried to force a whole bunch of Hyacinths so I could have at least one flower in bloom for weeks and weeks. So, I bought more Hyacinth jars (should have got them cheaper on Ebay in retrospect), filled them with water, popped bulbs in the upper part, put them in a large cooler surrounded by newspaper in the garage. Well, it was a really cold winter. I checked on them mid-winter and all the jars had cracked from freezing. Upsetting to say the least. I should have put them in our extra fridge in the basement, huh? Live and learn.

Chelone, IMO Rally Obedience is much more fun than traditional Obedience. In Rally you can talk to your dog the whole time whereas you can only usually give one command in traditional. Yes, NOVICE Rally Obedience is done on leash. Otherwise, Ollie might not have gotten his AKC title. His attention span is very short and having him on leash helped. However, the next level up, Advanced Rally is off leash. I practice with him every few days, but still am not sure he would pay full attention to me or hubby in the ring. That is why I turned to Agility. If he has to be off leash I thought that running in Agility would hold his attention more. Hes had classes in obedience and agility, so were trying to home school at the moment. Heres the website for AKC Rally and then for the RallyO signs.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 11:37PM
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Good really dark morning. Just a small hint of light in the eastern sky. No snow, either, and economically the area is feeling it. Ski areas have quit trying to make snow and the landscapers who depend on plowing income are having a very tough year. I have bulbs popping up all over the place. Very odd and a little unsettling ...

Anyhoo - Village pics will be in a few days. Camera is at a job site but when it comes home I'll take plenty.

So sorry about your jars, Monique! I tried not to laugh, because I've done things like that, too. Most recent was putting a little conifer gift from a client directly above a heat vent. Toast. What are we thinking sometimes? I've found that baby food jars work as well as "real" jars and if you choose carefully, you get dessert in the process :-) I've never been able to keep a Gardenia going for longer than the bought bloom. Good for You!

Deanne -- "chunks off the house" ????? Can't imagine your house not being in shape for friends/company. How are the fish? Thought of you while savoring a homemade Minestrone soup brought in by a coworker. Perfect Deanne food.

Is everyone habititating "Kidsvilles" still recovering?

T. -- Your twins really helped a friend, yesterday. She's pregnant with twins and in her 6th month. Why is the 6th month always a drag for expectant moms? Delivery seems so far away and you feel big and tired and like it'll never end. So, I pulled up the pics of J & J and reminded her that in the end, this is what she'll have. Got a bit of a smile out of her. Those babies are blessings in more ways than they'll ever know!

Sue -- Good to have a tentative date for the open garden tour. Both are on my calendar.

Marie - You must be ready to burst. Pic of DD in sweater, please :-)

Have been going through catalogs and am a bit taken back by some of the pricing. I expected increases and understand increased costs, but $22. for a Shasta Daisy seems a bit much, yes? Even a new hybrid? Since I don't jump all over the "new and exciting" stuff and my budget won't allow for such purchases, all bought plants will be the tried and true this year with a few extras thrown in.

Veggie garden planning is well underway and the DN's (dear neighbors) teacher signed off on their plan. I wish Rich needed sign off as well as he's got about 50 varieties of stuff he wants and "really, really needs." LOL Of all people on earth, I should understand this but since this is the first time he's veggie gardened in about 40 years, he's forgetting that plants grow fruit that needs to be cared for. I'm envisioning a farm stand going up on the cul-de-sac and many extra trips to the food pantry. It could be something worse, right?? Remind me I said that in August.

Today will be low key at work. I am so incredibly grateful for the past year in this "new" job venture. Amazing clients, great roads to drive, fantastic boss, effective product, and I learn something every single day. Those of us who worked this week will be having a little soire'.

Best to everyone!


    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 7:19AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Up early here. Yes Martie, ready to burst! At the moment I've turned the oven on to CLEAN mode. Next the litter box situation needs handling. Then maybe I'll get dressed and prepare for a morning of haircut, last minute errands and gifts. This afternoon, kitchen duty. Tonight, trip to the airport!
All the beds are made up, excitement is in the air! DS's stuffed pet alligator from about 1975, Allie, is waiting for DGS on his bed. A pile if DD's old books are at his bedside too. DS installed his old swing ("It's only on loan!") in the barn for him too.
There's a bit of confectioner's sugar on the ground outdoors this morning...
I'd better check the camera battery, right?
Hugs to all. You never know what burden others might be carrying. (((( ))))

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 7:50AM
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Yes, that IS catnip, Kathy. The helpmeet grows it for them every year. Some years they "prune" the living daylights out of the plants periodically, others they don't seem to bother them at all. Even the matriarch, Floey, likes to get into the Christmas act (she's the tiger "bunnykicking" the present).

I had completely forgotten about Finnegan, Cynthia. It was fun to go back through all the pictures. How's the new "apartment" coming along? I was noting that the grey squirrels in this area are really grey; they don't have the hint of brown that Timmy did (there was a dead one on the road when Rex and I returned from the golf course). Interesting.

Speaking of rodents, it is VOLE CENTRAL around here! The cats average at least one/day and the characteristic "halfpipes" they use to travel are everywhere. The fringes of the golf course are full of them. I was fascinated watching the hawks while we were out. They'd soar overhead, circling, and then wing off, returning with great regularity.

Monique, if you're up to it, let us know what Animal Control said. I read 'bug's linked newspaper story with horror. I'm with you, a 16 month old dog that shows that sort of aggression toward a human is truly frightening. What must their owners have done/not done to allow that behavior to bubble to the surface? (Rex was just about that age when we got him, had been through 2 homes and 3 shelters.) And once more, the Rottweiler breed gets the black mark. This dusturbs me particularly because it is humans that have selectively bred for specific characteristics/traits. The goal was a powerful, intelligent, dog with a bold personality. And they are all those things. But just like GSD, Dobermans, and other working dogs they need a firm and calm hand to train. And, sadly, as their popularity grew, sound breeding practices went out the window; and to what result? dogs with genetic predisposition to unsoundness, and dogs of questionable personality that were frequently not neutered/spayed and were used to increase the breed population to meet "consumer demand". Sigh.

I laughed out loud at Luke in his fleece nest. I don't think there's anything that epitomizes "relaxed" more than a cat who's "out like a light". :)

Nicknames... oh yeah, we have a TON of them. And here's the other aspect of the nickname thing, we use a different tone of voice for each of the animals when using them. Friends who don't have pets look at us as though we've lost the last of our marbles, but then are amazed to see them respond.

Our bird is sick. Larry is 17 years old and has an infection. He went to the vet. yesterday and has an antibiotic, but he's not eating well and isn't drinking much, either. We'll hard boil an egg, clean his cage, and see if we can't tempt him into a meal. He is approaching the end of his lifespan and this may well be "it" for the little guy. :/ .

I have to pay some bills today, balance two checking accounts, and maybe I'll do some cleaning, too. MAYBE. :)

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 7:59AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Okay...I am caught up! Phew! Have to speed this up though, have to get going in a few minutes.

What's boxing day? Christmas in Canada?

Norma...thanks for all your comments on the snowy scene photo, bird ornament and camera. Yes, I am sure I will be boring you with tons of photos soon I was going to ask how you got balloons in your boat, [g] until I read further and saw the chihuly chandeliers that michelle posted. I guess it is an artist I am unfamiliar with. Quite unusual and fun. :-) BTW, what is the significance of screen name?

GBug....hope your day goes by fast, waiting for your family to arrive. Looking forward to lots of photos soon. :-)
BTW, Loved the photo of Charlotte on that pretty rug. Also LOVED the photo of your roses and foxglove on your BD card to Monique! Can you share the name of the rose and the foxglove? I also loved the card, what software program are you using? No need to answer until company is all gone home. :-)

babs clare...what are you going to be using the mixer for? Are you a baker? Loved your photo of the children with the Christmas tree. Very pretty scene. :-)

deanne....thanks for the welcome. Nice to meet another fellow New Englander. Yes, I am ready to be done with these gray days. Looking for sunshine today too!

veronicastrum.....Thanks for the welcome, nice to meet you and are you actually living on a prairie? .....loved your dog photos...That guitar playing game sounded like fun, actual musicians in your house? Sorry to hear you have all that honeysuckle and buckthorn in the woods. What a job! Would love to see photos of your work there and progress you are making. How large an area is it?

martie....thanks for the explanation for the bulbs. It actually sounds much easier than I thought. I am going to have to try to find some bulbs at the store this weekend. One a day, great idea. :-) I wouldn't have room in our fridge and I sometimes wish I had a second fridge in the basement to do something like that. I am sure I would forget to take them out too. lol You have bulbs outside popping up already? I will have to check mine. I am just starting to go thru the catalogs too. I have been in sticker shock for a couple of years with plant prices. Growing from seed more and even those are very expensive. I did see a 'collection' of shasta daisies in the Bluestone catalog for $18 or so. I think it was 6 plants. I will have to compare notes on what your husband is planning in the veggie garden next year. He sounds excited.

eden.....Your photo to Monique very pretty...that so pretty, but is it growing and blooming in that small container and at such a small size? Is that a coleus and huechera growing in the pot with it?....loved your cat photo. :-) Sorry you and your Mom have to wait until the 5th! I also feel that is too long for them to ask you to suffer over it. So stressful waiting to know. I hope it goes by fast. :-)

cynthia...nice to meet you, too. :-) I would love to start digging out our cellar soon too. I don't want to call the furnace company to come, it is so packed with junk down there! Love your cat's name...very nicie that you foster dogs. Is Fritz a grayhound? the photo w the pink coat....Can't believe your dog pulled the curtain into the crate. What they will do to entertain themselves. [g] Katie and Dannie are your children? We don't do raw, but we do eat a lot of raw fruits and veggies and we juice. I know what you mean, the fridge is always packed. I keep prodding DH for a fridge for basement, but so far..he is holding out.

cindy..pretty hellebores :-)

just t...twin grandbabies...Jake and the photo and the names..

Ei...putting in a floor in? What kind? ....husband used to say that to our kids...'put hair on your chest'. They still laugh about it. Your cheese platter sounded so good...fig spread? I think my DH has tried that before and liked it. I will have to get some again.

michelle ...Loved the photo of the chihuly chandeliers!

monique....very surprised that your family manages to remember your BD in the Christmas rush season. Poor brother though. That is a switch!

Kathy...pretty rose photo :-) I am not surprised that you and BIL went down the stairs too. Who could resist, when kids enthusiasm is so infectious. [g] Your story reminded me of a time my brother and I tried that down a very long stairway in a sleeping bag. I think you were very smart to use a mattress! lol Wow, the bruises and bumps lasted awhile. We didn't try that again. lol I bought my DD an A540 for Christmas. She hasn't used it yet though. I got an A630 and just love it so far. I have heard good things about both cameras. I'll let you know when she starts using it, how she likes it.

wendy...drums? It sounds like you have some musical kids at your house. I would be thinking up an interesting gift to give BIL next year though. [g] Son got ipod for Christmas. Also wanted to put all his CDs on it. Seemed to be the gift to give/get this year.

So the catalogs are arriving. What are your favorite? I usually order seeds, more than plants? Last year I liked the prices and quality at FEDCO seeds in ME.

We managed to go to one sale and picked up a new cedar window box at half price and another new pot on sale too. I didn't really need a new one, but if I buy just one new one every year, I think that is reasonable.

The birds have come back to the feeders. :-)

No time to review or spellcheck. [g] I'm sure I missed something...sorry. Have a great day! :-) pm2

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 8:46AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Hello to all! Sorry I haven't been able to keep up as well as I'd like. It's just a very busy time at work and will be now til at least the middle of February. My boss is out today so it's like a vacation day for me. Yesterday I got the bulk of the invitations in the mail for Tom's party. Hopefully they won't send any confirmations or contracts to the house. Perhaps I'd better call.

Monique, what sort of luck did you have with animal control? I know people who have had dogs killed by other dogs and unfortunately had little recourse beyond taking some sort of legal action. It appears that there are fairly strict laws for dogs who attack humans but when it comes to attacking dogs the laws can be non existent. At any rate, I agree with Chelone about there being no bad breeds, just bad breeders. People exploit inherent personality traits of certain dog breeds. Our friends have three rottweilers in their immediate family. All three were at their Christmas Eve party milling around with the guests including toddlers. Two have been trained to respond to hand signals. The third wishes she was a lap Our friends actually returned a rottie puppy to a breeder once because she started growling at people the first day they brought her home. They went to a different breeder and the one they ended up with is a marshmallow.

Chelone, I was LOLOL at the stoned kitty shots. It looks like you all are better pet parents than me when it comes to picture taking. My rats need to be groomed right now. I cancelled their appointment Tuesday night because I had that concert event going on. So far the date has not been rescheduled.

Marie, enjoy your time with family.

Martie, we had dinner at a place called Chef Eugene's on Franklin Ave. It's not a place I would pick on my own but one of the guys I work with knows the owner. Not alot of ambience but the food is fabulous.

Deanne the plant in Monique's BD shot is the spring foliage of Caryopteris Worcester Gold. At the rate the weather is going around here, stuff is going to blooming by February.

OK, gotta trot of and get some work done before my lunch date.


    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 9:52AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

A quick good morning here,

There is sunshine and there are birds outside, the camera is calling my name. Lately it has been no birds with sun or no light and lots of birds. Ive got to take advantage of the light and opportunity this AM.

Yes, Martie, this house needs a thorough cleaning, LOL. Ive caught a miserable cold and havent felt like keeping up with things. Also Ive though I should take some time off from everything and just chill out so that is what Ive done this week.

Sue, thanks for the info on that plant. I know Ive loved it in all seasons. Im going to have to find a place to plant that one. I hope I can do better with it than I have with Caryopteris in the past.

PM2, I just caught that you are a New Englander! (Where have I been?) Cool! You should come up to our February Thumb our Noses at Winter Party. Last year, Sue, Tom, Monique, Les, Wendy and V made it and a good time was had by all.

Chelone glad the Lukie gave you a laugh.~~ Sorry that Larry is sick. Thats sad. I hope he gets better.

GB, Ill bet you cant wait to get to the airport tonight!!! Have a great time with your family!

Monique, so glad that Les is going to take you out for an alternate Birthday Lunch.

OK Im out of here, off to make soup, clean house and take a few bird photographs.


    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 10:13AM
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Good Morning Idylls, I'm in a subdued and contemplative mood this morning. Life is feeling like a very fragile thing to me this week for various reasons. News on my mom is that my dad threw a bit of a fit with the Drs. office and the Dr. was able to see her late yesterday afternoon. The test picked up a shadow on her spine and they don't know what it is but she'll have two MRIs next week to check it out. She sounded relieved to know more of what's going on when I talked to her last night.

Prairiemoon, that picture is from early in the season last summer before the container gardens started filling in. I have the hibiscus under lights in the basement now, being neglected with all of the other tropicals. Poor things! I think that coleus is Peter Wonder and the heuchera is Key Lime Pie.

Marie, it does my heart good to hear your excitement and about all the special preparations for dgs. Enjoy your family and make some great memories while they're visiting. I can't wait to hear all about it.

Michelle, I'm sorry to hear about you losing one of your kitties.

Deanne, feel better soon. The soup will do you good.

Chelone, I'm so sorry that Larry's sick. I hope he's able to recover and be with you a while longer. The squirrels around here are grayer in the winter when they have their winter coats on. They do vary though. We have one that comes to the feeder that looks like a strawberry blonde, lol.

Babs, what a great picture of the boys, can't believe how they're growing up, especially AJ!

I'm going to go read Bella a couple of stories before morning naptime. Today's Brad's and my 28th anniversary. He's working a lot this week though, 12 hour days so we'll celebrate it over New Years.

Big hugs to those that need them today!

TTYL, Eden

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 10:49AM
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A tough morning here as I filled 4 bowls with kitty food but there were only 3 kitties to serve breakfast to. Mikey died peacefully last night. I found him curled up with his eyes closed on Katie's pillow when I went to the bedroom at 11:30. I put him in the greenhouse for the night, and then worried that he would 'wake up' so went back out to check. I felt about 6 years old last night :-) Better this morning, but then I automatically filled all of those food bowls :-(

Remember Idy and his Idyll creator?:

I'll find a spot in the garden for him today. Funny how we deal with things. I searched the web for causes of 'sudden death' and then searched (and cleaned!) all of the cat boxes at 3AM looking for 'a sign.' In between I was checking the other kitties, (all older than Mikey), to make sure they were all ok.


I've forced bulbs in pots outdoors that are buried in leaves up against the back of the house. That provides enough chill and the pots won't break because they're in a little micro climate of leaves and foundation.

Luke! I forgot to ask about him before, remembering the athletic and silly Rahjii instead. Both beautiful boys.

I support 'Dangerous Owner' laws over Danger Dog laws, or Breed specific bans. It's all about the owner and what actions he or she does not take when dealing with any dog. In Maryland, a dog can be labeled dangerous if it kills or inflicts severe unprovoked injury on another dog.

Cindy, please tell me your hellebore photo is from LAST spring :-) The Hellebore foetidus have been blooming here for a week now. I love their shapes and shades of green-ness. But the orientalis won't start budding for months here.

Martie & Sue and others working this week, I feel for you when so many of us are off and enjoying...uh...housework.


    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 10:55AM
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Another rainy day here unbelievable weather. Fortunately we seem to be missing all the snow.

Eden, Im sorry to hear that your moms scan wasnt perfectly clean. I hope the shadow isnt a serious sign. Happy Anniversary to you and Brad!

Cynthia, ((hugs)) Sorry to hear about Mikey. Thanks for the Finnegan link how precious.

Deanne, that pic of Luke is hilarious. We wont tell him you showed it to us ;o) Im looking forward to some bird pictures.

Babs, you will love the mixer. I got one a few years ago. What a great picture of the boys with that beautiful tree. Did you cut it down yourselves?

PM2, we love photos here and surely wont be bored. Youre right, this is a very interesting forum and you never know what you will see or read here.

Chelone, I didnt realize Rex was part Rottweiler. The dog we have now and our last one were both Rottweiler/lab. Cody was a male who weighed in at 100 lbs. but what a pussy cat. Jaden is a female and much smaller and so very sweet. Sorry to hear that Larry is ailing.

Bug, definitely check those camera batteries we demand pictures ;o) Have fun!

Sue, Ricks 60th is coming up but hes pretty adamant about not having a big party. I think that it will end up being just family. Although, that could be nearly 30 people.


    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 11:42AM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Cynthia, so sorry about Mikey. How old was he?

Eden, hoping that the shadow on your mom's spine turns out to be no big deal. Glad your dad spoke up-I think it is awful to make people wait such a long time for results.

Regarding dogs, I definitely do NOT support breed specific bans that we hear so much about these days. The AKC does not support them either. The owners have to be responsible and do what is right. If they don't, then there should be stricter laws about individual dogs.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 1:20PM
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I'm very sorry to hear about Mikey, Cynthia. It's so sad when a family member dies. :( On our property we have buried 3 cats, 3 parakeets, one dog, and spread the ashes of 2 others. We have markers for the cats, a shrub for the dog, and lots of bulbs.

Sometimes you have to make a bit of scene when dealing with the medical establishment. It's hard for them; they have to be "detached" to be objective about things, but too often they fail to appreciate the very real toll the stress of waiting exacts on the patient. My best thoughts are sent your way and your Mom's way. Very often what looks suspicious on one "picture" is cleared up with a more in-depth look. Try to relax and keep a positive outlook.

I'm another one who objects to breed specific bans. It's just so unfair and it really misses the real issue, which is owner responsibility. Our neighbor right next door has an American Stafforshire Terrier (nearly the same thing as a Pit Bull). Bentley is a creampuff. He is always on his leash, but he and Rex have played together a few times and they get on famously. He's a wonderful dog; much loved.

Rex isn't part Rottie (he's shepherd/bull mastiff). But there is a Rottie/Bull Mastiff cross at a local convenience store who is a total creampuff, too. And, like Sue, I've known a few Rottweilers that have been wonderful dogs. The real issue here is OWNER RESPONSIBILITY. And Woody nailed it on the other thread... isolate and confine a dog, esp. one with a predisposition to defensiveness, and what do you get?! DUH, it's a no-brainer. And the owners must be held accountable.

I've been a good do-bee with respect to bills and financial matters, not nearly so assiduous in my attention to general housekeeping (though I did manage to roll $160 worth of change!). Have to make lunch for Mum now.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 2:01PM
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Just back from my walk with Rex to learn that Larry Bird is no more...

He is now bulb fertilizer for a bunch of Mt. Hood narcissus.

Very sad... in a house that is very quiet. He lived with us for nearly 17 1/2 years and is the last link with my apartment over the fabric shop... it all seems so very long ago now.


    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 3:45PM
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Hi there! Just time for a quick note. It is so good to see so many posts when I checked in!

The twins' parents caught the horrible stomach/intestinal virus going around and it also appears that the twins have a touch of it, too. Wednesday morning I received an S.O.S. phone call from DD that she was too ill to care for the boys and would I come quickly to help. The 'bug' hit hard and fast. I spent the night as it was obvious that she wouldn't be able to take care of the twins the next day when her DH went to work....but in the wee hours of the morning, my SIL was hit hard (and quick) by the virus, so he had to call into work sick. I felt a bit overwhelmed in helping 2 adults that are using toilets and buckets at the same time.......and two little tykes that are feeling a 'bit' off. The doctor's office told us what to keep an eye on for the boys and, thankfully, they did not get it as bad as their parents did. They asked me to spend another night to help them out, but I headed home at 10PM last night when I thought I was coming down with it. My DD was recovered enough that she thought she could handle taking care of the boys by herself ... so I drove home quickly. I still have not gotten it, so I feel guilt over leaving her (the boys were very fussy all night and she is still having some symptoms). I spoke with her about 8 this morning and she sounded awful, the boys screaming in the background (I interrupted their breakfast)...but at 10:30 she was sounding much more like herself. Her hubby is still quite ill and she is weak, but on the road to recovery. This is one nasty bug!! Jamie was down with it for 2.5 days, finally feeling like eating when he awoke this morning. From what Jamie's doctor's office said, this is hitting the entire USA hard and is very contagious. :o(

I'm so sorry to read about Tim's death... (((Eden))), and Mikey's passing (((Cynthia))), Larry's illness, Ollie being attacked again,.......and especially was concerned about Eden's mother when I read that post. I'm glad she was able to see the doctor sooner and prayers being said for her here. I hope I didn't miss anything...if I did, it is not intentional.

Update on the 'critters' here....Claude is feeling his age and not venturing out into the pasture with the other goats each time when they go. He still does go out to eat, but he is slower to leave the shelter in the mornings and he is lagging behind as they graze. It is always sad to watch them age and slow down. The goat, that Boo stepped on, has never regained full use of his leg. He will walk on it occasionally, but quite often he is only using 3 legs. We never could find a 'sore' area so didn't believe it was broken, but it has been long enough that muscle damage should have healed. Poor guy. The other 3 goats (Tall, Wide and Caramel) are doing fine, as is Boo. I'm sure that was important for you to read (about the goats & horse's injuries/health, LOL).

I got a kick out of seeing the kitties all tuckered out from their o.d. on catnip....our old kitty never has seemed to be interested in catnip, although we have had others, over the years, who haven gone ballistic whenever they've gotten a catnip toy.

I did get my new zoom lens (Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM, if anyone is camera geek enough to be interested ;o) ). I've not gotten a chance to play with it yet.

DH began tearing down the hay/storage shed that has been in my photos (down in front of the house). It began as a shelter for the horses years back, then it turned into a hay shed, then the extra bits and pieces of junk/treasures began being stored in there..... DH is dismantling it and putting it back up out in the pasture. We'll add to it and make a much nicer shelter/feeding station for the animals.

Well, I've spent over two hours in trying to get this written, I keep getting interrupted. I'm just going to give up and quit trying to write more.

Hello to all!!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 4:58PM
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Well, this isn't turning out to be a very happy week petwise here on the Idylls. I'm sorry to hear about Larry, Chelone. It will be hard to get used to the quiet after having him for so long. That's very sad.

T, I hope you don't catch that bug. We were all together here Chrismas eve and day and Jen came down with it Christmas night but none of the rest of us have gotten it so there's hope for you. It is a nasty bug, Jen still isn't back to normal but she's feeling stronger every day. I always think these bugs are worse during warm winters. I don't know if that's really true... I'm glad the goats are all ok.

Bet Marie's just waiting for that plane to land, only a few more hours now!

The new PDN catalog is out. Check out the link below. I want that plant!!


    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 5:36PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

My Molly passed away this afternoon. She was 10.
Here is Molly with Zach. They were both loved very much.


    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 5:39PM
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Oh no, Jerri! What terrible news and I'm so sorry to hear it. There's no doubt they were very loved, knowing you. How are you doing? It's been such a rough week for you.

What I came back to say was that Smith & Hawken has the little greenhouse that I have on sale. It's only half the price I payed for mine a couple of years ago and well worth it. I'm positive that Deanne needs one!


    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 6:02PM
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Oh my goodness. Tim and Mikey and Larry and Molly and Michelle's kitty are all together in Pet-Idyll land. I hope it's warm and sunny there. I am so sorry to all who have lost their precious pets this week.

T, I've been waiting for the updates on the goat's and horses health, that's actually why I'm back. Well that, and the Elk updates. I hope they maintain their health and you yours. Just how wide is Tall? You are an awesome mom and grand mom :-)

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 6:17PM
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Good heavens!!!

Jerri, I am so sorry to read about your kitty. You've had a very rough month! Sending you good thoughts!

Chelone....sorry to read about your bird not making it.

Eden, I'm glad Jen is feeling better---hope no one else in the family picks it up. It seems like they would have the symptoms by now if they were exposed at the same time Jen was or had 'gotten' it from her.

I've not called my daughter again, I didn't want the phone to bother them if the boys were napping and they were taking advantage to nap also.

DH has a nice fire going in the family room, but this room is too darn cold to sit here any longer. I guess I could start a fire in the living room woodstove, but it is easier to go sit near the fam. room stove and warm up there. ;o)


    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 6:24PM
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Yeah, Jerri, I want to know how YOU are doing. Losing your kitty must be like a swift kick in the gut... I'm so sorry.

Seems as though there're a lot of us out there feeling the pang of loss... . But it'll be OK, because it HAS to be... if it isn't we'd all wither up and blow away. (((HUGS))) to all my cyper friends who are missing someone the love. This is precisely why I've liked this forum so much, even when I've not had the energy to participate with any real gusto.

Larry is bulb food in the makin'. We "planted" him in proximity to the Viburnum we planted in the fall. He was just starting to get stiff, but I made an effort to close his eyes. We kissed him good-bye and put him in the hole. I asked the helpmeet if he wanted me to cover him with dirt, but he said, "no" and did it himself... then we added the bulbs.

I still can't believe his house is gone... the window looks so empty... I wonder how long it will be before it becomes "normal"?


    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 6:37PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Gosh, so sorry to hear about all the sudden struggles and losses.

Eden so sorry to hear the worrisome news from your Mom's test. I hope they can quickly take more tests and get to the bottom of it.

Jerri...such horrible timing to lose your cat too. Thank you for sharing their photo. Both your cats are gorgeous and I love the name Molly. It is such a sweet name.

Cynthia's cat, was that a photo of Mikey above? It looks like he had blue eyes, is that right? Did Michelle's cat die too? I don't think I saw a photo of your cat Michelle. I seem to have missed that. Then chelone's bird. Gee, I am sorry for all your losses. I have had lots of pets in my lifetime and I remember how hard it is to lose them. They give such uncondtional love that it really leaves a hole when they go. Having lost a dog to epilepsy, I have to say that it really is a blessing that they died peacefully and I hope that brings you some comfort. :-)

I don't think we have had a bird for long. I can't believe you had Larry for that long a time Chelone. How did you keep him healthy for so long? You did a great job with him.

With all the struggles going on here, I think 2007 just has to bring some better days. :-)


    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 9:45PM
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A memorial bouquet for Tim, Larry, Mikey, Molly and any of the other pets that have been lost this week

So ironic that we had such a flurry of pet postings this thread with wonderful pics and stories and yet so much loss. Whenever I have lost a pet I have tried to rationalize it a bit by turning the loss into an opportunity for another pet to come and live with me-one who perhaps would not have been lucky enough to live in a home where pets are cherished, cared for and members of the family. I know that there are differing opinions on replacing a pet , and by no means do I advocate my approach as the right one- only the one that makes me feel better . And I think we all enjoy the companionship that our pets provide to us in the garden. My cats go where I go in the garden - Im never alone.

Martie, I am really looking forward to having a real veggie garden , I hope next year if the budget allows I will be able to get rid of the RV parking area and turn it into veggies ! I always grow a tomato and lots of herbs but I crave many more filet beans , crookneck squash, Armenian cukes, onions etc etcdo you get the Cooks Catalog ? Great veggie seeds there. Also Territorial Seed Company.

Chelone hugs to you ! 17 years is way long to have a pet . Larry must have been a brave soul to live in a house with all those stoned cats ! What kind of bird was he ? You have inspired me to attempt to grow catnip once again. It seems like they always want to lie on it and it gets squished . Maybe the secret is to have multiple plants , hoping that they will overlook one or two of them.

bug I second PM2s question-what rose is that in your card to Monique ? I guessed Comte de Chambord

Eden, I hope all goes well for your Mom. Believe me I know there is nothing scarier than what you and your family are going through .

T have a cat who could care less about catnip too---he views the others rolling about euphorically and wanders off with an air of superiority ("by God, Im no lush like those guys!!) Hope your family and the babes are feeling better .

PM2 , Boxing Day is the day after Christmas and there seem to be lots of divided opinions on its origin. If you Google it youll finds lots of info. Some say it was the day that the "poor box" was opened in the church and distributed to the needy of the parish, to others it was the day off for the servants who were in attendance during the festivities of the upper crust on Christmas Day.

Deanne, enjoy your house cleaning. I felt pretty good when mine was done. Nothing like a little ambiance at home !

Hello, hello to everyone else-I am off work for the next three days and hope to finish pruning the roses

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 9:55PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm worn out. The loss of so many pets...just does me in! How did they know to wait until after Christmas? I want to hug them all.

OK. I think flight delays ARE THE PITS! DD & family, supposed to arrive at 11PM, are now scheduled for 12:49am. And so we have not even left for the airport yet. Tomorrow will be chaos, but happy. Also, DS will have to leave on Sunday rather than Monday because of weather predictions. He, understandably, does not want to drive through freezing rain, but that means only a single day of the whole family together. Boo Hoo!

I have prepared several dishes for our big meal with company, but early in the morning I must deal with other foods too. I hope DD isn't too tired to help.

The rose in Monique's birthday photo is Mary Rose. Some years it does well, others not. I don't have names for the foxgloves. They pop up randomly here.

Off to chew my nails....

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 10:49PM
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I KNOW that Larry would've done his damnest to facilitate the arrival of your family, 'bug.

But he can't, and that means I have to send extra special good thoughts and wishes your way...

Close your eyes and B E L I E V E.

Larry would like that...


    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 11:05PM
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Sorry to hear about Larry and Molly. Parakeets were the pet of choice when I was a single mom. I think we had 3. They don't seem to be long lived. I know what Chelone means about the quiet, as birds do make their presence known. When my brother would come, they drove him nuts. He would move the cage to the bedroom and shut the door. DD also had a rabbit after we moved to the farm. Fluffy the cat was one of the farm cats but one of the more affectionate ones. She was one that would roll over on your hand if you were weeding like saying "pet me"
Actually, one of the other cats was missing the same time as Fluffy died and I wondered if something happened to her too, but she's back. As for pictures, I really don't take many pet pictures. None of mine pose real well. LOL

T, I hope everyone is feeling better and you don't get it.

Kathy, the rose memorial is stunning. What rose is it?

I think we are off to the city today for a few exchanges and a nice meal at a resturant that we got a gift certificate to last Christmas.


    Bookmark   December 30, 2006 at 10:23AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Golly, it is ironic as Idyll pets are celebrating w/ pics here for the holidays, others pass away -- Im sorry for all the sudden losses - it certainly makes the season very bittersweet. My condolences to all. Change comes in all forms -- lots of it not so pleasant.

Eden, Im glad your Dad got your Mom in to an earlier appt -- it is one of the most stressful things -- the waiting -- I never quite understand by drs & techs dont seem to understand how frightening that is; I've heard of people having to wait 2 months to get in to see a specialist; it freaks me out -- how do they expect people w/ heavy diagnoses to "wait" for months for information. And on the other hand, many times the experts just leave you hanging, thinking the worst, and then you learn it was "nothing." Im sure your Mom will feel better when she gets the MRIs done.

As usual, I seem to be dawdling more than working or cleaning... where does the time fly? Today will be just a few chores & then off to have tea w/ a girlfriend at "the Ritz" -- we used to do this a couple times a year; but since her remarriage, it's hard to find the time (for her). And as she hopes they'll be moving to SC to retire as soon as their house sells, this may be the last one. Another bittersweet time. The RE market has been tough here though and they may be waiting til the Spring as they've had no real nibbles on the place yet.

And yes, those are hellebores from last year - altho w/ the temps the way they are (& I see daffs poking up about 3 inches) -- they said warmest December in this region since 1871! -- I may soon be seeing those same hellebores in reality. Craaazy. It must have been the purchase of that down coat that did it, I think! Temps have been in the 50s-60s ever since......

Time to laze some more and finish up the paper. Again, I wanted to say how sorry I am on all these pets off to Idyll Heaven. A sad end to 2006.


    Bookmark   December 30, 2006 at 10:34AM
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Where else could I share this story?

Monty is 11 1/2 and needs to empty his bladder on a very precise schedule. After a meal he has about a one hour window of opportunity or there will be wet bedding in the crate :-(

Three weeks ago I needed to leave the house early on a Saturday morning to pick up Fritzoid from the haul. My three guys were all settled in their crates with breaky as I left. I suspected there might be an accident, but not much I could do. When I returned 3 hours later, the food bowl in Monty's crate held an inch of urine. There were only a few drops on his place mat and the bedding was dry. Hmmm. All of my dogs are brilliant of course,(not), but was this a concept his pointy head had really figured out? Pee in bowl = dry crate, or was this just a happy accident?

This morning I was busy trying to burn down the house with the garbage disposal and the dogs got to stay in their crates for 2 hours after breakfast while I dealt with that. (I'll need a new garbage disposal, but not a new house thank you.) When I decided things were safe, I let them all out of their crates, and there in Monty's bowl, with not even one drop on the bedding was an inch of pee :-)

So, it's not an accident, he has invented the concept of the 'crate toilet'!!! Perhaps I should start feeding him in the bathroom? I do think he's about the right height for the toilet. What a good boy :-)


Kathy, your memorial is gorgeous and generous enough for a lot of sadly missed pets, but I do hope this is it for now :-( A tough week for our critters.

Michelle, I remember a wonderful photo that you took of kittens or cats outdoors. I can't remember what made it so special, I only remember thinking that it was adorable and calendar worthy.

I'm off to make more progress on the basement. Organizing is actually fun, there just isn't usually enough time for this. It's staying organized that seems to be my weakness down there....

Another warm day here, 46F and expected to go to 50+. Hope it's warm where you are too :-)


    Bookmark   December 30, 2006 at 10:46AM
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Hi Everyone!

I haven't been able to post for a long time because shortly after Thanksgiving my brother went into the hospital ER with pneumonia. To make a long story short and to not make you read the awful details, he was in the ICU the weekend after Thanksgiving, only going to a normal floor this past Tuesday. The doctors told us two weeks ago that he was in a semi vegetative state, and that he would never be able to recognize us, or function in anyway again. We didn't agree with that. And it ended up that they wouldn't let us see him without a security guard. They got the idea that someone in the family was going to remove his life support. Sort of embarrassing in a way, but we got him out of that hospital. Actually we disagreed with just about everything they said. Anyway, long story short, it was an absolute nightmare. He has been transferred to a different hospital now. He still has a feeding tube, and can't move his arms or legs, but he does know who we are and is able to communicate except his voice is gone, but it is coming back more every day, now that the respirator is out. It has been an emotional roller coaster. Family came in from all over the place, a bunch of times... my sister who hasn't seen him for 15 years came home. We were at the hospital all hours of the day and night. It was emotionally and physically exhausting. He has such a long way to go, but at least he is here with us. They are not sure how much progress he will be able to make. He is able to communicate a little. I don't know if you remember, but he has psychotic episodes during which he sees scary things. So I was worried that he was scared and couldn't tell anyone, because he hasn't had any of his psych meds since this happened. Hopefully he will continue to improve. He is over by where I work now, so I can walk to see him on my lunch, so that is really good. I knew there was a reason I ended up working there. When you combine that whole thing with 5 birthdays and Christmas plus work... I am whipped. But much better:) I highly recommend a living will. Eventhough he had one, there were still issues.

I have missed so much here, wanted to tell everyone who has lost pets how sorry I am for you. Kathy, I love that rose! Eden I will miss seeing Tim's antics....The next time we have a couple of orphaned baby squirrels in our back yard, I will give you a call and deliver them to you.

Jerri, so sorry about your mom. I hope you are doing okay.

Cynthia! Go Monty!Great to see you posting. I bought an agave this past summer because I loved yours. I will have to post a picture of it. I got the variagated one. I brought it inside this fall, and so far it is doing okay.

I will try to get caught up with the news and make a longer post soon, plus birthday cards.. in the meantime, thanks for the pictures. I have many times only had time to quickly look at pics, and it has really given me a bright spot and a feeling of normalcy to see the idylls on days when all I could do was cry buckets.


    Bookmark   December 30, 2006 at 11:35AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I was just going to pop back in to see Eden's clem at PD that she posted & I forgot to look at - when what do my wondering eyes behold but -- a post from Drema!

Wow -- Drema -- you've got amazing stamina - I do remember being whipped by those roller coaster emotions -- Im glad to hear your brother is doing better - and you are nearby -- Congrats. I'll be thinking of you. Great to hear from you. You've had a horrible couple of months it sounds - I hope it's on the uphill for 2007 now. You're lucky to have lots of family to gather round, though. Feel thankful for that.

And wow, Cynthia -- that is a hoot re the crate toilet. Now, I think maybe you need to get him 2 bowls in that crate - one for pee, one for eats.... and Monty will be set - worthy of a Phi Beta Kappa degree for sure.

Okay - off to look at that clem. (P.S. I meant to say to Martie - I too have been somewhat shocked at the prices coming out in the catalogs -- Bluestone is a real, real disappointment - their prices pretty much puts them in the league with others now I think; so, smaller plants for same prices, not much to decide there.... I think Im going to try to restrain myself more this year (if I can) - I actually have not yet seen much that really jumps out & says HAVE to have this year (at least not yet).


    Bookmark   December 30, 2006 at 11:46AM
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Can you believe it's 48F here?And it's almost January? So odd,isn't it. Yesterday I was surveying what was happening in the gardens and whenever I smell that earth smell I just want to dig and plant! The weather feels like I should be taking the winter mulch off and start pruning back old growth-funny how these temps throw you off yet I know full well that frozen weather WILL's just a matter of when.

I'm so sorry for all of you who have lost pets suddenly. I don't do well when I lose a pet(childhood experiences)and I think that's why I don't have any-it hurts so much to say goodbye...this sounds terrible but the closest we have to a pet is AJ's new even pees with no residual fluid to clean up: ) Cynthia did Mikey actually have aquamarine eyes? In that pic they look very aqua-he was pretty.
Chelone you don't think the kittys slipped Larry some of their stash,do you? Just kidding. Wow over 17 years seems to be unusual for a bird? I don't know the norms on birds.
((Jerri))-how rough things have been for you and now your Molly too! Remember we are here if you need us.

Michelle & Eden-I just marvel at how grown up Kenzie and Bella are these days with their longer locks and sweet faces-hard to believe they aren't the tiny babies they were just a couple months ago-lol.
Oh Norma-Wyatt did it too and looks much older: )I remember a chubby face and wisps of hair-what a handsome boy he is.
T! That pic of the twins is adorable-I was wondering how many shots it took to get them to both look at the camera. I bet Jaimie had a great Christmas-he's at that perfect age for wonderment.
Boy, I hope you(and all of us) can stay clear of the bug going around-that sounds horrible. This warm weather really seems to make stuff hang on. That laryngitis I had took forver to leave and I still cough up a lung or two in the mornings. The Dr. says these viral respiratory things are lasting up to three weeks long.

Michelle & Prairie-I've waited 15yrs to get my Kitchenaid since we could never afford one. I've been using my mom's hand me down Sunbeam that at one time produced a puff of smoke and then went from a 12 speed to a 10 speed: ) I grew up with a KitchenAid and no other mixer worked as nicely.
Prairie,at Christmas I like to make biscotti which I've been mixing by hand(that gets hard real quick when you double a large recipe). I also want to make bread-something I used to do before I had kids.(We'll all be getting fat here). I also like to make whipped potatoes with the mixer...and a zillion other things.COOKIES: )

Kathy-I loved hearing your story of your mantel mirror-that really is a special piece. How sad your DH was very young to have passed away when he did. It must have been so hard for you.
Oh your roses are stunning! I always admire others who can grow roses-I have way too much shade.

VERY nice pics here of all the pets, bday cards and celebrations. Norma tell me about the card you posted-that's Chihuly glass,right? I love that.

Eileen-since I am short on time I will just link you to some info about Canaan firs. I will say that this tree isn't highly fragrant but for us that's good because AJ and I are especially allergic to a more fragrant tree-I don't know why the scent affects us but certain trees are worse than others. A fresh cut Canaan holds it's needles nicely and isn't painfully prickley(say that three times fast). I think you asked if Canaan was related to the Douglas-fir...I read somewhere that Douglas-fir isn't actually a fir at all but a false tsuga. Anyway our tree was just 30.00-much cheaper than a Douglas. If I didn't have deer here I would really like to grow a Canaan.

'Bug-good luck & have fun with your visitors-we'll wait for pics.

Deanne-lol I must confess those are not my lisianthus. I think that lisianthus enjoy the cooler weather-hot sun might not be what they like-I did have some as annuals but they were planted late summer(did nothing)and looked their best in mid september. I do want to try them again. The flowers in Monique's card are from the Chicago Botanical garden during IU3! It was really cool-this weekend's newspaper included a shot of CBG's walled English garden-so neat that I can say I was there with my idyll friends.

I have to seize the day~


    Bookmark   December 30, 2006 at 12:28PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Afternoon all,

Im still a bit under the weather with this cold. I felt pretty good yesterday afternoon and evening but woke up with a cough this AM. What a drag! I guess I stopped taking the Zicam a bit early. Didnt get too much house cleaning done and I dont much feel like it at the moment so I guess it can wait until tomorrow. (or the day after that)

Its finally snowing here, the first of the season, incredible. I believe this is one of the warmest winters here as well.

Im so very sad to hear about all the losses. Thats just terrible. Chelone, so sorry to hear about Larry, and Cynthia, Im so sad to hear about Mikey. His photo with Idy has made me cry.

Jerri, Im so sorry about Molly. I surely hope this is the end of bad news here.

Kathy, it sounds like your Christmas festivities were wonderful and fun filled. I loved hearing about the mattress rides down the stairs. Too funny!

Martie, love the Christmas photos! Your tree is lovely and the tables beautiful. Looks like you had a wonderful day.

T. so sorry to hear about the stomach bug affecting your DD and family. I sure hope everyone gets well soon and that you dont get it. ~~ Hope you can play with your new lens soon!

Eden, sorry to hear about your Mom. I sure hope it turns out to be nothing. Thats a real worry. ~~ Thanks for the shopping tips. I do need that greenhouse and that Clematis! Beautiful. I need it too!

Babs, what a treat to get another post from you. Thanks for the info on the lisianthus. Id like to give them a try again too as they are so beautiful.

OK Im going to rustle up some lunch and get a cup of French Roast. Have a great afternoon all.


    Bookmark   December 30, 2006 at 12:43PM
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Hidy Ho Babs, Good to see pictures of Ryan and AJ again. Love Ryans Santa hat.

pm2,The screen name Triple Creek comes from the three creeks our property is named for.

Sue , hope you can keep your head above that mountain of work.

Deanne, glad you popped in. I understand needing chill time. I hope you get back to feeling better soon.
After the first though I need to get some organization going around here.

Eden, Happy Anniversary. I hope the MIRs show nothing serious. At least she knows what she is worrying about now. Not much comfort I know. But the unknown seems more stressful.

Wyatt has something going on. He just seems to be well and then he is sick again. Runs a fever and gets a strange rash. He has been to the doctor, but I guess she will take him again. The doctor did say he needs his tonsils out soon.

(((Hugs Cynthia))) it is never easy. What pretty eyes Mikey had. I know he will be missed.
I enjoyed the Finnegann link.

Michelle I am sorry to hear you lost a cat too. ((( )))s
I can see that any celebration in your extended family turns into an event.LOL

Awww, Chelone, I can only imagine how much you will miss Larry. A bird can be quite a presence in a household and 17 1/2 years is a long time.
Quite a rash of pet passings this thread. Things do seem to run in groups here. Lets hope it is done for awhile.

T, I'm always happy to read whatever you feel like writing. You always make it interesting, Sorry to hear of the stomach bug. Hate to hear it is that contagious and could hit here too.

(((Jerri,))) and now you have lost a cat too.Drats! Kitty Heaven must have needed some mousers.

Ahem! Eden, are you being an enabler? LOL

ROTFLOL, Cynthia., not that your disposal sucumbed but that Monty is so clever. Kudos to him.

Drema, Don't worry a bit about trying to catch up. You have been through quite an ordeal. I'm just happy to know you are okay. I hope your brother will continue to improve. Life sure gets tough sometimes.

Babs, yes its Chihuly. It was on display at the St Louis Botanical garden this summer. DIL and Jake and Wyatt went with me to see it. We had a fun day even though it was hot that day. Jake was a riot he took more pictures than I did. And Wyatt took a picture of Jake and I together that turned out nice even if we are off kilter. LOL I would love a Chihuly piece. But its to rich for my pocket book. I couldn't help but wonder what would have happened to that glass if there had been a hail storm. Except for a few other displays, most of the glass was displayed among the plants in the climatron(sp?)

Well we certainly have been chilling here today. I'm almost bored. LOL Yesterday I went shopping for a new guitar. Not sure of what I wanted yet but wanted to see what was available. I did find one I want but will need to save my money awhile longer yet. I do have to say that I was treated quite well by some of the younger generation everywhere I went. I figured they would just blow an old lady like me off. Not so they were very friendly and helpful. I comend them.

Well this is turning into a book. Waving to all. Norma

    Bookmark   December 30, 2006 at 4:57PM
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