Easy for all of us to WALAT at the moment it seems. Although it is frosty here at night , we near 60's during the day !
Onward we go, after Thursday we march on to spring..
Kathy in Napa
Yay For that! It has felt springlike for the last two days here. It will be rainy for the next two. Rebel and I got drizzled on for our morning walk. Yesterday I was able to ride Joey for a little while.
I have much to do this week as I have procrastinated as long as I can :( Wish me luck.
Now that a lot of stuff has died back to the ground, you get a different view of things. The herb bed on the south side of the driveway is where I've been planting 'hot' colored things for the past two summers. There is a lot of culinary sage in there which makes a nice foil for the warmer colors and stays evergray for the winter. The sage is getting quite old now (~9 years old...) and, while I cut it back each year, it's becoming increasingly woody at the base. I've been thinking it's time to remove the old stuff and replant with new. However, in the past few days, I've started to notice that some of it is quite attractive and starting to look like little bonsai trees! I think I may just trim them up a bit in the spring to enhance the shape and leave the old woody plants there as interesting features. This is not the greatest of pictures but I think you can see the potential:
We're into serious dog cookie baking in the next few days. The Christmas dog cookie list has 21 names on it this year! I usually put about 3 dozen cookies in each bag so I figure it's going to take about 5 or 6 double batches of cookies before I have enough. I make the cookies thinner for these batches to maximize the number of cookies in each batch - dogs seem to be more concerned with the number of cookies they get, rather than the size of them :-)
Easy to WALAT here too, as we don't as yet have any snow. I will be rambling around the yard today looking for the five Kongs that the "brats" have managed to hide.
Doing some heavy cleaning now too as we will have a full house for Christmas. Shopping is done, some wrapping, some baking, some decorating - enough so that if not much else gets done we will still be just fine!
Quiet day here today, now that the panic feeling is gone. On my way to walk the dogs and check the mail, and then another batch of shortbread goes in the oven.
E-mail from Marie tonight:
Short note to say all is well here. Hope all's well with you. Hope Phoebe is being a good dog.
Skyler has gone thru a crisis (infection, more surgery) but is now back on recovery schedule, with expectation to be home by xmas
Thanks for the update Woody ! Poor Skylar. Glad to hear he will be home for Christmas.
More from Marie:
While you're into winter, we have tropical weather, with a hot hot spell each day 1pm to 3pm. When we get home, it's going to be hard to sleep without 3 conversations, a party, a couple dog fights, and many talkative chickens all nicely audible. Went for a wonderful drive yesterday among farms with goats, cows, water pumps and people everywhere.
Woody thanks for passing GB's messages along. What a change it will be for them coming back to winter weather.
Thank goodness Skylar is ok.
Laura's (Eden) grandaughter Julia is very sick. They first thought meningitis. But have ruled it out now. Last report was she is better.
Such a lot of love goes into your doggie cookies.
Good idea to leave the woody sage etc for structure. I still have live petunia foliage. They did finally quit blooming but the plants look good yet.
I'm cleaning to Julie. Hope you find the kongs.
Hola Idylls ! Off for 5 whole days ..though I will be doing family Christmas party prep all day tomorrow, and have gotten a head start tonight...1 bathroom down ! It seems like along time since I've had a few days off, so these are welcome. An added plus is that we have had no rain for weeks , so I can dig ..I will spend Christmas day and our holiday on Monday in the garden I think. It's usually impossible to pull weeds in late December here, because the ground is basically mud, not this year though. Of course the sunny days have encouraged weed growth.
That was sure a relief to hear that little Julia didn't have meningitis wasn't it Norma? What a scary thing.
My trusty iphone tells me it is 75 now in Port au Prince.
Kathy in Napa
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!
Ditto... Cooking for Reveillon dinner tonight going on here today....
Merry Christmas Idylls!
Merry Christmas Idyll's! Enjoy!
Marie's friend Denis just picked up Phoebe to take her home. There was no question who he was when we opened the door - Phoebe was all over him! Clearly he's a very good friend of Phoebe's!
Green Christmas here. It's +6C (43F)
Feliz Navidad Idyll friends and lurkers!
We held our Christmas celebration a day early here. So I have spent today out in the back garden taking advantage of the nice weather and great gardening conditions..though we are dipping into the high 20's overnight , temps in mid to late afternoon are in the 50's and sunny. And, it hasn't rained for weeks, so though the soil is dampish, perfect for digging and pulling weeds. Today I 'peeled' up a swath of sweet woodruff , dug up an old Hydrangea, moved a Pennisetum 'bunny tails' and did a lot of cutting back/fall-spring kleenup type stuff. Tomorrow I'm going to work on the front garden , including planting my 100 drumstick Alliums that have been in the fridge for several weeks.
We had such a nice Christmas here too- a smaller group than usual which was quite harmonious.. I grudgingly admit it's kind of fun to have a toddler around for the festivities , he stayed up late with us and was happy as can be the whole evening. I was horrible about taking photos; took some with my phone and posted on FB, and I do have a couple decent ones on my camera that I will post here tomorrow.
Welcome home to 'bug, and good cheer to all !
Kathy - It'll be months before we can do that sort of activity in the garden here. Actually, I like the break - gives time to pause and reflect on what to do next... :-) I don't think I'd actually like a 12 month gardening season - is there 'down time' in your climate at all?
This from Marie today: Trip has been fun and exhausting. Haiti is another world. Beautiful views. People who seem to be born dancing. Awful roads. Southern coast is empty beaches. Les Cayes seems to be the back drop for a 1910 mystery involving small coloured wooden fishing boats. We arrive home Wed...
Hi Idylls!! Just stopping by to wish you a belated Merry Christmas! Woodie-Sage does work well for bonsai! I love the twisted trunks you can create with sage.
Our weather has just been amazing! Bet it doesn't last though! Enjoy while we can: )
My weather must have moved out your way Babs, and our New England friends seem to be having a mild December too.
DS has two Rosemary Bonsais , they also have very twisty gnarly trunks.He was given permission to dig them out of some landscaping when he worked at the hotel .
Woody, we typically do have downtime , mostly rain induced. My garden is usually a soggy mud pit this time of year; impossible to do anything but prune roses.I've spent more time outdoors this December than I can remember since I lived in San Diego.
Alliums and tulips planted, and it's back to the awfice tomorrow..
Belated Merry Christmas Idyllers.
I've been working lots so just got the last of the decorations up on the tree last night. We celebrate on the 24th so on the 25th went to see movies and relaxed while everyone else was cooking up their storm. We had a wonderful meal thanks to Richea, my DH, who cooked the turkey and the trimmings, and a duck, a la date, onion, and pineapple! It was a hit! Evan, our son, made a date sweetened pecan pie, which was a hit too! People were satisfied and replete. We had our DD and her DH over, and our nephew. It was a small group, but we had a nice relaxing time.
We saw three movies in all. One yesterday, Mission Impossible, and two today, Sherlock Holmes and Tin Tin. We enjoyed them all, which is nice. We really only go to one or two movies around Christmas time, and maybe one or two in the summer. Three is more than usual at one time.
I thought I'd give you a picture of the lost love between Romeo and Juliette. This is the only picture of their antipathy, as Juliette, until a few days ago, deserted the main floor and moved downstairs with my son to escape the wrath of Romeo. No happily ever after. Must be the way I spelled Juliette. It is a common spelling, though.
I'm off to work tomorrow, so I'd better pack up my gear and get some sleep.
Merry Christmas Yeona. The cats here assume simalar stances very often.
I rececieved a movie gift card so we are going to see Warhorse this afternoon. We rarely go to the movies. Dh says it is to loud. LOL coming from a guy who has the tv cranked up so loud I can't stand it, I think that is contradictory.
I hope everyone is relaxing a little after the holiday.
Hi Yeona! I wondered where you had gotten off to !My cats are now so lazy they don't even bother with 'stand-offs' anymore, lol.I love tour wonderful vintage Santas !What a cool collection; I'd love to hear about it...
Maybe we will hear from 'bug tomorrow-travel recovery must be just around the corner ..
Norma, I'm glad to hear other cats in the same household fight, too. I've only witnessed cats who are friendly and even cuddle together, in the multi-cat homes I've been working in.
It does sound like your DH is being a bit contradictory. Though I did plug my ears once during one movie, I can't remember which one, so maybe sometimes they're louder than TV at home?
Not much to tell, about the Santas, Kathy. I collected Xmas decorations from any and all sources, and got these from various auctions and stores, over the last 30 years. I've been cutting back on my collecting, and only buy something if it's very special to me.
I worked 9 hours today and am beat, so it's adieu for me for now. I'm looking forward to a report on 'bug's trip too...
We're home and surrounded by SNOW! I'm off to collect some fresh vegetables now... and hope to work on photos during the following week.
Haiti was truly a different planet with reminders of West Africa and India both. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to explain this trip to anyone...
I'll be back when better rested. So good to see the furry beasties!
Skyler has had a rough time of it - and is a whiner which doesn't help. Of course he is in pain and is slowly getting off of morphine. He has been treated royally, received visits from famous people, offered helicopter rides, been interviewed on TV, etc etc etc...much of which he expects now. I have yet to hear a recent update, but hope Christmas was not an "all about me" experience this year. It has been an anxious time for me, not that I would have been of help to them had I been around. The antibiotics used for him were the same ones that caused his deafness as an infant... but were better supervised this time around. Friends have been very kind and even came to clean their house for them.
Welcome back GB! Did you get much snow up there? Were you driving home in bad conditions las night - I gather there were lots of accidents on some highways... We have virtually no snow here, but it sure is cold! Your bodies are probable in shock coping with the temperature differential :-) We're looking forward to reading/seeing more details of your trip....
We have been having a few mild days here. It is good to get outside. We have been cleaning up some briars and brush where we tore the old fence out in the horse pasture. Have had a burn pile going. Today is pretty windy so keeping it small. It is in a safe place by the creek though. I wanted to ride Joey but it is so windy he is a bit spooky today. Not much else going on. I need to go to the store and library soon. Norma
I've been busy working on Pen Pals once again. Then also working on teaching materials for teachers in Haiti. Only managed to re-size about 50 of the 1500 photos we took so far.
I spoke with DD and Ivy on the phone and that is always fun. Skyler was out with his Dad getting stitches removed.
This afternoon DH brought in a few bags of top soil to defrost so that I could mound them at the base of the roses one day soon. It has been cold and snowy here since our return. Phoebe loves it. We've had the fireplace going ever since we landed back on the farm.
I need to read for Book Club and finish a sweater I started for Leo last year! Where does the time go???
Oh! I heard a brief word from Kaveh as well! That's a treat!
One more December day to go friends! Enjoy it!
A few Haiti photos are posted at the site below...for starters. I was thrilled to break the mold of rote learning and involve the teachers.
Here is a link that might be useful: Pre-K excitement
Happy New Year friends ! I spent the day outside pruning roses and moving around more plants. We actually had a tad of rain yesterday but it was probably not measurable. I was still able to dig today so the water really didn't penetrate to speak of. I finally planted Rouguchi , poor thing has been living in a pot since I bought it last summer. I also moved my 2nd Arabella -I bought her her own spiral-thingy , so now I have 2 Arabella-spiral-thingys in the front garden on either side of the path. I still have Betty Corning to plant .. flip-plopping madly about where to put her. Since I had all those shrubs removed earlier this month I have lots of choices.
Putting away Christmas is on the agenda too.. I started this morning , but left the tree up for one more night. And, we are painting DS's room this weekend too-it's a small room and with two of us we should be able to get it done in a few hours. The challenge is coordinating our schedules. We have the paint and he is working on clearing out the 'stuff'.
Norma, this nice weather is something else isn't it ? We sure need the rain though, hope we get some in January . I picked the right winter to renovate my garden, that's for sure. We have been nearing 60 degrees every day -though it stays 60 for about an hour and then the temps plummet rather quickly. We will get down to 30ish tonight.
'bug, many irons in the fire there ! I enjoyed looking at the children in Haiti with their crisp uniforms and the colorful surroundings. There are no places like the tropics are there ? I had Port au Prince on my iphone weather app while you were gone and checked the temps daily !
Wishing all my imaginary friends a Happy and healthy New Year !
Happy New Year Idylls!
It's also FIL's birthday (87) so there will be decadent cake with a family dinner later today!
Very mild here again today. I'm getting a bit concerned at how advanced the botanical tulips in the driveway border are - we need some cold and snow soon to set them back on their proper schedule without killing them!
The day started out mild and sunny - It almost seemed like lawn mowing should be on the agenda :-)
But it clouded over fast and turned to rain:
The tulips are definitely confused by it all!
I forgot to say... It looks like you were having fun at the school gb! We need more pictures and details soon :-)
Here you go folks, another installment.
Here is a link that might be useful: Building a Mini Resource Center
gb - it looks like you guys were busy and productive! Did you have a chance to have some 'vacation' time too? (assuming it's possible to relax at all in the midst of recovery from a disaster...)
Pretty neat GB. I'm sure you wil be remembered for quite some time for your help there. It's good to see the little ones will have books and supplies at their disposal. I imagine they cherish the the opprotunity to learn.
Woody, I saw a dandelion blooming yesterday and my petunia foliage in front of the porch is still alive and well. At least it was yesterday. I will have to look again today as we had some pretty cold windchills last night.
There was a daffodil blooming in one of the gardens in St Louis on Christmas day.
We do need some normal weather for things not to be confused. I just could do without the teen chills.
I thought some of these were cute-
A paraprosdokian is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to re frame or reinterpret the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect, sometimes producing an anticlimax. Thought these were good ones.
Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.
Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.
If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.
We never really grow up; we only learn how to act in public.
War does not determine who is right - only who is left.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
The evening news is where they begin with 'Good evening', and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.
A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.
How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire
Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.
I thought I wanted a career; turns out I just wanted pay checks.
Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says "If an emergency, notify:" I put "DOCTOR".
I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.
You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!
Hospitality: making your guests feel like they're at home, even if you wish they were.
I discovered I scream the same way whether I'm about to be devoured by a great white shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot.
There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away.
I always take life with a grain of salt, plus a slice of lemon, and a shot of tequila.
When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.
You're never too old to learn something stupid.
To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
OK, where are the grandchildren photos?
Heres my contribution..I was a horrible pic-taker this year ! The few I took turned out pretty craplola . Ivy looks so tall !
Aiden with Uncle Kyle. From 2012-01-01
It's pretty quiet here - I hope it's just that everyone is in winter hibernation mode (I am!) and not that the Idylls have died - or moved completely to Facebook.
FIL returned to Calgary Friday morning. He had a good visit and I think he'd really like to move back here now. The biggest problem now is that he doesn't have a lot of energy to do all the stuff that's necessary to sell up there and make the move back here. Randy will probably go out in the spring to try to get some progress made on that front.
We have been enjoying our volunteering at Dog Guides and I've just submitted our application to be added to the list of people applying for a 'career change' dog - i.e. a young dog that 'failed' the training or an older dog retiring and needing a home for its final years. Misty is 14 so we are starting to think of what kind of dog we get next. We'd like to have some overlap between her and the next dog so we'd like to get one before she gets too much older. It can take a year or more before a Guide Dog becomes available so we wanted to get on the list soon. From our experience with them so far, any dog - even a 'failed' one - would be a great dog to own. I'd love one of the small Goldens but they are in high demand and the wait for one of those is much longer. We've also been impressed with a friend's Australian Terrier puppy - it has a fabulous personality and is the right size for me. There are only two breeders in Canada I think - one in BC and one in Alberta. They got theirs from BC - both breeders ship by air to anywhere in Canada. Misty is slowing down a bit - her cataracts are getting worse - but otherwise she's happy and healthy so I hope we have her for quite a few years still.
GB - I have a translation question for you... What does Vaux translate to? - as in the Vaux le Vicomte chateau. The name has come up several times in some Landscape design books I'm reading and I can't find a translation for what Vaux means...
I'm here Woody ! Our weather continues unseasonably warm and dry. I am about halfway done with my 'spring' garden clean-up; usually performed in March. Today I finished up most of the rose pruning and moved a few plants around as well.There is no rain in our forecast for next week all the way through the weekend, so I should be able to finish everything. There is however quite a bit of concern over the lack of rain.The ski resorts in the Sierras are hurting big time.
My co-worker broke her knee cap after slipping on an icy sidewalk over the holidays, so I am in a world of hurt at the awfice..she and were already lacking any clerical help due to staff cut-backs, so I'm on my own for a few weeks. Stressful !
Woody, I will say that many are active over on FB, except we have not seen Chelone or Wendy for awhile . Sue,Deanne, Monique,Eden,Saucy,Brenda,V, Babs and Drema are all quite active- Haven't heard much from Cindy lately but she is usually active too.
Ok, time to go watch a movie. Have to make sure the TV still works, lol.
Answered Woody by email about the 'Vaux' question.
I've been super busy preparing teaching materials for 2 schools in Haiti. Quite sick of it actually.
Yesterday we went to the small market in town. Quite amazing that they manage to keep moving along each week in winter I think. I bought some cheese, bread, lettuce, red onions and peppers of many colors. Then we went to our regular store where I picked up two special kinds of mushrooms. We tried one kind in our dinner omelet tonight. Last night we watched "The Stone Angel" on DVD. I read the book over 30 years ago. The movie was OK but certainly not the way I remember the book!
Today has been busy every single minute and I'm bushed. Kathy, maybe you could ask for a one-liner (or more!)from all those folks to pass on to the Facebook challenged over here.
I have a few bulbs poking up in pots in our back room. Nice!
Ciao for now,
Woody sounds like a good plan re getting another dog. Misty is doing well for 14. Rebel is only nine but he really has joint problems and I don't think big dogs live as long. I am considering adding a smaller dog to the family before to long.
Priceless pictures of the kiddos Bug and Kathy. I meant to grab my camera to take to Wyatts ninth birthday party Sat. but forgot it. He had a sleepover for four of his buddies that night. They grow up so fast. Enjoy them while they are little.
A nice day on tap here. I need to go to the feed store and also pick up new anti-virus software somewhere. Then I hope to ride. Joey is settleing in now. I think he has finally realised he lives here now. Rebel has accepted him too. I'm going to take advantage of today and tomorrow as winter will be back by the end of the week. I just hope it won't hang around for to long in the spring.
Kathy you really have your hands full at the office. I'm happy you are getting gardening time to offset the stress.
Gotta get crackin' . norma
Strep Throat. I'll be back soon.
Cheers (cough cough)
Bleeech Julie ! Have not had that particular malady since I was in my 20's, and I don't miss it. nothing is more futile that trying to alleviate sore-throat pain..
Still no rain..bring on the lip balm..
I seemed to always be prone to throat problems. A round of sage tea and raw garlic and lots of vitamins seems to be offsetting that these days. I'm completely mystified by facebook so I'll be here before there.
I've just been completely busy. My sister had a stroke last Wednesday so I've been dealing with all the odds and ends around that. And before that I was working tons, so not a lot of time and energy left for Idylling. I put in a movie to relax in front of and inevitably fall asleep within minutes. I never wanted a T.V in the bedroom, but now I do.
The prognosis for my sister is on shifting sand right now. She has had memory loss and we don't know how far that goes. She will need rehab and whether or not it will be enough for her to resume her life is the question. She is 50 on February 2. So young to have a stroke. She has been on blood thinners for years now, and was taken off it 3 days before the stroke to do a colonoscopy. That was enough for the blood to thicken and her fibrilating heart to mess up the process more.
So that means that now 2 of my sisters have had a stroke, the 2nd oldest and 2nd youngest sisters. My oldest sister has had a TIA, so we're now all considered at risk for stroke. I'm going to start taking flax oil and fatty fish way more regularly. We are 5 sisters in all. The youngest and I so far have had no strokes or TIAs. I hope it stays that way.
I have to be up at 5 a.m. for my first job, so I'm off to bed now.
Oh Yeona, hang in there - and best wishes to all your sisters for 2012!
Hi Everyone..Hope I'm still welcome to stop in and say hi. It has been a very busy fall for me. Can't remember the last update, but I have been working at the greenhouse, the home improvement business, and another little part time job. For a few weeks in December, I was working 12 hours a day. In addition to those things, by a strange fluke, I started doing paintings, and since early fall, I have had orders for about 10 of them. Mary Kate had a baby girl on December 16, her own birthday, named her Lucy Kathleen. They are very particular about putting their kids on the internet, so I can't put a picture up, but she is a cutie pie (of course). Some day I will get a photo and post it without identification. Their kids, their rules, and I try to follow, so I won't be persona non grata.
The grand children pics on here are showing them all to be growing quickly!
Woody, nice to see your pictures of plants and Randy!
Yeona, glad to see your Christmas pictures!
I have to go paint a picture of dogwood before going to a window appt at 2:00 and work at my little evening job from 4:30-10, so must run, but you are in my thoughts, friends!
Julie - ICK re sore throat :-) Get well soon!
Yeona - best wishes for your sister's recovery - and for you to stay healthy!
Drema - you're a busy girl! Can you post some pictures of your paintings....?
Ive read the long range (8 to 14 days) forecast discussion on the National Weather Service website and rain is possible-mid next week. I will have another dry weekend , and if I organize myself properly I should be able to finish the rose pruning.
I sure have been enjoying your paintings Drema ...Sell a few and put the $$ in a mad money account for IU9 ! As a Kathleen myself, I can say that the name is under-used these days,,the only Kathleens I know are in my age group.
And speaking of, I'm hoping to post a list of gardens to the e-mail group this weekend , it's time to start firming things up.
Yeona, best wishes for your Sis, and I salute your pro-active approach to protect yourself as best you can.
All for now !
Hope everyone is staying warm and toasty today.
Here are a couple of pics I shared on facebook.
One is from day before yesterday when it was in the fifties and a great day for riding. The snow one is from this morning when the temp was 19.
Joey and you make a handsome pair!!!
We have the same bench...not that I get to sit in it often.
I've been working on Leo's sweater and at last making good progress.
Now off to a doctor's appointment.
Hello Idyllers! Can't remember the last time I stopped in here. Now that the holidays are over and life is back to normal, if there is such a thing, I have a minute to spare on this cold, rainy day. I am mostly busy with the grandbabies here. We had a wonderful Christmas, full of activities planned just for them. I even talked Brad into playing Santa for a little Christmas party we had. Great fun! Now moving into winter we're planning a Snowman themed party for next weekend. At the age they are they welcome any excuse for a party. :) Bella will be 7 next month...I can hardly believe it and we're taking a weekend train trip to Chicago to celebrate at the American Girl Place. One of her girl friends and her mom and also my sister are going along. We're really looking forward to that. She also is starting an afterschool painting class next week that she's excited about. She's reading up a storm now days, zipping through books. Right now she's going through the Junie B.Jones series and finds it pretty funny. Kate is doing ballet and loves all things "Princess" these days and she and Wally are also enrolled in a few other preschool activities. Since Jennifer is able to be a stay at home mom this last year she keeps very busy doing things with them. They're not babies any more! Julia went to her first library story hour this week, it was a musical theme and Meg says she loved it. They're all growing so fast, I try to spend as much time with them as I can. And we do have so much fun! Brad has been working ...A LOT so I love having the little ones around to keep me company. Bella has a long weekend starting tomorrow and she's spending a couple of nights and we're going to see the 3D version of Beauty and the Beast with Kate on Sunday. I have to say they like 3D more than I do, it makes me dizzy and gives me a bit of a headache but I'll suffer through :) I did a quick skim and see that Marie, you've been to Haiti. Wow! That must have been a really interesting experience! Also I was happy to see some photos of your grandkids. They seem to be growing too! :) I see Woody is working with dogs, how cool! And Yeona I'm really sorry to hear about about your sister's illness. Most everything else I see here I've commented on over on FB. Nice to catch up a little with those of you who aren't "over there". Baking a spaghetti squash for lunch that should be about done. One of my goals for the new year is to try to eat healthier. Take care friends!
Good afternoon, Idylls! I have been away so long I won't even pretend to catch up on everything!
I did look at all of Marie's posts about Haiti. I was struck by how eager those children were to learn!
Woody you sound like you're loving the dog work. Why am I not surprised?? BTW would it be possible to get your receipe for dog cookies? We now have several canine buddies whoi I am sure would like a treat!
Norma, you and Joey look wonderful, as does your barn or house or whatever that nice building is!
Hi Kathy! Working in the garden already, lucky duck! You have inspired me to start spiffing up my much neglected house plants.
Yeona I feel for you. I am the youngest of my family and all of them have serious health issues. My last two cousins passed away in the last three months, so we are all thinking of ways to improve our health a little.
I have been doing a huge clean up and decluttering this fall and I am pleased with the results. I have also undertaken to help DD renovate her old house which surely needs some TLC. We painted her living room orange with lots of white trim, the attached dining room pale yellow with one red wall and also sots of white trim. Looks fantastic! She did a bedroom in dark grey and I will finish the trim there before we tackle the kitchen! What fun! I will never paint again without Frog tape!
Santa introduced me to the Dyson family so I have been vacuuming l;ike crazy. Works really IMO.
Has anybody heard from Chelone?
Yes, Chelone is busy with slipcovers and draperies. Are you surprised? ;)
So nice of you to catch us up Eden! Hard to believe, 7 years old!!! (The world seems crazed by American Girl. Maybe I should invest in the company?)
Norma - Joey's a nice looking boy - lots of power in that rump and chest...!
Eden - great to 'see' you! You sound like a fun grandma :-)
Julie - yes, the dogs are fun, especially now that we've been there often enough that they're starting to recognize us and relax more so their individual personalities show more clearly. Here's the dog cookie recipe for you:
Low Fat Dog Cookies
Pre-heat oven to 350 F
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour
1/4 cup stone ground cornmeal
1/4 cup large flake rolled oats
1 1/2 tsp. powdered chicken or beef soup base (or omit entirely and use chicken or beef broth instead of the water below, which is what I do!)
2 Tblsp. vegetable oil
2 egg whites (I use 4 Tblsp. of the egg white you buy in cartons...)
1/4 cup cooking molasses
1/4 cup skim milk
1/3 - 1/2 cup cold water (or undiluted chicken or beef broth)
In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a large measuring cup, whisk together liquid ingredients. Make a well in the dry ingredients and gradually stir in liquid ingredients until well combined. Divide dough into two balls to make it easier to work with. Knead each ball 2 minutes. (Ideally, do all this in a stand mixer with a dough hook!) Roll out into �" thickness. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters or cut into rectangles (I find the easiest tool to use to cut the cookies is a pastry scraper thingy that has a wide, flat blade�) Place cookies on a baking sheet lined with greased foil (cookies do not spread so can be placed close together�.) Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes. Then shut off oven and leave cookies in the cooling oven overnight to make them dry and crunchy. For softer cookies, remove from oven when the 30 minutes are up. Store cookies at room temperature in a container with a tight fitting lid.
Glad to see Eden check in here, though we seem to visit daily on FB.
Julie, we painted DS's room last week..kind of a sagey green-he picked it out. I like the color, it's soothing and easy to match stuff.I am still on the fence with the red dining room. If winter never shows up here I expect I will defer any painting there til later in the year. This upcoming weekend needs to be all-out as there is rain the forecast at last for next week.
All for now...
Good morning all! We had a blast of winter, finally, over the last few days. Freezing rain all day Thursday, heavy snow all day Friday, way below normal temps Saturday and Sunday. It seems to be moderating a bit now.
After suffering from garden withdrawl for a few days, I settled down and started rejuvenating my plants. Chiquita got trimmed and moved to a new window. Geraniums got cut back, African Violets and two Orchids got repotted.
When I checked on my Amaryliss, I found that many had rotted, put away too wet I guess. But had put out bulblets, so those got potted up and placed in the garden window too. Felt good to get that done! Today - hmmmm - seed catalogues??
Thanks for the recipe Woody. I will probably make these tonight for the pups and buddies. I find I do a lot of stuff in the house on weekends and evening due to the time-of-use program that Ontario Hydro has running. By scrupulously observing the lowest electricty rate time, we have cut our bill literally in half. Works for me!
Today's Julie Job will be ceiling fans.
Maybe even a rest with a good book....
Enjoyed a trip to our local market on Saturday where there is a new person who sells fresh mushrooms. YEAH! We've been enjoying them.
Also found some local cheeses there too.
I finished packing 4 boxes for Haiti this morning that I sent to Boston for pick-up by DS. That's a relief! Now I need to work on collecting the Pen Pal letters from our school across the road.
Tonight is Book Club and we'll speak about "The Stone Angel" by Margaret Lawrence, a classic that I read long long ago. I didn't have time to re-read it, but watched the movie. The movie was a good story, just not as fabulous as the book. Hagar is the main character, and she's amazing.
Boy, is Julie right about the cold! It was -4 here and windy. BRRRRR! Rain tonight and tomorrow though. Crazy.
Must get back to work. Lots on my plate today.
Boy, some really fierce weather here the last few days. Last night around ten the wind and hail hit the back of our house so hard that we thought an animal was trying to get in....and ours were already in...Today, bright, sunny, cold and really icy.
Meant to make Woody's dog cookies last night but TCS convinced me that we would enjoy peanut butter cookies more. No school bus for two days so he was home all day. We have finally removed him from all medication - over the last year and a half we have tried five different ones. They really help for a couple of months and then the benefits disappear and the side effects kick in - no good. So having him home gave us the opportunity to see how he functions during the day, when he needs quiet time or activity and when he can work best. He is not happy that I make him do school related things on snow days. All this to say that I agreed with him and made the pb cookies.
When I worked full time I used to dream about retiring and sitting down in the evening with a glass of wine and just relaxing. Now however, with Ontario Hydro's time-of-use pricing, I do most things requiring a lot electricity in the evenings - things like baking, laundry, running the dishwasher, because that's when the price is lowest. It has paid off in that we have literally cut our bill in half, but sometimes I feel just like I'm working again, doing all this stuff on the weekend or at night. Gee whiz.
Cabin fever is setting in. I am getting antsy.
I will spend some quality time today reading seed catalogues and bulb cataloges and planning my orders. HMMMM. And this is only mid-January?
You are not alone Julie! I have the same schedule as you due to time-of-use pricing. Our clothes are only dirty on weekends or at night. Drying them at 6am is a pain.
We follow the time-of-use schedule pretty closely too. The dishwasher has a delay setting so there's no problem organizing that appliance. We have two washers and dryers - one in the basement and a stacking one in the master bathroom. So we can do two loads at once which speeds up the process a fair bit.
Still no snow here. It was pretty darn cold on Sunday (windchill -21C), then it warmed up for Monday and Tuesday - the high here was +12C yesterday. It's colder again today but not not significantly so (-4C). We might get an inch or so of snow in the next day or so, then it goes back to above-freezing terperatures! Crazy winter....
When we were walking the dogs last night, we noticed a beautiful visitor in the neighbourhood - see link below to "Randy's photo on
Here is a link that might be useful: just visiting...?
Terrific shot Randy!!!
Nice shot indeed!
DD had a huge redtailed hawk in her urban backyard last week when I was there. Not quite as gorgeous as this eagle, but we were pretty excited anyway!
Muffins in the oven, laundry in the dryer, might watch a movie tonioght. Very cold with lots of snow coming down horizontally and drifting across the laneway. I think we'll have to do some work outside tomorrow. Of course the ice chopper is in the shed which now has two feet of snow in front of the door. Such is life.
Cold and rainy here in Norcal today, we needed the rain so I�m not complaining and have tried to be productive while stuck in the house. I actually did some work on the garage this weekend-what a mess . Still a few roses to prune and it looks like it will be dry staring mid-week so I may be able to finish that up next weekend.
Also been doing some research for IU9 ..fun times !
Beautiful shot of the eagle Woody ! I have never had muck luck taking photos of birds,kudos to Randy !
All for now, waves to all�
I have a ton of paperwork to do today for taxes, but wanted to try to upload a few pictures for Woody. Hope you all have a great day!
Don't know why some are small and others are large.
Drema - those are great! Have you always painted or is this a new hobby?
Re Randy's eagle photo... One of the most interesting things about it is how the final result looks in comparison to the original. The eagle was about 40-50' up in the pine tree; it was late afternoon so the light was fading fast. In the original picture the eagle is a small white spot in the dark tree. Randy used the Lightroom software to zoom in and crop the picture so the eagle was the main subject. At that point both the eagle and the tree looked sort of blue-green. Then he adjusted the color options so that the tree needles and trunk had their natural color, which also brought the eagle's color into focus. Then he sharpened it all. Amazing software! Knowing all that, if you look at the picture again you can see that the detail is not as fine as it would be on a true close-up of the eagle. Digital photography sure gives you more options than film does!
Wow, Drema, you're good!
A note of caution:
This morning my DD was broiling something in her oven and the silicone bakeware in the drawer beneath the oven caught fire! She was not using the bakeware, it was in the storage drawer beneath the oven where she was keeping it. Luckily for her (and for us), she was a vounteer fireman (fireperson?)for years and didn't panic. She keeps a good fire extinguisher in her kitchen but was able to put out the fire with some water. I have just tossed my silicone bakeware. If you like yours and want to keep it, you might want to think about storing it away from the oven....
What a start to the week!
Yikes Julie! I was thinking of buying some of that bakeware... cancel that idea!
Thanks Woody, and Julie. I am taking a little animal maintenance and shower break before I have to leave for work. I have always admired art, and I am no where near Deanne's talent, but it is good for me mentally. Especially in the winter time. I took art in high school and that is about it. I have gotten a few books out of the library for tips, but I have never been too good on taking direction, LOL. Anyway, that's my story. I have been getting orders for new pictures, so that gives me hope. I do think I am getting better as I practice. Back to work here.
Hope you have a good day, and wow Julie, thanks for the head's up. I have always wondered about silicone bakeware....now I know. Glad it went no farther than it did, and that she noticed it right away.
We just returned from our weekly afternoon volunteer time at Dog Guides. That's always fun. Next week one of the trainers wants us to work with her assessing the behavior of some the dogs she's training. We're not sure yet what exactly she has in mind. My guess is that she's interested in seeing how comfortable - and well behaved! - they are around my walker. It must be difficult to get a good feel for how the dogs will be with a client since the dogs are going to be better behaved with the trainer than with a stranger, I'm sure :-) This week a batch of the Special Service Dogs were 'graduating' - their clients were there being trained to work with the dogs before they take them home. I'm not sure if we're allowed to take pictures, but Randy took a couple today with his phone of some of the dogs we were grooming. Poodles of various sizes and Black Labs are the most common breeds. These are two of the cuties from today:
Labs are friendly and poodles are smart ! Both seem like good choices for this type of 'employment'.
Woody , I recently loaded a trial version of Lightroom on my laptop, I really like it. That is what Deanne uses as well.
back to awfice stuff !
The news here is yet another freezing rain - winter storm warning for tonight and tomorrow. Our laneway and street are just like skating rinks. We live in a community of primarily older folks and absolutely nobody is venturing out right now. I bet all the neighbourhood dogs are going stir crazy! Dog walking is a big deal here; I know the names of nearly every dog - but not all the owners. So it's "Casey's person" or "Cody's owner" or "Bridie's family". My dogs are nuts anyway so not much change here.
Oh, one thing, maybe Woody can confirm: my two Bostons are now adult dogs, four years old, and can't stand the cold, road salt etc. so they don't get as much exercise in the winter as in the summer. They have recently decided to eat only one meal a day instead of the two I offer. They seem fine and are not losing weight, so I am surmising that they aren't growing now and don't need the energy that the two meals were providing. They do run around in our fenced yard several times a day in winter, and DH blows a route for them through the snow.
We have removed TCS from all medication as he was literally not eating at all and was having blood sugar issues. I can't justify starving the kid. We have tried almost everything for the hyperactivity and attention deficit and now are focussing on helping him cope. A change in home routines seem to be helping, and sure seems like a much happier kid. And he is eating, such as it is. He is supposed to be seeing his specialist who drives from Kingston to Perth once a month, but the last appointment was cancelled due to the bad weather and I bet tomorrows one will be too. Fine with me as I don't expect any great break - throughs in treatment anyway...or not ones we can live with right now. Good thing he's a smart kid.
Woody, I love poodles, and in fact thought about getting a standard one before the Bostons. Size was a factor.
I think I will get my seed and plant order together tomorrow - it will be that kind of day!
Julie - you could talk to your vet about it, but that seems reasonable to me. Misty goes through periods when she eats well and other times that she doesn't. As long as she's not losing - or gaining - too much weight, I don't worry too much. When she's not eating much, it sometimes helps to feed her three times a day - she seems to like smaller meals then. When there isn't another dog here, we leave her food bowl down so she can finish her breakfast - or whatever - at a later time. But she never does! She only wants to eat when we do and will ignore her kibble the rest of the day.
I was never actually too fond of poodles but I'm finding I like the Dog Guides poodles more than the other breeds. They have tons of character! Dog Guides do most of their own breeding and there is a wide range of sizes in the poodles there.
The radar images looked pretty threathening today as the storm came across the lake. But the lake is nowhere near as cold as it usually is by now (there isn't any ice at all on the rocks/breakwaters) so all the forecast snow turned to rain as it crossed the lake. It's +2C here so nothing has frozen and the temperature is actually supposed to rise to +3 overnight! This is the strangest winter!! The 5-day forecast has daytime temperatures hovering around 0 and lows in the -3/-4 range, with the coldest being -7 for Monday. The normal lows would be around -11/-12. This year is certainly getting off to a strange start.
TCS sounds like quite a complicated kid :-) But you sure seem to be handling him well. I hope some positive outcomes come along to reward all your efforts.
Julie TCS is lucky to have you! My nephew, who still is not doing well, with his ADHD and Seasonal Affective Disorder, sure could have used someone in his corner when he was young. He still hasn't settled into any kind of life and drifts from place to place, unable or unwilling (I think both) to earn enough money to pay rent, etc. When he drifts our way he works for us in our construction business, so at least we know he has a roof over head when here. With his problems, though, he can only work for 3 to 6 month stretches, then he drifts off again. He has never been able to stay on any treatment program for any length of time. They seem to hurt more than help him. It is difficult to witness, but we will always be here for him.
Hi all. As usual I'm working early, so I'm off to bed. Never enough hours in the day for everything that needs, or wants, doing.
Happy Monday all!
Beautiful sunny day here, but cold. Lots of snow now, over the ice.
Very quiet weekend for us. TCS had a party to go to on Saturday so DH and I went out for lunch, a fairly rare treat for us. Did some shopping, all of the laundry, cleaning etc. So am relatively free today. Good time to finish those seed catalogues!! I also might start to think about that repainting the bedside table project that has been simmering at the back of my mind for 6 months or so. Just think about, mind you, I am not really ready to actually do it. Also dog's nails, and mine too, need attention. And the houseplants.
O.K. this is getting out of hand. I think I'll just go back to bed.
Lots of snow here, lots going on.
Our new computer doesn't seem to work well with our printer and this is very frustrating to all.
I finished my Book Club read this weekend, did the regular stuff (laundry, shopping, etc.) I also stitched up a sweater for Leo and got it off in the mail with books for Ivy and Skyler.
There's loads of drama - locally and also from Alberta and Haiti and it wears me down. But on the positive side, I keep up with my treadmill routine and have lost some weight since my return from Haiti.
Phoebe is doing just fine and the cats enjoy bringing us mice at 3am...
And so it goes. ;)
Remember this time of year?
gb - Randy met an interesting dog in the park the other day. He described it as a giant-sized Phoebe! It turned out to be a Russian Terrier... (see link below)
The current issue of National Geographic magazine has a magnificent photo of a Tibetan Mastiff. That is the breed of dog that Lhasa Apsos (e.g. Misty) were bred to work in partnership with to guard the Tibetan monastaries. I can see Misty being happy with a big buddy like this guy!
Tomorrow is our Dog Guides day - no dogs there of the size of the ones above! :-)
Here is a link that might be useful: Russian Terrier
Too big for me Woody...but the article shows that they are similar in many ways. Many Bouviers are 'work dogs' who pull carts. They were rescue dogs during the war and brought wounded soldiers back across the lines for help. That's when Bouviers were almost eliminated. But they did survive. Some went to South Africa. That's where Charlotte's Dad came from. The South African ones could not be AKC registered though, so people didn't often want them. (Perfect for me though!)
Interesting afternoon at Dog Guides today.... I was right - the trainer wanted to use me as a proxy for a client to assess how well her dogs in training would walk with me and the walker. So I spent two hours weaving through an obstacle course with a variety of dogs. The big no-nos are pulling, forging ahead, and trying to cross in front of the walker. Some dogs were perfect and some less so but, as I expected from our contact with the dogs so far, even the 'worst' dog was a piece-of-cake to walk with! Very impressive beasties! (They were all poodles of various sizes.) My legs are a bit tired though - it added considerably to my daily walking time :-)
Freezing rain. Snow day for schools. Issues with TCS. Dentist appointment at 11:00, no eating or drinking till later this afternoon. Power has now been off for an hour. Happy Wednesday.
Sounds pretty yucky Julie! Sorry!
Here it was warm (+2- +4C) and cloudy.
I did lots of photocopying and then went to town for laminating things and picking up a library book. Then I did my treadmill routine.
I hear you on TCS. Our DGS is having anger issues due to parent alienation. He's so immature that giving him facts is not yet appropriate. It kills me. The stuff he believes at face value...well, it's criminal.
On a happier note, he went swimming with the family on Saturday and managed to swim a length of the pool. He was AMAZED by his own energy and success. This is exactly what I was hoping the surgery would achieve.
I'm eager to begin yet another knitting project.
More photos are posted below.
Here is a link that might be useful: Haiti Blog
OH Crap! I just lost a longish post. I will try to recreate it later.
Have a good day! Norma
I enjoyed this rescue clip- and particularly the released whale's dance afterwards!
Here is a link that might be useful: rescue!
This was an awesome clip! TCS loved it too! Thanks Marie!
GB that video is awesome. Thanks for sharing.
Sorry I don't get here much anymore. I find that the site is so slow to load that I get frustrated waiting for it. It's not my computer because I don't have the problem elsewhere.
The rain has started here today and is to last for a couple of days. We have had another nice stretch of warmer days. I was sitting on the front porch the other day Feb 1st, and spied a splotch of yellow across the yard. After a brief walat I discover lots of crocus in bloom. I also found Johnny Jump Up's (violas) and a big bud on a hellebore. There are still green leaves on my knockout roses and butterfly bushes even though we have had some really cold spells this winter they never lasted very long. I am apprenhensive about what this oddball winter will bring us later on. On the other hand it has given me opportunity to do more with Joey than I would normally have been able to do.
Woody I like hearing about your experiences at the dog center. I used to raise toy poodles. Our female had birthing problems so we only had a few litters. I wound up giving the female to a lady in a wheelchair. We had the male a long time. We raised Cocker Spaniels too. I was not crazy about having dogs that required so much grooming though. I preferred grooming the horses. So now I try to stick to shortcoated dogs that mostly just need a bath.
Julie your winter has been pretty bad hasn't it? I admire your ability to cope with TCS's problems. He is lucky to have you in his corner.
Bug It's good to hear Skylar's strength has improved. I miss seeing pictures of the little ones accomplishments. They are so cute.
Kathy, I imagine your garden is starting to come to life by now.
Mine is still messy from last fall. I'm leaving the leaves on mine to keep the weeds down and hopefully things won't try to peak through to soon. But I am tired of looking at all the dead things that need cut back and I'm hoping the voles aren't under there eating my hosta roots.
If you need a pick me up browse through last years summer pics. I did and all the green and pretty flower colors lifted my spirits for sure. Hard to believe it's all under there just waiting to come alive again.
I probably missed some of what I said before but Que sera sera.
Till later. Norma
Today was gloomy, but above freezing. My friend decided we should go seek beauty, so we went on a spontaneous jaunt to a nursery. We came back with seeds as well as cacti about to bloom. I'll have to add a photo once I pot them up. :)
The little guy I know with cancer just got this report from the Boston doctors, to support the response from his own doctors in Minnesota:
"Note: Diagnostic features of residual teratocarcinosarcoma are not identified."
So feel free break out some champagne tonight! (Of course on March 5th they start the scans all over again.)
And then we received this long fun note from DD about Ivy's first day at Waldorf "school".(once a week with Mommy)
It was great! The day started out with 15 minutes of playing outside. We then went inside, hung up our boots and stuff, and went to the bathroom. We were each expected to bring a piece of organic fruit.
Once inside, we put our fruit in a basket, and got in a circle on the rug. We sand a "Hello" song, and a couple other songs, and then the teacher acted out a story with some little props and dolls. The story was a fairy tale about mother earth, and Jack frost, and Old Man Winter. Ivy was enchanted. She'd never seen anything like it before. Then they sang a "wake up" song and opened all the curtains that house the toys (dolls, cars, tractors, animals, a kitchen, rocking horse, dress up, castle and knights, etc... It was time for the kids to find something to do. Ivy didn't have a clue because there were so many options and it was a new place. She went and got a wooden turtle that bobbed its head, and asked me to come over to the table and play with it with her. She was much more clingy than usual, but most was that she wanted to show off all the things she was playing with. She "made tortellini" a couple times and served me dinner. The teacher was great and let me know what was expected of me and what Ivy was expected to do throughout the class. Mostly, I was supposed to be "busy doing something useful", and Ivy was supposed to use her imagination and play. The teacher then showed the parents (all moms) what the "craft of the day" was. We started doing it, and the kids joined when they felt like it, and went and did something else when they got tired of it, and came back again at will. Ivy was constantly coming over wanting me to take part in her playing (which I though was great). The teacher seemed very mildly concerned that I was guiding her, but I felt that I was just a participant in her play. Furthermore, it was her first day, so she didn't know what was expected of her either!
We did that for probably about half an hour or more. After that, we put away all the toys and washed our hands. The "helper" (there was a teacher and helper), had cut up the fruit and put it on a platter, and they had made some tiny vegan muffins. We set the table, and all the kids sat down on a chair with their own place mat, bowl and cup. We sang a "grace type" song and lit a candle. Then everyone was served some fruit and a muffin or two, and some warm tea (herbal), and they all ate their snacks (Ivy was starving even though she had a big breakfast). It was very quiet with everyone munching. Then they sang a "thank you" song, and everyone cleared their cups and bowls to the sink, and washed their hands again.
After snack, we all gathered on the rug again, and sang several songs about building snowmen, watching snowflakes fall, tobogganing, marching and stomping through the snow, etc... acting through every one of them. Then we gathered together and sang a "Goodbye" song and it was time to leave.
We put our coats, hats, and mittens back on, and went outside, and Ivy wanted to play a little more on the slide and tire swing. She got too close to the swing and got whacked in the face & got a bloody mouth and nose. We cleaned her up, but she was more concerned about getting to go ON the swing than her bloody nose or mouth! We went back to the swing, (there were already two other kids on it), and I pushed them for about 5 minutes, she went down the slide again, and then I took her over to Day Home. As we left Ivy said (and waved) "Bye-Bye" to everyone who would listen about 10 million times. She told them, "Bye- Bye! See you soon! Be back soon!" completely un-prompted. She must have had a great time.
My overall impression was that it was AMAZING! I really like the teacher. She is German (her name is Gudrun), and she's very gentle, calm, and friendly. She was helpful, but not pushy when explaining things to me. Her "helper" is her daughter who is in her late teens/early 20s. Gudrun says that next week we will start to make a knitted dog with the kids. She had a wonderful knitted bunny that they had made in a previous class and I want the pattern.
As for my guilt over "no music class", I like this better than music class! Lots of singing and way more playing and acting out the songs.
Happy Friday to all.. a bad Idyller here too, and even a bad FB-er ! This weather we're having has thrown me into a tailspin..night after night of frosty temps..(I have lost several succulents that usually prevail over our winters) followed by daytime temps in the low to mid 60's.And the rain comes for a day and then goes away. Tomorrow I'm going to head down to UC Berkeley Botanic Garden to take photos of the Aloes--they are winter blooming in that zone (Berkeley is frost-free) so I will have some pics to share tomorrow.
Norma, I think our cold nights have kept the garden here in suspension..there is not much going on, though I see the daffodils barely poking up in my front yard.
Ivy's day sounded great. She will love it there I'm sure.
Kathy, I thought I had seen less of you on FB. Sorry about your succulents.
I just got back from walking along the creek where I have been cleaining out the briars and brush. It rained all night And it is so nice to be able to see the water flow .
Rumor has it that rain is on the way tomorrow.I continued a bit of garden clean up today-and pulled weeds too. There are way less of them this year because of the rain(less) situation.
I had a fun outing to UC Berkeley Botanic garden yesterday, and here are a few pics.The Aloes bloom in winter here; Berkeley is frost free, and though only a bit under an hour drive for me it is a zone transit. I can't grow these fabu Aloes. From Berkely Botanic Garden Feb 2012
From Berkely Botanic Garden Feb 2012
From Berkely Botanic Garden Feb 2012
From Berkely Botanic Garden Feb 2012
While we have nothing here now to compare to Kathy's beautiful photos, we were very pleased to see this yesterday:
An unusually mild winter for sure this year!!
Hello, and Happy Wednesday!
We have had a decidedly odd winter. Little snow, lots of rain, freezing and thawing and freezing and thawing....All of our roads, laneways and walks are covered with ice, making walking extremely hazardous. I really notice it here in this subdivision as most of the residents are retirees. Many of them go south for the winter so half the houses are empty. It is quite eerie to look out and not see a soul, and on really sunny days, like today, everything is blindingly shiny.
I enjoyed reading over the old thread that appeared today. I think that was "before my time", although I see many familiar names there, some that I don't see here now as many now prefer FB.
Waiting for my seeds to arrive in the mail. I usually manage to hold myself in check until March break, as otherwise my plants are too big by the time our frost is gone, usually by mid-May. I am wondering if this year we might have a longer season, as the winter has been so weird.
Pretty quiet here, athough we have been very occupied as TCS is having assessments done and DS has had an accident at work. DS is not terribly injured but is very uncomfortable right now, and of course, is unable to work. No work = no $, so he is stressed. We will assist if necessary.
I am still very occupied with painting the frou-frou trim in DD's house. It will take many many days to finish it, but it will look great when done. Due to her work schedule and her location over an hour away, I will be spending about three days each month until spring getting this done. She absolutely cannot paint the picky stuff - too impatient, too , well, sloppy kind of...Anyway, a project that I am enjoying.
Just touching base, off to address my to-do list for today.
I am so jealous of thos early flowers I see here!!
Julie - I hope your DS's injuries were minor and he recovers quickly! No $ is a problem :-) If it was an accident at work, does WSIB cover it re income? They can be a PITA to deal with - Barb had a fall last summer on a wet floor at the nursing home she works at and injured her back. She's had endless tests - MRIs and nerve studies etc. - which show she has definite physical damage and she has been going for physio therapy almost daily ever since. She's tried the graduated-retrurn-to-work on lighter duties but always encounters problems when the nursing home tries to get her to do physical stuff that she can no longer do without endangering both herself and the residents! So she's in a kind of limbo at the moment while they try to sort out some sort of retraining for her. It's all been not a fun process...
We had a very interesting afternoon at Dog Guides today. It is graduation day for this cohort of people getting their dogs. Randy noticed one lady who had facial paralysis similar to mine and that she had one of the HED (Hearing Ear Dogs) that we were familiar with. So he asked her if she had an acuostic neuroma. She said, no, she had NF2 - which is what I have. We've never actually met anyone else who had it! It's too bad she's going home tomorrow or we could have got to know her. We've exchanged e-mail addresses, so it'll be interesting to 'talk' to her that way. NF2 is an inherited condition and apparently it is very common in her family - she has two kids, both of whom have it, and it's been traced back through 4 or more generations in her family. The NIH in the US have apparently studied on her family.
Hmmmm.....hoping our Tassimo isn't on the recall list. How did we do without it? I like this and he likes that - we make our individual cups of whatever.....
Good thing I don't have a big bag of potting soil or starter mix. My seed order from Vesey's came today. I really must hold myself back and not plant until mid-March. How can carrot seeds be back ordered?? I was so smart this year: I drew a diagram of my gardens and gardens-to-be and wrote down what seeds/plants are going where. I usually have good intentions when I order and then forget where I meant to put something.
Took Tucker to his obedience class last night. He performed flawlessly to the sit-down-stand-stay commands but whined and yipped through the whole hour as he was just so happy to see other dogs. And his voice can really high pitched. I think he embarassed the other dogs. The instructor told me my dog was hilarious.
How interesting, Woody, to finally meet a co-sufferer. I wonder if she does as well as you do? You are amazing.
Something to add to your list of Things Not To Do: drop a glass bottle of nail polish on a white ceramic floor. I will say no more.
Absolutely beautiful sunny day here. I now must water in my greenhouse window almost every day as it gets almost direct sun. I have a lot of succulents in there, after seeing some beautiful displays when in Maine for IU 6. Also three cheery geraniums and four Amaryllises. DH and I were kind of thinking we could christen the wine deck this afternoon, but I think that's just a tad optimistic!
This is the closest we've come to wintery weather this year... We got ~ 4" of snow overnight and this morning. It's -12C with a windchill of -23C at the moment (10F/-9F windchill). Enough snow to keep me from joining in on walkies this morning but Randy braved the cold with the dogs:
Really cold, but sunny and cheerful here.
We're cat-sitting, so are dealing with Phoebe and Kiara on one side of the house, and then our own 3 cats on the other side. Should last a few weeks like this. :)
I planted some digitalis seeds the other day Julie. They SAID to plant them in February, so I was very willing to oblige.
DH is busy repairing the "coupler" of our washing machine. He thinks he fixed the timer on the plant stand - we'll see tonight if it turns itself off.
DS has returned to Haiti via Boston, after a stay in Jamaica, meeting with other OLPC workers at schools.
The kids always love playing with the camera option!
I've been knitting and working on Haiti stuff, walking on the treadmill, got a haircut....all that stuff. Book Club again on Monday. (After the Falls)
Just talked to DSIL who is taking Ivy home from swimming. I miss those two!
PS: Thanks to Woody's reminder, we now use the delay button on our dishwasher. I wish I had them on our washer & dryer too!
I will join Kathy and try to keep up the States side of this group.
Wish I could grow the Aloes here Kathy. The ones I tried in containers always got bug damage and ruined their looks. Does CA not have a lot of insect damage?
Julie you are so organized. You will have seeds planted before you know it. Sorry to hear of DS's accident and money worries. To funny that you thought Tucker was embarassing the other dogs.
Woody I hope that meeting the other lady with the NF2 will give you some further insight about it. Although I imagine you have researched it throughly.
We have snow this morning too, but will probably only get an inch. I will be happy to see these temps in the teens go. I am anxious to get outdoors again, although I have twisted my back out and will have to take it slow for awhile.
GB the sun shine does make a huge difference in the way we feel doesn't it?
I plan to do more direct seeding of some flowers this year they usually catch up to the plants I buy anyway. The problem is I am not good about thinning them out like I should. I must make myself do better. Think I will go browse some sites and get pysched up maybe find something new.
Have a good day. Norma
Evenin all...damp here, but that's ok, I think we are at 30 percent of normal rainfall for the year. I took advantage of the dry days this past weekend and got all my grasses cut down, plus a few other perennials I had let stay around for winter interest. It is sliding into spring here-daffodil and tulip foliage is up, Clematis armandii is in bloom, and the roses are pushing out foliage.
Norma, can't grow most of the Aloes here, they aren't winter hardy in my zone.Half an hour drive south is a different matter. I find that some of the succulents I move indoors get mealybug over the winter, I do the q-tip clean up and might squirt a little safer soap on them.They seem to shake it off once they go outside for the summer.
Julie, dropping a bottle of nail polish on the floor is unlikely here, as I haven't owned any for years, lol.
Ok, off I go
Walating in the house today because it is snowing outside.
Thought I'd share my new cacti etc collection:
It's pretty exciting to see the new leaves unfurl on the variegated Acanthus too:
In the front hall, I noticed that there are THREE clivia buds that I haven't noticed before. They'll be fun to watch in the next few weeks.
And finally, the news is out that DD is expecting another little one in August. :)
Congratulations to Sarah!
Ditto! and Woo Hoo! I get to be #100!! Happy Valentine's day everybody!