Idyll #296-Holiday Festivities

Monique z6a CT(6a CT)December 18, 2006

Well, here is a photo finally

We had a wonderful time at SueÂs party, as usual. Great food-IÂm still stuffed. Good company, especially once we gained control of the comfy sofa and chairs LOL

Marie-nice sweater! IÂm sure sheÂll appreciate it.

Michelle-what a great photo of you and Rick-so festive.

Ei, I am on the side of less frequent vaccinations for dogs. I tend to titer for distemper and parvo and give the rabies vaccine every 3 years, only b/c that is what is required by law. There are studies to suggest that dogs should get the vaccines up to possibly the 1 year shots, then there is lifelong immunity. I simply cannot believe that the veterinary community has not tested the duration of the vaccines. However, a study has just started to test the duration of the rabies vaccine up to 5 and 7 years. FINALLY! Many dogs have bad reactions to vaccines and scientific studies are needed. Emma had a moderate reaction to a vaccine that the vet talked me into a few years ago even though I should not have listened to him. We ended up giving her childrenÂs benadryl to calm her down and reduce the itchiness. Anyway, I posted the website below.

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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

So it would seem that this is just one long ongoing conversation. A very lively group. [g] Thanks for the welcome. I would be very happy to join in when I can. I recognize a few names from other forums around GW. Nice to see everyone. :-)

Chelone's siberian iris, that must be in every New England state by now and all along Rte 95, are waiting in my backyard for spring. :-) As for work or no work, Chelone...hmmmm. I guess I would have to go along with the consensus, since I haven't an idea at all of what you even do for But since it is Christmas week, as long as you won't need the time later for vacation or other, if you can choose not to work, it would seem you probably have plenty of 'work' at home anyway. That would be my completely unbiased and uninformed opinion. [g]

Wow Marian, you were so lucky to grow up on a prairie! I don't have any experience with one and no room or conditions to have one, but I do love them. :-) I did have an aunt that lived in a rural area and she had a meadow and some wild areas near her property that were a pleasure I still remember. When you say you are the elder, does that mean you were the original poster?

I havea enjoyed the photos in this thread. Did you make that sweater gardenbug? Pretty! Oh, I did see the photos of your outdoor Christmas decorations Chelone and they are amazing! I think you did a really nice job on them. I am without a camera at the moment. Someone stole ours over the summer. Santa may have taken note of how good I have been this year, though....I hope!

Hi Full Bloom....thanks for the welcome. Glad you had such a nice day with your Mom. She must have loved getting out. My mom passed away a few years ago but your story brought back fond memories. She loved Christmas and music from the 40s too. :-) She was in her 80s when she died and we really miss her, especially this time of year. Sounds like a number of people here have ill parents. I do remember how difficult that is and I hope that Christmas can bring some bright moments for all of you. :-)

Hi vtskiers Sue :-) I have seen a number of posts you have made with photos of your garden and have enjoyed them very much. You have such a good eye and you do a great job of keeping them well maintained. I haven't seen any of your garden in the winter. Maybe sometime you would post a few? :-)

Babs, I think I am getting the picture. I had to go look at Webster's to get the full meaning of the word Idyll. Very interesting. So is everyone on this thread living a rustic or pastoral life in peace and contentment? I like the 1b...'a narrative poem treating an epic, romantic, or tragic theme.' [g] Or would 2a describe it better....'a lighthearted carefree episode that is a fit subject for an idyll' ? :-)

Kathy, I also loved your photos of your arbor and path. I redid a path in the front of my house about 10 years ago and I had been on the fence about whether to go with straight or curved and went with the straight. Your curved path has made me see my mistake. :-)

I see you live in Napa Valley. Talk about I imagine the weather there is great for gardening. I live and garden in Massachusetts. I first became interested in gardening about 25 years ago, when a new friend had an organic vegetable garden and I have been hooked ever since. I have a medical condition that more and more is limiting my ability to garden but my family helps out a lot, allowing me to keep doing what I love to do best. :-) We live in the suburbs on a small 1/4 acre property. Look forward to hearing about all of your gardens and of course seeing more photos. :-)

Full Bloom....I have never seen a fish like Bert. Gorgeous colors! Great job on the decoupage. I have a son who enjoys doing decoupage. Very creative how you managed to get all your photos in there. Is that a collie you have? I love the four seasons too and I really really love your Four Season boxes. They are very attractive and I think the way you framed them really makes them look very professional. I would not have thought of taking one poem and continuing it through all 4 compositions.

Also a Beatles fan here. :-)

I can't believe we are in the last week before Christmas! I think this week will go by fast. I am hoping we will get some snow as a Christmas present this year.

Have a good day!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 6:43AM
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Welcome, PM2. Was surprised and delighted to find you here.

Good read-a-lot morning! You guys were busy yesterday. So much Good Cheer! Sweaters, fish, friends, chicken poop, arbors, antiques. As Marie said earlier -- What Next? I can only imagine with this group.

Eden -- Put that Vacumn down!!

Chelone - Hope you stayed home.

Ei - Wonderful collages!

Kathy - Euc from behind the grocery store????? Serious zone envy here.

Sue, Deanne and Monique - Great shot and love the torn apart presents. LOL There's nothing like good girlfriends. Are any of you coming to Logee's??

Marian - If all old fogies were like you I'd move to their country :-)

Woody - I like the color on the bottom of the top strip -- the mid-dark color. Went back and looked at the pics and think it'll go in that spot nicely. While I do love really hot and bright colors, I like subtlety, too.

Marie: I'm in line after Deanne. Love the "extended" front!

By now it's probably known what Jamie's sib will be. Was he right????? (I swear that kids have a better sense of sib gender than Moms. For the four after me, I guessed right every time, much to my Mom's chagrin.)

As always know there's a ton more to say but need to hit the road early to get to a client brunch. His wife is a top-shelf caterer and they're having it at their home, so work and pleasure mix, yet again!

Chilly here today. Guess it really Is December. LOL


    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 7:07AM
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Good morning

Welcome Prairiemoon - glad you joined in! Are the a regular on other GW forums? It will be fun getting to know you.

Monique - thanks for the party pic. The Northeast Idylls just seem to get more glamorous!

Ei - I love your memory box and tree poem. There is so much creativity here every week holds something new. Bert II is beautiful.

Woody - I'm sure with your eye you will find the perfect combination for the shed door. My vote might be second from right in the bottom photo, but seeing the swatches in daylight will play a big part in how it looks.

Chelone - good for you for taking some time for yourself - you've certainly earned it. I might need to get you to speak to Clousseau. I had left the present for my DB and family on my bed yesterday, ready to be packed for mailing. It was a very cute box with a reindeer head and scarf, filled with cookies and candies. I returned home to find rudolf decapitated and the goodies missing. A headless, empty reindeer doesn't make such a good gift:0(

Have a good day everyone


    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 7:43AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Welcome PM2! It sounds like we have a few things in common suburban ¼ acre garden and medical issues that mean a bit of help in the garden is welcome

Kathy it sounds like the garden around your arbour is going to be very attractive! If youre adding lilies, consider Regal Lilies do you have those? Theyre my favorites I love the scent and, as a bonus, the dreaded lily beetles seem less inclined to munch on them than others I have very few lilies in my garden now!

Ei I love your memory box and the tree poem series! Very creative and very beautiful I checked the links to the Marimeko prints and found we have the Tuuli black one! Its over 30 years old DH has had it since undergraduate days at university. Its a very soothing, peaceful print. It would be a nice link to your tree poem too, so Id recommend that one.

Thanks for the feedback on the shed color dilemma. I have come to the conclusion that, as some of you suggested, a color other than a darker gray for the door might be best. Like Martie, I like subtlety but also like strong color. Im leaning towards a dark red of some sort. The New Pilgrim Red on one of the Benjamin Moore color charts I have looks like a good possibility so I think Ill look for more color samples in that range. The shed is a prominent part of the view from the living room window so it cant help but stand out, but I dont want it to compete or overwhelm the rest of the quiet woodland garden. Im trying to aim for a classic, understated look that will both blend in but also be stand-alone attractive if those arent too mutually exclusive concepts! As Sue says, the platings in the spring are going to be very important to tie it all together. Ill be having a long debate with myself over the winter on what to plant. Once the shingles are on and the door has its window put in, it will be easier to imagine the plants required I hope! Sue, I dont remember seeing pictures or your shed what does it look like? A tropical color seems appropriate for your lush, tropical-looking garden.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 8:01AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hi Martie, great to see another familiar face. Very happy to see you here too. :-)

Hello Mary :-) I think you asked if I was a regular on other GW forums? Yes, I spend a lot of time on the New England Gardening forum and the Winter Sowing forum. Look forward to getting to know you too. :-) Is Clousseau a dog or a cat? I hope the cookies and candies weren't home made. [g]

Woody, thanks for the welcome too. :-) It's great to have something in common, I just really would have wished for it to be something other than medical issues! Sorry to hear it. I guess it was your shed being built that I saw a photo of on the last thread? Lucky you! Sounds like fun choosing colors. :-)

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 9:09AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Sue, what a merry gathering you had. What lovely ladies and good friends! Why don't you live next door to me?

Woody, I'm late with my colour vote, which was a slightly darker grey. I guess I'm boring, but with all the white and yellow of your house I thought it would be handsome. I'm tired of the blue/periwinkle accents in the British look. You also might want it to coordinate with the colours of your back room since you will be seeing the garden shed from indoors also. I do like bright too though....You could change the colour every two years!

Oh Clousseau, BAD DOG! I hope you weren't sick in the house. :-(

PM2, so glad you jumped right in! Taryn is the one who began this conversation thread. She seems to be very busy with her new home and house full of males these days!

And yes, I knit the sweater/jacket for my daughter. Next will be booties for her baby, "Cletus the Fetus" as it is called these days. Chelone insists I learn to knit booties, that a baby would be deprived without, even in June.

A tragic car accident has me in a thoughtful mood these past few days. A 27 year old in a many ton vehicle sped past 5 cars and hit my friend's guest's car head on. The friend was killed, his wife hanging on by a thread with internal bleeding. You can be a careful driver and still be zapped in an instant. The 27 year old was released from hospital right away, charges "pending"....

Many things on my plate today. Hope to join you all later.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 9:16AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

No, Prairiemoon, I am not the original poster.I 'came in' about a year later....I think. I am the oldest in years.
Between my age ( 74), and chronic pain,( etc.) from Fibromyalgia Syndrome and arthritis, my gardening has almost come to a halt. I do most of it in containers now. ( I have no 'helpers')
I'm sorry to hear that your health has limited what you can do.

Ei, your really are very talented! Your decoupage pic is great. I'm so glad you gave the close ups! I'd about looked my eyes out trying to find young Paul...:-( Then I found him in the close up,right to the left of Scout :-)
The 4 seasons pics are very inventive, with the poetry included. Great idea! That's a beautiful fish, and the fuzzy-tailed rodents are cute ( espacially your story about the one at the doors), but I'll be content with ours staying in the woods...:-) BTW, what is that on top of the fishbowl water?
If I were more ambitious I wouldn't mind making some collage pics. I used to do stuff like that for the Extension Homemaker's booth at the county fair. No comment on the Beatles... except I never was a fan...sorry.

I quess that may be where my name of 'old fogey' comes in. The definitions of 'fogy/fogey' is: a dull oldfashioned person.( Synonyms:conservative,fossil, stick-in-the-mud,fuddy-duddy,back number, square.) I think a few years ago 'square' was the apt word.

Take Sue's pic for looks like a "drunken debauchery" to me ( I got that term from Chelone ).
Sometimes I think you guys post those kind of pics just to jerk my chain....??? ( Martie, that is part of my 'old fogeyness ! )

Okay...I've messed myself up royally this time ! Now I'd better get ready to go to town.
TTYAL, whether you want me to or not! LOL


    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 10:08AM
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Good Morning, I survived the vacuuming. I do keep a close eye on it these days though, lol. Brad's off to the Dr. for his Physical this morning and David's at work so it's nice and quiet around here. The presents are now all wrapped, just some baking left to do and then Christmas Eve dinner. I've really enjoyed the holiday season so far this year.

Ei, I'm so glad to hear that your sister is doing so well. That's just the greatest of news. What a good daughter and sister you are. You're always so patient and kind. I love all of your artwork too. Very creative and well done! I hope you enjoy your squirrels as much as I do. They're really little clowns aren't they? Nappy Head does remind me of Tim!

Mary, oh no! That's just terrible! Hope Clouseau didn't get sick!

Woody, I think the idea of the red door is a good one. Not too bright, but some color, and it would coordinate well with your pretty yellow house.

Hi Prairiemoon, yep the Idylls are just one long conversation. Hope you continue to join us! Welcome!

Kathy, I thought of another Idyller who has a son about the same age. Michelle! That makes 6 or 7 of us.

The Beatles have always been Brad's favorites. They're always singing around here.

Marian, that's called "fun". You should try it sometime...could be just what you need to make you feel better!

Have a great day everyone! TTYL, Eden

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 10:38AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Hi Idylls. My you guys have been a chatty bunch these last few days. It was a lot to catch up on.

Thanks, you guys, for your encouragement to get on the garden tour. Im struggling with writing a one-page description of it to submit w/pix for consideration. Hopefully, Ill finish up my epistle this afternoon and drive it over. Dont know if Ill be picked for the tour.

Woody, thanks so much for sharing your garden tour pix. Im so impressed with your DIY projects, particularly the a/c screen and matching trellis. And that cute little shed. Wish they allowed something like that here. Yours is so cute and you guys are so talented and handy. Way to go girl. Im sure you blew everyone away with your garden talents on your tour, too. Im with Mary. I love that Wisteria.

Ei and others, thanks for your comments about Mom and Bullet. Mom is getting moresteady every day, so thats a relief. Shes mentally sharp and wont hear of assisted living, any of us kids helping, or the medical alert system, etc. So at this point, since shes refused all that we want to do, if something happens while shes alone and she cant summon help, it was her choice.

Hey, Blabs has laryngitis? My, my! Babs, hope it clears up for you soon. You asked about Bullet. He has end stage renal failure and as of last summer, had only 20% kidney function. Hes on hospice care and its up and down. Thank goodness Im not working now and can give him the extra care he needs.

Welcome, Prairiemoon! Glad you just jumped right in. This is a great group. Youll get the hang of things quickly. Eden, great cartoon on the last thread and so true! Chelone, Im so glad relief is on the horizon for you with your Mom. And good for you giving DB the paperwork. I cant believe youve had to deal with that as well. Marian, Im glad you have help with the med paperwork. What a pain it is. Gorgeous orchids. Kathy, beautiful new walk! I love your xmas décor, too. Thanks so much for showing us. Ei, beautiful personal art! Its the best kind.

Martie, Im so happy for you that you get to take your DB out for a ride. Michelle, how festive you and DH look in your xmas finery! Bug, Charlotte looks so cute. Gorgeous sweater (says she who cant knit or crochet) T, cute goats. I wrote my letter to Santa. That was really cute. Im so sorry about your elk damage. Ive always wondered. Is it a worry for you that they might crash thru your windows and get in the house? Scary prospect.
Christmas carols are blasting from the stereo and Im getting in the spirit. All thats needed is some white stuff outside. Not a lot, just enough to cover the ground. Shopping is done (except a gift certificate for Mom) wrapped, presents shipped, and neighbor remembrances are delivered. I have to order the spiral ham today and finalize the menu for Xmas Eve dinner here for 14.

When DH gets home, well drag in the 4x8 plywood from the garage to put over our glass top dining table so we can accommodate everyone. When DH and I chatted this am, he lamented that we didnt get a new dining set again as we wanted to this yr. He was reading my mind. Waterproofing, deck repairs, new walk and landscaping gobbled up those funds. Oh well.

Yeona, I read your post with commiseration and dismay that youre stuck with painful childhood memories, anger and/or depression that drags you down. I was fortunate (?) that the fire and brimstone of DDs teenage years drove me to get involved with a talented counselor. At first, I went for DD, but soon learned I had my own stuff to work on. Its hard work but it is so liberating to become more healthy mentally. Your physical health will improve as well. In retrospect, it was the best thing I ever did for myself. I hope you seize this opportunity to do the same.

Yesterday, I returned some framed prints that didnt work to Homegoods and scored 4 others that are perfect. They must have just got them in. Hooray! There are a pair for the dining room, one for the kitchen and one for the basement lav. DH will help me hang them when he comes home tonite. Hopefully, we wont be dividing up property before its all over, lol.

There are also some prints and memorabilia for the basement walls that still have to be hung. I have the original photo used locally in the newspapers for a charity preview to one of the worlds largest classic car events. I had arranged for the photo shoot in Malibu with 2 'star cars' (56 and 57 T-Birds) posed with a Marilyn Monroe and Elvis impersonator. I also have some nice pix of DH and I w/our classic 57 Bird. Further, I have pix of DH with the Marilyn impersonator. He drove her into the first outdoor charity event and she pulled him on-stage and sang, My Heart belongs to Daddy to him. (He almost wet his pants!!!). Those pix are priceless. So today Im going to see if I can get a frame and create a collage of DH and Marilyn. Check her out. Not only is she classy, sweet and talented, shes the best dead-on impersonator Ive ever seen.

I'm off to the store for the frame. TTYL, Honey

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 12:32PM
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So.....more for you to check out when you are bored or just needing some mindless entertainment.....

go down to Dog Melee to begin your laughs there. I have not checked out the other videos to see if they are similiar or not.

Then if you want to enjoy some Christmas carols done a 'new' way......check out this site.......try leaving it blank and see what response you get and you can also be creative with what you type in which might just get you some coal in your stocking.....

I'm going to go check out Honey's link and then actually get myself doing something constructive before going to see little Jamie.

Woody, I'm not creative with colors....If I had a garden shed it would be painted in the same colors as my home and I'm wrapping my mind over the fact that others go with entirely different colors than your homes......I guess I have little creativity!! LOL I do like contrasting colored doors and have been trying to decide if I want a 'red' or a 'blue' door on my yellow house.....I've only been thinking about it for 2 or 3 years so don't be expecting to see anything too soon from me. ;o) Good luck on your decision!

Hello to all.......

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 1:09PM
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Welcome PM2, I thought your name seemed familiar. I see now that you mentioned the wintersowing forum. Although, I dont post there, I lurk. I have wintersown for the last 3 years. I will have to show some pictures of our rolling pasture now returning to prairie.

I wish all the Idylls lived near each other. The party looks like it was a huge success from the smiles on the girls faces. You all look so festive too.

bug, how awful about the car accident.

Eden, my son is 24 and so is Eis.

Ei, your "Things I Love" box is very touching. Bert II is so pretty.

Honey, the prints for the basement sound like fun. Once at a hypnotist they told the people who were under that there were movie stars in the crowd and they should go out and find them. Some gal came up to me all excited that she had "met" Marilyn Monroe. Not that I look anything like Marilyn LOL

RE the Beatles, "Michelle" was always a favorite as a girl.

Kathy, your DH must have been quite young when he passed away. I can tell you miss him a lot. I would imagine that the holidays can be hard. How nice that you have that beautiful mirror, what a special gift.

Babs, good thoughts go out to Chris and you too. Im sure he will do great.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 2:00PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Special ((((((Kathy))))) for the holidays. I'm sure you miss your DH terribly.

I'm not a Beatles fan. Their music is OK. I guess I must be weird. I never swooned over any movie or singing stars.

Monique, Sue and Deanne, you guys look great! And your get-together sounded like so much fun. Wish we lived closer.

Michelle, that's too funny about the hypnotized thinking they had seen movie stars. I think you'd make a great 'Marilyn'. Susan has the moves down pat. With a little study, the right outfit and wig and Viola! You could do it. Funny that Susan says she becomes 'Marilyn' when she puts her constume on. The problem is that her boyfriend has trouble distinguishing her from the persona.

Woody, I like the gray you picked. I'd go for a bright door color tho. Plum gets my vote.

Hi to all. Have to get back to putting this garden description together. Hmmmm.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 3:08PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Just a quick pop in. Just wanted to tell T...Congratuations!!!! :-)

Deanne, Sue & guys look great! I can tell that the 3 of you have become so close and genuinely enjoy each others company...that's so nice! :-) I too wish all the Idylls lived close by.

Thanks everyone for the kind words. summed it up nicely. I guess that *is* the reason I am enjoying my "art" won't be finding it in the stores...LOL! :-)
Seriously though, thank guys are making me blush! :-) BTW, my sympathies too Kathy. I was thinking the same thing as Michelle, but didn't know how to broach the subject as eloquently, especially since we've just met...but I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I admire your strength and think it's wonderful that you have those special memories.

Marian - the things floating on the top are glass bubbles. I can't even remember where I got them or what they were originally for, but it's my little ha-ha on fish bubbles. Yep, you're right DS is in the pic next to Scout. DS is about 6 in that pic and being chased by waves! BTW, you *should* do a little decoupage/collage for yourself, I have to say I did find it very relaxing, therapeutic and emotionally rewarding. :-) I think it would be a great way to express yourself.

Honey, I enjoyed your link to Marilyn...LOL on the hubby. I think Michelle could make a pretty Marilyn Monroe too!:-)
Love your idea of the collage of hubby, the cars, Marilyn, etc. I hope you'll show it to us when you have it all put together.

LOL Eden! They *are* clowns. I didn't realize just how entertaining they can be. Nappy Head just cracks me up...he really *is* a character and if it's possible for animals to have facial expressions, he's the most expressive animal (well, not including my Scout) that I have ever seen. I've got to get some pictures of him caught in his antics. There's one thing he does (and I know I'm probably reading into it more than what is there) but when he sees me at the door...he stands on his hinds and I swear, throws his arms out to his sides and smiles, as if saying, "'re's so good to see you"...LOL! I *know* I'm goofy! :-) sorry you received such awful news. That's just too sad. My heart goes out to your friend's friends. I hate to hear tragic news *anytime*, but around the holidays it is especially painful, cause you know that a big part of the joy of the holiday will forever be taken from those who lost their loved one.

Oh, BTW Prairiemoon...Scout is an oversized, over loved (lol) Sheltie....let me introduce you....

Well, gotta go now, it's time to start dinner and maybe I have a few more minutes so I can check out T's links. Have a great one all! Ei

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 5:00PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Marian! good grief, I've been called a lot of things in my life but a 'drunken debaucher' is a new one on me.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 5:05PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Oops...and wanted to thank Woody for checking out the link for me. Isn't this place great? I'm so glad that you can tell me from personal experience that it's a nice piece...didn't even think of the tie-in, but you're right. Thanks again for checking it out for me!

BTW Sue...I *love* the idea of Carribean Blue...think I'll go start dinner, with dreams of tropical beaches in my head...Thanks! :-)


    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 5:06PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

DEANNE...I DIDN"T say it was a "drunken debauchery" !!!! Didn't you see my "lol" afterwards ? Now it looks like we are both reading too much into what we saw/read !
I sure wish you all could meet me in person, so you would know I am the 'town clown' most everywhere I go.

And Eden, I don't NEED any stimulant to help me have a good time...except good friends ! They alone can make me feel better.

I have told you all before about my 6 1/2 year marriage with an abusive alcoholic. His entire family's idea of a good time was boozing it up. The last Xmas I spent with him, I had personally bought 4 differant bottles of liquor. That was the last time I ever bought such stuff...not even beer. That was 50 years ago this December.
I also have watched my oldest half sister and her drinking habits. I have no desire to add any of that to my life. I haven't seen Nolon drink anything alcholic either. We will be married 50 years in March.

Now , I need to take Nolon to the hardware store in Compton, where a Notary Public can witness his signature on a Durable Power of Attorney paper that I got in town today.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 5:29PM
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Marian, now you're reading things into what I said. I wasn't refering to relying on alcohol for fun at all, but getting together with good friends, laughing and having a great time. That's all...


    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 5:43PM
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I promised you all a few pictures of the Christmas decorations at our house...

The grinch in a Christmas tree forest, lol

Christmas bears, the one on the left is sitting in my rocker from when I was a little girl, the one in the middle is my mom's from when she was little and the one on the right is Theodore, Jennifer's teddy bear from when she was small

My urn tree

Another grinch

The velveteen rabbit and that's my Whoville village behind on the shelf that you can't see much of(sorry)

Mr. Snowball

Christmas village with newspaper icicles

Lastly a Christmas mouse from storyhour at the bookstore last Saturday

I won't leave these up long. I'll take them down tomorrow so they don't slow down the thread for too long.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 5:56PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Ahhhhh, Eden, I truely am sorry we are miss reading one another! I wish I could get together with friends more often, but my circumstances prevents it. Besides, I think as one gets older, these get togethers get fewer. NIce bunch of pics. Who made all the newspaper icycles? I've never heard of them. In my youth, we popped corn to string, and had all that long ribbon type aluminum icycles that were drapped over the tree. The grinches are 'cute'. :-) How nice that you have that teddy bear collection. I have one of mine, and Tim's, but no little chairs. Cute " Christmas mouse " ....(smile).

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 7:10PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Eden, I think the bears and the bookshelf loaded with children's books are what appeal to me most! You've obviously been having a ball together. Does Bella have a pair of children's scissors yet? I picture you cutting out things the icicles. I have two small rocking chairs here still too. In fact, I have the cradle used by my 35 and 30 year old too. It actually holds firewood these days.

Scout looks so handsome in that portrait Ei! Charlotte just returned from the "beauty parlour" but I need to wait for daylight to capture her loveliness. A really nice job. She still looks like a baby gorilla, nice and fluffy - but smells good too!

Some of the Beatles songs are quite complicated though they appear simple. I like quite a few of them actually, partly because of fond memories. My mother sent me an album of theirs back in 1966 while I was teaching in Nigeria. We played "Rubber Soul" on our battery operated turntable while painting DH's science lab.(He was not yet my DH)The students clustered around, loving the music and the crazy folks who loved painting and sprucing things up. Ei, Golden Slumbers is one of the lovely ones! I'll have to relearn the words for the new baby!

Today I bought a fish platter in town for our big event on the 30th. Planning on putting together a mushroom stuffed salmon with an artistic puffy crust enveloping it. This had better work out! DGS loves salmon. But shopping is terribly distracting at this time of year and I end up buying 5-6 other little things when I see them. NO MORE!

That's all she wrote for me tonight!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 8:53PM
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Eden, so you won't think I fell off the face of the earth I'm popping in with a friendly howdy to all.
Your christmas decorations are so creative. The newspaper icicles are a cool touch (sounds like a pun huh?) I haven't an iota of decorating fever this year. The little I have done was outside and only where I can see it from the inside. LOL No one is here enough to warrant the effort. I will pull out the little fiberoptic tree before the family comes over. Bella looks pretty serious in those mouse ears. I can understand her being overwhelmed by all the other kids when she is not used to being around others.

I haven't meant to stay away so long. I'm sort of a one track mind person and have been fascinated with the guitar lately.

Lets see if I can recall some of the things I have said in my head to various Idylls.

T, Your new flower beds are looking good and even if it takes a couple of years the ground work you have done will really pay off. I love the picture of Tall and Wide and am so glad you could give them a home. I thought about you the day you had to clean out a space in the garage to get out of the weather while getting Boo trimmed. It seems the farrier always came on the nasty days here too. Still waiting to hear if Jamie is getting a sister or a brother. I'm thinking you need a grandaughter this time. LOL

Woody, our house is gray with white trim and the front door is burgandy"ish" color. I like the combination. I'm sure you will come up with the right one for you. If you do go with the gray I liked the darker tones to the right in the second picture. Your wisteria and arbor pictures were very nice. You put a lot of thought in all you do.

Marian, I enjoyed your flower and blue bird pictures ( we have them here to but doubt that I could get close enough for a picture like yours) I also was feeling for you the day you felt so bad. I'm glad you have been able to get out an about some. Our snow pack lasted a long time here until we had three or four of those really warm days. But at least the creeks are running nicely again.

Hi Yeona, I hope you have things figured out now. Jump right back in and keep the momentum going.
I probably miss a lot of people because I procrastinate to long and by the time I post everyone has already said it better than I could.

Kathy, your walkway and arbor look great. As someone else said the curves are just right. Can't wait to see it all flowery.

Martie, Rich did a terific job on yours too. Anxious to see how you plant it up. LOL about the christmas tree fiasco. Bet it looks great now. And loved hearing about the outing with your brother. Yep he was right in choosing to see cows. He is lucky to have you for a sister.

Babs , Nurse Ratchet , LOL. Kids can sure be stinkers sometimes.I miss hearing about Ryan and AJ. Thinking of Chris and his presentation. Good to get a few posts from you.

Chelone, Your house decorations are so fitting for your house and to have the ladies in your yard tell you so really made all the work worthwhile HUH? I can imagine you have those bookcases decorated by now. I am enjoying everyones decorations so I won't have to do any. LOL

Mary, Davids longhouse was so neat. I loved looking at it. The anniversry brunch/lunch sounded yummy. Nice that you could all enjoy that time together. Annie is the same age as my GS Jake. I just can't realise how he is growing up so fast. I'm glad she has such a nice group of friends.
Oops about the christmas package and the dog. I bet you are anxious to see your sister and the kids again.

Ei, what a good picture of Scout. It is hard for me to get a good picture of Rebel because he is black on black LOL. Love your dressed to the nines elves. Blue is my favorite color too. And your handmade artwork is right up my alley. It is really neat. Love what you did with the poem. Why didn't I think of that. Will be thinking of you during your remodeling holiday LOL.

Sue Deanne and Monique, you girls are so lucky to be able to get together often and have fun. Can only imagine the laughs and plant talk. I don't know about you people but I needed a break from the garden. Although just this morning as I was watering plants I was thinking how neat that I would have a good start on many things this coming spring. I shouldn't say that to loudly, I have to keep them healthy through the winter first. LOL. I have a couple of urns that I stuck in the basement at last minute that I didn't intend to. And the ipomeas (sp?) that had been frosted back are growing nicely again under the lights.
I will sure have a lot of work come spring as I didn't get all the cleanup in the beds done.

Hi pm2 , Welcome to a wonderful group.

Marie, you did a terrific job on the sweater. DD will love it. Can't wait to hear DGS reaction to the farm and Charlotte.
So sorry to hear of the terrible accident.

Hi Michelle, sounds like you are really busy these days. Nice picture of you and DH.

Honey , good to hear your mom is feeling better. Hope your getting enough precipation to keep your new landscaping happy.

Hi Cindy and anyone else I missed (Drema for one, Babs did you hear from her?) Taryn, did you give up on us or get a job?

Without going back I'm drawing a blank. So will bring this to a close for now.

Enjoy your time doing whatever floats your boat. Nobody knows how much time they have left.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 9:32PM
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PS, can't recall all the Beatles songs right now, but Hey Jude was one of my favorites.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 9:47PM
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Well good evening to everyone!

There are a number of things I've not commented on in my notes to the group, but I'm having conversations with you in my head while I'm reading your notes.......scary thought isn't it?? LOL I bet you do it, too, though. I can visualize many of you as I read your posts and I'm either smiling along with you, or sad when you are sad, feeling badly for you when you are overwhelmed, tired or sick of work......I want to rush over with a cuppa something and sit with you when you need to unload your cares & worries..... I'm just lousy at the writing back to address what you've shared. Heck of a note to care so much and to be keeping that caring hidden by not telling you.

So................I be telling you right now!!! ;o) ROFL. Remember this Idyll # so that when you are feeling 'gnored that you'll remember T. really does care and she does think about you even though she sucks at writing to tell you.

Oh sugars!!! Isn't the above about as bad as receiving some of those pesky Christmas letters? Now, before I offend someone......not 'all' Christmas letters are 'pesky' and make my eyes roll back into my head. There have been some that I look forward to receiving and just a few that hurt my eyes. ;o) What makes a letter good instead of pesky?? Hmmmm......guess it is the brag factor and how it is presented. It is kind of like 'ugly'....hard to describe but you know it when you see it.

Oh heavens aren't I awful this evening?!! I'm not even a drunken debacher, although I would have given up chocolate, for an entire year, if I had been able to be sitting there with Monique, Sue and Deanne. Just so you know....that would be a big deal for me (giving up chocolate for a year)....but I'd do it in a flash if I could do a Samantha Stevens wiggle of my nose and be there for the gathering. :o) I'm thrilled that you guys are able to get together as much as you do.....and that you share the fun with us via your photos and tales. Thank you. :o) for the big news for us.......Little James is going to have a little brother. Yep.....another grandson. Per the ultrasound tech, everything looks fine/normal in the ultrasound and she even printed out a picture for Jamie that had the baby with his hand raised--she typed "Hi brother" on the photo before she printed it out. Jamie was thrilled and I thought it was very thoughtful of her to think of it. Mom & Dad are thrilled that baby appears healthy and another boy is perfectly fine with them. This one will be close in age to the twins so a bunch of little boys to play together will be great. Bunch of boys? Herd? Flock? Gaggle? Covy?? AH!!!! A 'team'.......heck, at this rate we're going to have our own baseball or football team.......... LOL. I'm teasing....we do know how blessed we are and we are very thankful for these little ones.

Marie...I am sorry to read about your friends' guests. I am often startled into the realization of how quickly life can be changed or taken away. The gentleman who died recently in the southern Oregon woods (Mr. Kim), the gentleman whose body was found in the ice cave on Mt. Hood yesterday and the two men who are still missing up there. We can be going along, enjoying living life, doing the things that we love doing with those we enjoy and love....when suddenly the smallest of happenings can change everything. Going down the wrong road and getting stuck, slipping and dislocating your arm when you need to be fully capable of using both changing, someone speeding and passing others in a reckless manner...just so many things can change our lives forever. It makes me stop, take a deep breath and say a prayer of thanksgiving for what blessings I've enjoyed.

Well, guess I should oughta shuddup about now. ;o) Nope, haven't had a drop of wine.....but I'd like to. Just in one of those moods where I'm heady on life. 'Seeing' Jamie's little brother for the first time.....and then hearing of so many sad deaths and missing people---all makes for making me feel like I need to treasure, savor and enjoy every moment I'm given.

Hello to all!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 10:25PM
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I refer to today as Tuefri..its Tuesday but its my FridayYeeehah, I m on vaca ! So much to comment on today I must say I couldnt help but notice that the party girls had empty glasses !! You all looked mighty happy I must say.

Michelle, Honey, Ei, thanks for the kind words, hubby died about three years ago-he was only 53. I feel very fortunate to have had a marriage that lasted 25 years-for all its ups and downs ! Many people do not have that.

PM2, I drew out several different options when designing the path one of which was a straight line from the sidewalk to the walk that goes to the front door. I chose the curve because it made the planting areas on either side more equal in size and I found the curve more pleasing to my eye. And yes our weather here is great for gardening and that was a factor in deciding to move here 20 years ago. Do you garden totally organically ? I do except for snail bait. Dont use herbicides or chemical ferts and dont spray for insects at all..

Woody, Im not familiar with regal lilies I grow Orientals and asiatics- Every year I buy a dozen or so bulbs at the SF Flower and Garden Show. I always loose a few over the winter because of rot-our soils get incredibly saturated. Last year was a flood year here so I lost most of my Dahlias and as usual a few lilies. Are regals trumpet lilies ? Ill have to look them up- or go over and lurk on the lily forum!

So flip a coin T and paint that door! Maybe not now though its too d**m cold ! I cant remember the last time we had so many 20 ish degree nights in a row.

Ei I love Scout ! Ive always admired Shelties-they are such smart dogs. When I was a little girl my family had show dogs, and at the obedience trials the dogs that always seemed to do the best were the Shelties and the poodles.

Eden, I have to say Mr. Snowball is my fave ! great pics.

Norma, thanks for the friendly howdy

Here is a pic of the tree. complete with bubble lights and shiny balls !


Kathy in the Napa Valley

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 10:34PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

gardenbug...thanks for pointing out the original poster. I did run across her post from her new place back in September and that cleared that up. :-) You are very talented in the knitting department bug. I can knit a straight line, at least I used to, but making a garment that actually would I don't think I could even do booties, just scarves. [g] How wonderful that your daughter is expecting...when is she due? Is this your first grandchild? Rubbersoul was one of my favorite Beatles albums. :-) NIgeria in 1966, sounds like a great story there.

marian...I'm sorry to hear about your Fibro/arthritis. We have also had a few seasons of containers only. That can be really fun too. Do you bring plants in for the winter too?

Thank you eden, honey and Norma for the welcome. :-) Great Christmas photos eden. Your teddy bears look like they are ready for a party. :-)

michelle...aha, another winter sower! Last year was my first year and it really worked out very well. I hope I will get to do a little more this year. I would love to see your pasture returning to prairie! Have you been helping it along? Loved that song Michelle. :-)

Ei...I just LOVE your dog! He is a gorgeous Sheltie. I have never seen a black and white one before. He looks very loved and cared for. :-) Does he enjoy your garden?

triple creek...Hey Jude was also a good one. It was so popular, I remember they played it over and over again. Actually, I don't think there are many Beatle songs that I don't I just took a look at a website listing their song titles and lyrics and noticed one that has great lyrics about spring. 'Here Comes the Sun'. When I stop and think about some of the songs and lyrics that are being produced now and compare those to some of the very simple and innocent lyrics of the Beatles, our parents had it easy. I also noticed that it doesn't appear that they ever did a Christmas album. Could that be right?

Well...that's it for me too. Wow, busy thread today!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 10:54PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

T.....congratulations on your expected new grandson! What a happy Christmas you and your family are going to have. :-) Enjoy every minute of it! Is Jamie your only grandson so far? When is the baby due? What is the new baby going to get for Christmas this year? [g]

Kathy....what a pretty pretty tree! Is it a real one? How did you find one that had such a tall/narrow shape to it? It fits in your corner there, just perfectly. You're so lucky to have such a high ceiling. I haven't seen bubble lights on a tree in a long time and I really like them. You fit a lot of ornaments on your I notice because this year at our house, things have been a little low key and we had to squeeze in a very brief time to trim the tree and everyone was so tired, that we put on our favorite ornaments and actually left at least 1/3 of the rest in the boxes. [g] I can't remember ever doing that before. So the contrast between your tree and ours just jumped out at me. :-)

I also can see a corner of that mirror on your mantel and wanted to tell you that when you posted that photo of your mantel decorations the first thing that caught my eye was your mirror. It is a beauty and it compliments your fireplace very well.

Looking at the photo of your path again, I see you have two things I did not. One is a sidewalk and the other just a bit larger front yard. I had only about 15-20 feet from our driveway to the front steps and a little bit more than that maybe from the street to the front steps. I still should have curved it. [g] BTW, the walkway was very well done, whoever installed it for you. What are you going to grow on your arbor, and did your son build that for you?

Yes, I am totally organic and have been for over 25 years. I don't use any chemical fertilizers either or pesticides, herbicides. Nothing but a little seaweed/fish fertilizer, compost and water. Last year I did try some organic fertilzer in my containers that worked out very well. Unfortunately, we have an infestation of winter moths here in Massachusetts. Am I the only one here from Massachusetts? Of course Martie is from Connecticut, and I'm not sure if they have the problem with the moths there or not. On the Cape, they have had 21,000 acres of trees defoliated. In my own yard, they started showing up two years ago. Last year, two full size maples and a Japanese maple were covered. One maple lost more than half it's leaves and then the caterpillars dropped down on all the surrounding shrubs and made a mess of those. I have been trying to avoid using something, but next spring I have decided to at least try spraying with a dormant oil. I have read that after 4 years of defoliating you could lose your tree. But I think dormant oil will be the least problematic that I could use. I could also use BT and still be organic, but I don't even want to do that if I can avoid it. We just added a number of butterfly plants in the past few years and last year we enjoyed lots of butterflies, so I can't see how spraying BT all over 30 ft trees would not effect them. I hope the dormant oil does the trick.

I'm so very sorry to hear you have lost your husband at such a young age. I hope you have lots of family and friends around over the holidays and that you can all remember past Christmases with more joy than pain. :-)

Ei....I have gone back and looked at your photo of Scout a few times. It is a really good photo. He seems very photogenic. I can just picture him on a dog Lassie was one of my favorite shows when I was a kid and he definitely reminds me of her.

Five more days til Christmas! :-)

    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 7:13AM
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Good Wednesday Morning! It's officially cold -- below 20degF but it supposed to be warm enough to rain on Saturday. Things are beginning to bud and we should see Narcissus coming up any day now :-)

Yippee!!! A boy to add to T's crew!!! Jamie gets a gold star.

Wonderful decorations, Eden. You know I have a fondness for Suess characters and would have never thought to include the Velveteen Rabbit. Bella must go into a trance walking into your house these days!

Beatles: "Twist and Shout" started it all and, to my mind, is one of the best dance songs to this day. The later Beatles are great for analysis, but I turned into a more "rocker" fan as time went on. In my family, all music was good music ..... My dad still hums "Martha My Dear" to me occasionally ..

Kathy: Thanks for the sensitive history. You seem solid with it all and you should, indeed, be proud and lucky to have had a 25 year relationship with your DH. So cool that you have tangible things he made for you. The love never ends.

Marie: Interesting Nigeria story. Didn't realize that your DH was a PCer, too. Perhaps you could make the baby "beach shoe" booties.

Woody: The good thing about paint is it can be changed incredibly easily with a new brush and $10 can of paint. We've been in this house for exactly 2.5 years, but have changed the color of our dining room three times depending on the mood du jour.

Hi, everyone else from coast to coast and north and south! Deanne -- did you ever receive the veggie container book I sent your way??

I've included a link about tomorrow's Solstice. It's a fairly quick read and if you have little or knowledge about its importance, this will help. My "deck side" neighbors have become accustomed to me lighting at least one candle exactly at Solstice to coax the light back into the sky. The first few times, they weren't so sure. LOL No witchcraft or mystisism, simply the earth's rythmn.

Everyone have a Sparkling day!!


    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 7:23AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Anyone have any favorite calendars for 2007?


    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 7:24AM
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A quick goodmorning to all.

Just want to congratulate T on another grandson. There will be a "Gang" of cousins. Just picture Jamie bossing them all around because he is the oldest. LOL . They will have a blast at Grammy and Gramps. Grampa will have a hard time keeping up with them as they climb all over his big boy toys. But he will have a great audience while he flys his remotes. When our grandaughters were young we were always refering to "The girls" now its more "The boys" with Jake and Wyatt.
Anyway congrats again T. Norma

    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 7:32AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Last post this morning... [g]

I just had to post a link to this 2007 calendar. I was looking for an Ann Gedes calendar in honor of T's new grandson and I was so surprised to find a garden themed calendar this year. Look closely at the windowbox. lol

    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 7:51AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

T, another little fellow! All so very exciting.

PM2, our bundle of joy is expected in June, we think. Dates are a bit fuzzy...but the midwife is scheduled for June anyway! Planning these things is amazing, like before conception. Just like university applications! And in a way, this will be our first grandchild, but in fact, I consider it our second. The first grandchild is DSIL's seven year old. Although he is only part time at their home, he has us completely bewitched! Here's an early Sept shot of the three of them. Bubble magic is thanks to Drema!

Well things are reaching the busy-frantic stage here. Charlotte is all groomed and i was going to show you, but she's sleeping in on top of my bed. DH is off to supervise his undergraduate course exam, and I have more wrapping to do.

PM2, my favourite calendar so far has been one with Deanna's bird photos, a beautiful collection she put together two years ago. Knowing the artist makes it very special indeed and I know others felt the same way!

It's off to work we go....

    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 8:10AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

A quick post just to show Ei Tuuli Black in December 1977 with DH! Im not sure who took this picture. I had met future-DH by then he was in some of my courses at university - but we didnt really get to know each other until the summer of 1978 when we were both on campus over the summer I had a summer job working for one of the professors and he was starting his Masters research. My dorm roommate and I rented an apartment in the same building future-DH was living in and he came by to help us assemble the beds we had bought an auspicious beginning to our relationship.:- )

    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 9:52AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Good Morning Idylls!

Can't stay (need to get to the store for ingredients to make DH cookies to bring to work) but will be back later. I have many things I want to comment on (including what a nice letter T has posted)but am in a rush right now! And again (LOL) congratulations Grandma! :-)

Just have to comment really quick...Thank you Woody! That was so nice of you to dig the picture up for me and I really appreciate the full view of it. I'm definitely sold! Great memories, BTW! :-)

P.S. Hi Norma! Great to see you!


    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 10:37AM
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Mornin everyone-just a quick swoop here to say hello-I'm on vaca (hey , did I mention this before?? That I am on vaca? :) I'm having a cup of coffe and then heading off to Target to get one cheap-o curtain panel for the bathroom and some candles, and then snother foraging trip to a couple of parks with my felcos for more Euc' pine, redwood ,magnolia. etc for several more arrangements I need to make before my open house on Sat. I'm going to hit Target at 8:30 before the hoardes I finish cleaning the guest room, and if I get too it my last day of painting before Christmas.

PM2,hey thanks, glad you liked the tree.Yes it is real! I would never be able to justify the expense of a tree like that (it's a 9ft Noble fir) but I get and extremely attractive employee discount tha cut about 30 bucks off the price. I purposely look for a tall skinny tree every year -I've made the mistake of a too fat tree before and it's way too close to the fireplace.!

Congrats T on the pending new little dude !

Love all the to Target ...

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 11:20AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I finally got enough rest and decided to go for a morning stroll after breakfast at 10:30.

I also saw some veronicastrum seedheads and mom said V would like them.

I'd really like some snow for Christmas....

    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 11:52AM
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Ive stayed home from work today with some kind of stomach bug. We are supposed to be getting freezing rain this a.m. then warming up and just raining and then cooling down and freezing rain again and finally some snow on top of all that. Sounds like fun. Charlotte could come here it sounds like we may have snow for the next 3 days.

Gramma T, glad to hear that the baby looks healthy. I bet Jamie is excited. Rick and I have 7 grandsons and 2 granddaughters.

Kathy, your tree is beautiful. We had bubble lights when my son was small because he was so enthralled with them. The bases eventually got brittle and broke. I should get more as Im sure Kenzie would be delighted with them.

Eden, what fun to see the Velveteen Rabbit. I think we have a very much loved one just like yours. My DD loved stuffed animals. I gave Kenzie her moms Christmas Mickey Mouse last year, I should look for the Velveteen Rabbit for her this year.

PM2, that Ann Geddes certainly has an imagination and who can resist a baby?

Michelle (looking forward to the Solstice)

    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 12:57PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

According to the 2007 Farmer's Almanac, the 20th, 21st, and the 22nd are all of equal length! Then, after 3 days, one minute of daylight is added in the evening. It very gradually increases, in the evening, but the morning does not get lighter until the 15th of January ! What a drag !

    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 1:41PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good afternoon!

Here's another Idyll looking forward to the solstice and the lengthening days ahead.

You guys sure have been busy yacking! Nice to open the thread and see the three party girls at Sue's, looking so festive and happy. Sorry I missed it!

Deanne, I am having some success with coleus cuttings this year and I am excited! I even managed to keep the one fuchsia cutting I tried alive (so far anyway). Don't heave any of your duplicates yet, I may want to adopt some.

T, what good news; and what a lot of boys! Ultrasound is amazing, isn't it? I did not have one with my DD (our first child) because I wanted the surprise. We were surprised all right - during my pregnancy 99% of the people who try to predict these things said I "looked like" I was having a boy, so that's what we were expecting. We had a girl name picked out as well, but minutes after she was born we were debating about the spelling!

Marie, the sweater is gorgeous - love the colors too. A true labor of love; she'll be thrilled with it. Charlotte looks great, such an expressive face. She can keep the snow up there though - I don't want it here unless it will fall on a weekend, so I can admire it from inside the house! The weather people this week said that there has been more snow in Amarillo Texas this year so far than in Boston - very unusual. I guess a blanket for the garden would be good, but not on a weekday!

Ei, so nice to see you here again. Glad to hear that your sister is doing well. I love the collages, you are very creative. I didn't get the "arts & crafts" gene, so I am envious of all the talent here.

Martie, your multi-part saga of putting up the tree really cracked me up! I can see the men and their gadgets trying to get it right.

Woody, a color would look great on that door. I love the idea of plum, or maybe burgandy?

Prairemoon, hi and welcome! Your talk of the winter moths above made me shudder, they are awful creatures. We had trees defoliated here also, mature maples and oaks that we couldn't possible spray ourselves. The grossest part was hearing the rain of droppings falling from the trees while they munched; a virtual $h!#storm! There seemed to be fewer moths this fall, maybe there will be fewer of them next spring.

DS is requesting homework help (they have a half-day from school) so I must run. He is struggling with learning cursive writing, and he likes me to sit with him for moral support.

Hi to everyone I missed (hi Yeona!!) and everyone have a wonderful holiday weekend!


    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 1:53PM
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I haven't officially "caught" up with the requisite reading, but want to say, this:

Deanne, it was I who mentioned, "drunken debauchery"; certainly, that said, you will find a grin stealing across your face... ;)

Babs., this is the "slow" season for us. Once the awnings are down, the marine canvas stripped from the frames and delivered to the shop for repair, we have the next 3 months to take our time, relax... . I have totally BLOWN IT OFF, you guys. Slept late (6 AM!), stayed up late (10PM), and done only that which has pleased me.

I made a work shirt for the helpmeet today. I had a length of raspberry cordouroy purchased close to 10 years ago, and turned it into something. I realized it's been the better part of 8 years since I've made him clothing. Too long. I have another length of a brilliant blue chamois and might just carve that up into pieces, too. I have only buttonholes and buttons on the first one... start to (nearly finished), 4 1/2 hrs. ...

Made the swag for the front door, too.

PM2, Marian isn't really THAT MUCH of an old fogey... she just thinks she is. I imagine much of what I post makes her mutter, "tut-tut", but she's always back, looking for more... lol. ;)

Ei, missed many of the pictures. And I understand exactly what you mean when you talk about needing a place to "leave" your mother while you park the car!!! I tend to do "flyovers", sizing up stores for convenience. We have several on the "the list" now. Amazes me how often salespeople "overlook" the elderly, the infirm, or those who look "sick". I'm proud to say, I NEVER did that when I worked the salesfloor. Our common humanity requires that we make the time and effort to acknowledge our fellow man. I learned a lot about doing that growing up in tiny village with its own "cast of characters"...

I have to go for now... will try to finish my "homework" tomorrow, early!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 6:01PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I see that everyone is running around with last minute preparations! Because our guests are coming on the 30th, I am only beginning chaos mode. Most of the gifts are wrapped now, but there is still the tree to set up and decorate. Maybe tonight?

I am in the process of creating a lengthy grocery list- in two parts: things to get me started now, fresh things for next week to buy later.

I have bought a Linzer tool to make those jam filled cookies. Has anyone tried this before?

DH is off to grade exams today with his teaching assistant. It's a long tough process which makes you feel you aren't as good a teacher as you think!

The house needs an army of Molly Maids to tidy it, but I guess that will be my job as well. We are looking forward to having a laminate floor installed by DD & DSIL as our gift .

And so enough procrastinating! Away I go, singing Golden Slumbers now that I've learned the words Ei!


    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 10:16AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Hi, All -- I see I have missed soo much - Im on vaca too as of tomorrow and I hope to be able to look back to see what all I've missed & new and old faces that have appeared here! Counting the hours til blasting outta "jail" here at ofc...

Have thought of you all often but the time... where o, where is the time? (and the computer...)..
In any case, many many hellos to all -- (nothing like a nonsense post here w/ nothing positive to say). Other than Im so looking forward to the R&R & catching up -- I continue to miss being to check in -- gonna be at the top of my 2007 List of New Habits.


    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 12:40PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Martie...we enjoyed music growing up too. The radio or records were always playing. My Dad was a Frank Sinatra/Bing Crosby fan and loved all the big bands, while all of us kids did listen to his music we also had rock and roll on the radio every chance we could. When you say 'rocker' ..what were the groups/performers you were listening to? Do you still listen to them?

In retrospect, one thing about the Beatles that I now appreciate, was that their music, at least in our house, crossed generational lines. My mother really liked the beatles and other rock and roll music and it was nice to share that interest. Of course, she chose her own style of music if she had a choice, but it was nice that she could also appreciate mine. I am able to enjoy most of the music my kids listen to and they seem to be able to appreciate some of the music from the past that we enjoyed growing up. As a matter of fact, the night we trimmed the tree last week, my daughter was just saying that the Bing Crosby Christmas album is her favorite Christmas album and she looks forward to it every year. It was such a treat for me to hear her say that, since I can't remember a Christmas that we haven't had that album playing. My Dad played it over and over again every year when we were kids.

I got a good laugh out of you changing the color paint in your dining room 3 times in the past 2.5 years. I can tell you have a lot of energy martie! What I like about that though, is that you are thinking out of the box. :-)

gardenbug....June gives you all awhile to get ready for the new member of the family. I bet it will go by fast. Really nice photo of your daughter and her family. Were you taking the photo? By the way the trees in the background are framing the shot, it looks like a gardener took it. :-)

I think I saw some gorgeous bird photos on the last thread, so maybe those were Deanna's. You're right, knowing someone who put together something personally is much more special.

Your dog Charlotte looks very content. Second photo for the dog calendar! :-) Is that your property in the second photo? I was just imagining how much room Charlotte would have to explore.

'bug...your mentioning 'Golden Slumbers' again, reminded me of another good lullabye...Billy Joel has one that was out quite awhile ago...I will have to look up the title for you. :-)

Hope you're feeling better Michelle. Yes, that Anne Geddes certainly found her niche. I found a photo of 4 babies in bed with santa hats on and downloaded it for a desktop background. It is SO cute!

Wendy...sorry to hear you have the winter moths too. We won't really be able to spray the whole trees ourselves either. I was considering checking with some professionals after the holidays and getting some estimates. If it is too expensive, I may just try to do as much as we can reach ourselves, to at least reduce the amount on the trees. I haven't seen too many moths but I didn't last year either and there were tons in the spring. :-( actually can sew clothes, wow. I think you are a dying I have the impression that not too many people have that skill any more. I hope you will find someone to pass that on to.

Gee chelone, what HAVE you been posting, that marian has to mutter about? [g] Hmmmm.... ;-)

    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 1:30PM
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Hi All, Busy making candy here today. Brad was playing with Bella while I was making fudge and I got some pictures. Her first guitar lesson, actually it's a baritone uke, but she was doing well by the end, and could do a pretty nice string pluck...

Not quite correct...

Now she's getting the hang of it...

The "teacher" demonstrates...

Maybe I should dig out the 3/4 size violin next, lol.


    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 2:22PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh Eden! How sweet Brad and Bella are together! I can smell the fudge from here too!

I'm reminded of a similar combo:

Next we need to get DH & Brad together!

Cindy, I'm looking forward to your holiday right along with you. You need an assistant for the new year! Tell your boss I said so.

pm2, I'm also looking forward to favourite lullabies. I bet T has quite a few lined up by now! Learning them well enough to sing them easily, when the time is right, will be the trick. I think I could manage to sing to an infant, as long as no one else is listening. (Right Sue?)

Lists for the grocery store are completed. Tomorrow a legal appointment, picking up basement floor supplies, carol singing at the old mill with our French Club.... Then Saturday DS arrives. :-) So since folks are posting "son pics" lately, here's an old photo.

Woody has been baking up a storm I hear. What a gal!


    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 3:36PM
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Hi ho Idylls, I'm enjoying my Saturday afternoon 2 o'clock beer --one hour early and not Saturday-however every day is Saturday when you are on vacation , right? ;.) Todays selection is Full Sail pale ale from beautiful Hood River Oregon when the Hood River meets the mighty Columbia. This is my treat for myself before heading upstairs to clean two, yes two bathrooms-when completed I will have cleaned an awe-inspireing three bathrooms in just one day.

It has been raining steadily since about 9am today, sure glad I was smart enough to rake leaves and mow the lawn yesterday ! So after many many frosty nights and mornings in a row the temps are a bit warmer.

Cute pics Eden !

Hi Cindy !

PM2, we have music hereabouts too- I grew up exposed to all kinds. I pretty much turn off the TV when baseball season ends and the music plays in this house all day long,and all night , unless I'm watching a movie. Right now I have a San Francisco radio station on (streaming audio at for those inclined ! ) and later I will pop a six disc magazine into my CD player and put it on random.

The Billy Joel lullaby is called "Goodnight My Angel" from his River of Dreams cd.
My DS and DD are partial to the Nat King Cole Christmas album..

Well I better top off the brewskie and head up to bathroom-o-rama !

I'll check in later after I've inhaled numerous bleach fumes.

Kathy in the Napa Valley

    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 4:35PM
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So Marie, do you smell the chocolate or the peanutbutter? How neat that you have a similar picture of dh and dgs. Thanks for posting that. I can't help but think how much your ds looks like your dh everytime I see a picture of him. BTW, great idea! Bella will now be getting a pair of children's scissors in her stocking.

Cindy, I like your New Years resolution. And you do need an assistant!

Today's been candy making day. Here's an easy recipe I found over on the cooking forum that I tried out this afternoon. They could be addictive and it's easy too.

Sour Cream Walnuts
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups walnuts

Cook and stir sugars and sour cream to soft ball stage (240 degrees F on candy thermometer). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Add walnuts stirring gently till coated. Spread on pan to cool.

I still have truffles to make and another recipe I found on the cooking forum, Cream Cheese Brandy Cherry Balls. I'll let you know how that one turns out. Tomorrow will be cookie baking day.

Someone asked if the Beatles have any Christmas albums. We've never run across any but see the link below. We have a Christmas cd by Ringo that's one of Brad's favorites.

As for lullabies, I sing You Are My Sunshine, Red River Valley, Hush Little Baby and Winken, Blinken and Nod in a singsong voice among others to Bella. I'm glad she's the only one who hears me though. Brad's always sung to all of our kid's a lot and Bella's no exception.

I've got to get back to work. Still more candy making to go and I'm making Bella and I spaghetti for dinner.

Where is everybody anyways? Come out, come out where ever you are!


    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 5:08PM
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Kathy, I'd forgotten that Billy Joel lullaby. I used to play it on the piano all of the time and have the music for it around here somewhere still. I think he wrote that for his daughter when she was a baby if I remember correctly.


    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 5:10PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Eden...that Bella girl is one sweetheart! What an expression on her face. :-) What a wonderful age at Christmas time. What did she ask Santa for?

I did find that Ringo Christmas album at the library. ' I wanna be Santa Claus' is the title of the CD. I never heard of it. I am going to have to check it out. Yes, Billy Joel did write that song for his daughter. I loved it the minute I heard it. I did really enjoy some of the other tracks on that River of Dreams album too.

Thanks for the title Kathy. :-)
I don't think I have heard the King Cole Christmas Album, but his song 'Chestnuts Roasting...' has to be one of my all time favorites. One of my favorite Christmas songs this year is Opera of the Bells by Destiny's Child. It was on a collection of Christmas music and I had never heard it before. It is all done acappella.

Actually, I have so many favorites this I spent a few years not getting too excited about Christmas music, then last year I decided I just needed some new music. I searched the library data base and after Christmas was over I brought home a lot of albums that I had forgotten about and some new ones and made myself a couple of CDs of all my favorites. So this year I am back to enjoying Christmas music. Can you tell? [g]

Oh Kathy, I guess a safe guess is that you are a Dodgers fan? [g] that your son and husband? Gee you all are pretty good with the cameras. Handsome boys! I am a little confused though. If the bottom photo is your son, than maybe the top one is grandson and husband? If so, then your son in the bottom photo looks a LOT like the boy in the top photo.

Oh, btw, if singing lullabies is a challenge, I also made a tape of favorite lullabies that they could play. Even as they got older and took naps they would enjoy listening to those tapes and others.


    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 7:48PM
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Kathy , I could find you another ale if you want to clean two more bathrooms. LOL

Eden, cute pictures of Bella and Brad.

GB I remember the one of DGS and DH. Pricless too. And I am admiring that guitar strap. I think I could make one like that if I still have some leather lying around.
Nice Pic of DS too. I like the way the flowers are in the foreground and the mountain in the distance.

Hello to anyone who is only reading. I can hear the hustle and bustle out there in cyber space. If I had the groceries bought I wouldn't mind the rest.

My back threatened to go out today so I am not going to push things. If the floors don't get mopped so be it.


    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 8:24PM
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Taking a break here. Hi Norma, my back's really tired tonight too. For some reason standing in the kitchen a.k.a. cooking, always stresses my back. So what are you working on with your guitar?

Prairiemoon, that's a great idea to make a cd of favorite lullabies. I wish I'd thought of it when Bella was smaller. These days, she isn't much of a cuddler. She does sit on my lap and we read and then watch Jeopardy everynight before bed. It comes on at 7:30 and she goes to bed at 8. We've done that since she was a tiny baby. I look forward to that quiet time myself! Yep, that's the name of the Ringo cd. My favorite song on it is his rendition of Little Drummer Boy. My new Christmas cds this year are new ones by James Taylor and Wynonna Judd.

Hey Babs, how'd Chris's interview go?

I'm hoping Megan is here in the next few minutes to collect Bella so I can go to bed. I'm really beat tonight.


    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 9:02PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Hi Idylls! Hey, is anyone else having troubles logging in here? It says there are configuration problems? Anyway, if you don't see me posting again soon, you'll know why.

So, I got a bit distracted by cookie baking and emergency phone calls from my BF Anitas daughter who is going through a bit of a slump right now and needed an ear.

I made enough cookies so that DH could bring some to work with enough left to pack 2 smaller tins (one for my nephew and one for my brother) and one *big* tin for my son!;-) Ill give some to mom and DS too, but not too many as sis is trying to lose weight and moms not supposed to be eating too many sweets.

I "invented" a cookie to try this year (not really, Im sure theres a recipe out there for them) but anyway, I had this idea that dried cranberries (the kind for snacking), white chocolate, a little oatmeal, and a little cinnamon might make for a good cookie and it did! :-) Next time Ill make them a bit thinner, use just a hair less white chocolate and add some sliced almonds. DSs favorites are my moms recipe for Oatmeal Raisin cookies so I made an extra batch of those; and then everyones favorite, chocolate chips. Nothing fancy and not too much. I didnt want to have any *extra* here to tempt me.

Eden that walnut recipe sounds delicious...I may have to give that a try...even though I said no sweets here! Also wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your Christmas pics. Love the newspaper icicles and would *love* a peek at your Whoville sometime! :-) I really loved that movie when I was young, but always felt so bad for the poor little puppy! Saturday night? (I think it was Saturday night) I had a double header of some of my favorite Christmas movies; Its a Wonderful Life (I know Im a sucker)! I have watched that movie every year since I was a child and I never cease to find things I didnt see before or have thoughts to ponder in the wisdom of it all. They nearly ruined that movie showing it so much though, so Im glad they are only showing it once a year and the full *un-cut* version. Speaking of which, Eden, did you notice that Uncle Billy had quite a menagerie of pets?...even a squirrel! :-) Paul knows how much I love that movie, so when hes in a teasing mood hell say to what do you want Eileen? Do you want the moon...Just say the word and Ill thow a lasso around it...LOL! Yea, he knows how to get a smile out of me! :-) Another favorite saying..."Teacher says that every time a bell rings an angel gets her wings." Yep, I have had a bell hanging from my Christmas tree every year since Ive been married! :-) I know, I know. Anyway, back to what I watched on Saturday. I also saw another *must* see Christmas movie...A Charlie Brown Christmas. I *love* Charles Schultz, seems like he must have been a wonderful man (if he wasnt - please dont tell me...LOL). He reminds me a bit of my favorite writer, E.B. White...the kind of men you wished were your grandpas! :-) I wont state my favorite quote from A Charlie Brown Christmas because Im sure you all know it, the one where Linus tells Charlie Brown the meaning of Christmas...its a moment that always "gets to me". The only other "must see" that I havent seen yet this season is White Christmas....thats family tradition and the family always gets a kick out of having me and my sister sing "Sisters...Sisters"! Uh, yes, my family *is* hard up for entertainment...LOL!

Here we go:

Sisters, sisters
There were never such devoted sisters
Never had to have a chaperone, no sir
I'm here to keep my eye on her

Caring, sharing
Every little thing that we are wearing
When a certain gentleman arrived from Rome
She wore the dress and I stayed home

All kinds of weather we stick together
The same in the rain or sun
Two different faces but in tight places
We think and we act as one, ha-ha-ha-ha

Those who've seen us
Know that not a thing can come between us
Many men have tried to split us up but no one can
Lord help the mister who comes between me and my sister
And Lord help the sister who comes between me and my man

Kathy I absolutely *love* your Christmas tree! It is the Christmas tree of my memories (real or imagined) probably imagined...I dont think I ever had a Christmas tree that beautiful. There is something very warm and magical about your tree. It is everything I think a Christmas tree should be (though Ive never seemed able to capture it myself...LOL)! I *love* all the ornaments and the color and that bit of old fashioned flavor to it...just lovely! :-) Next year I think I will be looking for the tall narrow trees too! Thanks about Scout. Yes, I think Shelties are hard-wired to be obedient. I really dont think I taught this dog anything...he came that way...LOL! Thats probably a good thing, since Ive never been very good about being assertive. He just does whatever is asked...well, except for the barking...that can be a problem. Luckily, he doesnt seem to have quite the tendency for barking as my old Sheltie; Willie did.

Speaking of trees, hope Babs will pop in and tell me all about the Canaan Fir? Ive never heard of it, but like the idea of a tree that holds its fragrance and needles and hopefully? is less expensive than the Douglas Fir. Is it easy to find? Is it a local tree? Hope everything went well with Chris's interview.

Speaking of Drema...I thought I would show you this....

I have *4* of Dremas Bipolar ByGolly that took! :-) pics are horrible (a combination of my lack of photography skills and weakness in the houseplant dept.). But take my word for it; this is a very special coleus! Of course they are mere shadows of Dremas plant since they are growing in the low light of my window right now....but at least they are alive. For those who havent seen Dremas Bipolor...I just love that "flocked" look that her specimen had (they are much more flocked than they look here) and such pretty color too. Maybe Drema will stop by and show you guys a picture of what they are *suppose* to look like. Anyway, Im just thrilled that they are alive and they already have a planned home in three of my low containers, combined with the *gorgeous* purple colored geraniums that Michelle shared with me last year. BTW...thanks Michelle the geraniums are doing just great. I have 3 of them going and plan to double that by spring! :-) I also plan to add some Parrots Beak and purple ornamental cabbage to those containers. Anyway, I think the containers will be a winning combination...cant wait!

T I loved your are such a sweetheart! Glad that Jamie got his wish! :-) Your family is growing by leaps and bounds fun. Maybe there will still be granddaughters in the future too but as you say, the only thing that really matters is that they are healthy. I too, have been following along about Mr. Kim and the guys at Mount Hood...its so sad. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by it and will not share something I heard the other day in the news, its just too distressing and dont want to put you guys in that dark spot with me. But wish I could put it out of my head. I couldnt sleep last night for thinking about it.

Well, seeing Bella playing guitar with Grandpa and Bugs DGS with Grandpa sure goes a long way in helping me find the light. Yes, there are many things that *are* right with the world and many things to rejoice and be grateful for. BTW Bug, what a cool pic of DS. What beautiful country! Where was he? Scouts heart was pounding out of his chest when he saw Ms. Charlotte! :-) Scout would like some snow for Christmas too. In fact he is definitely a winter dog, not a summer dog.

Lullaby songs...Well, luckily my son (nor any of his friends I dont think) will ever come to this website, so Ill tell you *our* favorite lullaby that I sang to him every night before he went to bed. I made it up...LOL and I cant even tell you the tune (since its just in my head and I cant read or write music) but here goes....

Whos the cutest boy I know?.... PAULY, PAULY...

Whos the smartest boy I know?....PAULY, PAULY

Whos the sweetest boy I know?

Everybody loves him

SO, SO, Pauly, Paulys, MY boy!

Other than that, he also always loved hearing:

Not really a lullaby, but a soft, gentle, sleepy time song...

Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser
originally from the movie "Hans Christian Andersen," starring Danny Kaye
sung on "The Muppet Show" by Charles Aznavour

Two and two are four
Four and four are eight
Thats all you have on your business-like mind
Two and two are four
Four and four are eight
How can you be so blind

sung in counterpoint:

Two and two are four
Four and four are eight
Eight and eight are sixteen
Sixteen and sixteen are thirty-two

Inchworm, inchworm
Measuring the marigolds
You and your arithmetic
Youll probably go far

Inchworm, inchworm
Measuring the marigolds
Seems to me youd stop and see
How beautiful they are

(Irving Berlin)
© '57 Irving Berlin Music, ASCAP

When I'm worried and I can't sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings

When my bankroll's gettin' small
I think of when I had none at all
And I fall asleep counting my blessings

I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
And one by one I count them as they slumber in their beds

If you're worried and you can't sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings
[ strings ]
So if you're worried and you can't sleep...

Oh, and not really a lullaby, but a childs song that I have to post in memory of EP. I remember when I posted it for her, she really got a kick out of it because it was a song she use to sing to her children and grandchildren and was so happy to have all the words....

If you go out in the woods today
You're sure of a big surprise.
If you go out in the woods today
You'd better go in disguise.

For every bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic.

Picnic time for teddy bears,
The little teddy bears are having a lovely time today.
Watch them, catch them unawares,
And see them picnic on their holiday.
See them gaily dance about.
They love to play and shout.
And never have any cares.
At six o'clock their mommies and daddies
Will take them home to bed
Because they're tired little teddy bears.

If you go out in the woods today,
You'd better not go alone.
It's lovely out in the woods today,
But safer to stay at home.

For every bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic


Every teddy bear, that's been good
Is sure of a treat today
There's lots of wonderful things to eat
And wonderful games to play

Beneath the trees, where nobody sees
They'll hide and seek as long as they please
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic

Prairie Moon I loved the calendars...and got a big hoot out of the windowbox...very clever! Sounds like we had a similar background growing up. My dad was a big fan of Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, and Bing Crosby too. He was also a big fan of jazz, like Getz/Gilberto. My mom (though not Italian in the least French & German actually) *loved* all the old Italian songs and listened to Connie Francis a lot. Us kids are very spread out in age; I have a brother who is 15 years older than me, a cousin who lived with us who was about 12 years older than me, then my sister was about 10 years older than me, then my other cousin was about 4 years older then me and then me and my brother. Everyone in the house loved music and there was never a time when there wasnt a record player/stereo playing. Because of the big age spread there was quite a diversity in music too....great memories!

Hi Cindy! Good to see you and so glad youre going to have a little vacation time...good for deserve it!

Hi Wendy...good to see you too! Oh dear...cursive writing...that was something my son *always* struggled with...he hated writing and was so relieved when he got into highschool and they accepted computer generated papers. He still writes horribly...he would have made a first rate doctor...LOL!

Woody...seems you have a lot of votes for that plum color Chelone suggested. Good point from Sue about *what* blooms in spring near the shed. Maybe you want to copy a flower color from that area that blooms in spring.

Michelle sorry to hear about the does seem to be going around. I have felt a bit "queasy" all day today myself. I love Edens Velveteen Rabbit too. I have the book (it was my sons) mostly because I just think the pictures are so absolutely beautiful! :-) Interesting all of you talking about the Solstice. The Chicago Tribunes Sunday edition had a nice article on the Solstice...very well it from beginning to finish. Thats unusual for me...I dont really read the newspaper much. I wonder if V saw the article and whether she enjoyed it too.

Chelone...Im with Prairie Moon Im afraid, dont know how to do any sewing, except stitching, hemming, etc. and sure do envy you....what a wonderful skill! Im afraid I have very few *useful* skills...LOL! Your DH is very lucky. How many people in the world get a shirt, tailor made for them? Was thinking, Id love to see your towns "cast of characters". I bet its a very charming town. We loved the east when we made a little trip out there a couple of years ago...just beautiful *and* charming!

Okay, well, I best be going, time to get dinner on the table, DH should be here any minute. I will leave you with another pretty Beatle song Ive always enjoyed...

Hmm...Im full of songs tonight...LOL! Have a wonderful night all!

The Beatles - Here, there and everywhere

To lead a better life I need my home to be here...
Here, making each day of the year
Changing my life with the wave of her hand
Nobody can deny that there's something there

There, running my hands through her hair
Both of us thinking how good it can be
Someone is speaking but she doesn't know he's there
I want her everywhere and if she's beside me
I know I need never care
But to love her is to need her everywhere

Knowing that love is to share
Each one believing that love never dies
Watching her eyes and hoping I'm always there

I want her everywhere and if she's beside me
I know I need never care
But to love her is to need her everywhere

Knowing that love is to share
Each one believing that love never dies
Watching her eyes and hoping I'm always there
To be there and everywhere
Here, there and everywhere

    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 9:40PM
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Eden, I've spent a lot of time this last week trying to speed up on switching chords. I don't do bad playing the melodies but the arthritis in my index and middle finger slow me down on the chords.

Heres a laugh. Rebel has been coming in the house some since cold weather. He is usually in another room when I play guitar. I noticed he quit wanting in as much. Then yesterday when I started practicing he seemed a little ancy and when I started to sing he wanted to go outside. Now I know I'm not a good singer, but is it that bad? LOL,LOL
I got to thinking about it and came to the conclusion (maybe) he is just not used to me being anything other than quite since when no one else is here (which is a lot) I hardly ever say anything more than good boy or lets go or some such. Maybe he thinks I'm upset or something. LOL
Probaly its the lousy singing though. Jasmine seems to like it. She curls up on the bed or rubs up against the guitar. But then again I sometimes think she must be deaf when she gets yowly. LOL

Off to bed . Norma

    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 9:53PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Hi Norma!

I just realized how late my post is...I started it before dinner...we ate hours ago. I was having so much trouble logging in here...still am.

Anyway, you crack me up! LOL! I don't think it has anything to do with your guitar playing and singing though...I would love to hear you play! Well, at least Rebel wasn't howling! :-)

Good Night All! Ei

    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 10:09PM
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Hi all -I have returned in triumph from my bathroom cleaning expedition ..thanks but no thanks Norma ! I've switched to wine now ! LOL..
I was cleaning the guest room and changeing sheets when I realized that one of the beds was two matresses instead of a matress and box spring. Saggy as hell. DS offered to excange his box spring for the extra matress, so all is well. we did a switcheroo and put his two matresses directly on the floor so they don't sag. We need new matresses bad around here, mine is 30 years old. I love sleeping in a nice hotel !

Came downstairs again and am now baking cookies- DS made a batch of shortbread cookies , and I am now making snickerdooldles.

Ei , thanks so much for the nice comments on my Christmas Tree. : ) I just love those plain old colored glass balls and have a ridiculous amount of them. I keep buying more when they go on 50% off !
And wow, do you know all those lyrics by heart ?? I was singing along with your post.. I still laugh at Bing and Danny doing "Sisters" even though I've seen it about 500 times !

PM2, yes a Dodgers fan all the way. I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I have a satellite baseball package that gives me about 60 games a weeks ( don't watch that many, but there are lot's to choose from and I never have to se commercials 'cause I can just switch to another game.But it is cool to be able to see so many Dodger games since I live now in Giants territory, an hour from San Francisco.

Time to go have some soup and bake more cookies. Tommorow the company comes ! Hi to everyone ..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 10:31PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

pm2, sorry to confuse you. The first photo is of DGS and DH in Alberta where our daughter lives. DGS is in fact not a blood relative, but her DH's son by a previous marriage, so any similarities are coincidental. DGS really is adorable, so all compliments greatfully accepted! The wedding scene was in Alberta at her FIL's place, so the ceremony took place right beside those trees.

Norma, the guitar belongs to our daughter and the leather strap was a gift made by a girlfriend of hers. Pretty neat! I'm sure you'd have fun designing one too. Perhaps the web has different designs?

Eden, it was definitely the chocolate I smelled, LOL!

CHELONE! One experimental bootie completed! Hey, that was fun too! If I get two that match, I'll show you in a photo.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 11:08PM
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Happy Friday!!! Celebrated the Solstice without burning the house down. 15yo neighbor came to join me with a few of her friends who I think were expecting fire and brimstone. They must've been sorely disappointed. LOL

Last of the Holiday preparations are done. It'll be really strange just having 5 tops for dinner. We are, though, all congregating at my sister's log cabin for Sunday afternoon and a full brunch/lunch/sugar circus. She is an awesome baker and I have trouble remembering to measure, so cookies are her realm. I bring dips and this year the star will be garlic and maple.

Kathy -- We need to send you out some Sam Adams. It is brewery in Boston that has exploded in popularity for good reason. The one beer I have each year is a Sam Adams Summer Ale. Yes, it's that good. Since you have the west coast's plain ball inventory depleted, I'll know to stay east. Poor DS just shook his head last night when I pulled out the new stuff that I just have to use or it will be a waste. Right? DS suggests that we not chop off 2' next year so there will be enough room for ornaments.

Cindy -- Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

Eden - Ya!! You get Bella going early with music and it will be second nature to her. All of us could play simple piano tunes and read music by the time we were six and to this day it comes in handy. I can't sing for beans but my family can and they are loud so my voice doesn't matter.

Ei: You just saved me a ton of time. My girlfriend's wedding anniversary is Dec 24 and I wanted the "Here There and Everywhere" lyrics for her card. Thank you!

Chelone: You never cease to amaze me. 4.5 hours for a shirt!!! You go, girlfriend.

Everyone else: Have loved reading this morning and wish I had time to respond to everyone. You're all in my good thoughts!

Today is a schlep day. Jeans, too, which never happens for business. Get to visit two holiday lunches today. One is a BBQ. How cool is that?

Let Heaven and Nature Sing!


    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 7:20AM
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Good Morning, Getting an early start today getting Bud to the groomer by 8am. Just heard on the radio NO SNOW for the forecasted future. I'm dreaming of a green Christmas and loving it! And it is green out there with all of the rain we've gotten. We have light rain for today and 53F and then clearing up for the weekend. Perfect Christmas weather in my book. On todays agenda, jam thumbprints, shortbread, laundry, Bella and cleaning the bathroom. I won't mind doing any of it but maybe the last one just a little. My mom and dad will be down either this afternoon or tomorrow morning too. I'm having a busy but happy holiday!

Marie, I can't wait to see the booties. There's nothing cuter than baby booties (except the chubby little feet they'll be keeping cozy)! Did you get the tree up and decorated?

Martie, maybe stretch pants instead of jeans with all of the food you'll be eating today, lol? We drink Sam Adams!

Kathy, enjoy your company. I love your tree too!

Ei, the walnuts are good! My favorite is White Christmas and I like "Sisters" too. Especially when the guys sing it.

Michelle, are you feeling better? Hope so!

Time to take Bud for his appointment. Hope some other Idyllers stop in here today to say Happy Holidays. I think it's safe... :)


    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 7:42AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Drive by here. I've had a hellacious week at work. So much so that I'm thinking about tossing a resume together but that's a story for another time.

Much merriment going on here today. Our town men's garden club put together one of those full monty like calendars for 2007 and I bought one as a gift for one of my co-workers. So far it's been the hit of the office-the best $$$ I spent on a gift so far. She got to Mr. December and yelled out, "I go to the gym with this guy!" When our IT manager looked at it, he got to December and yelled, "I just bought this guy's house." LOLOL!

Happy Friday!


    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 9:53AM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

((((Sue)))) anyone would be happy to hire you. Too bad things have been tough at work. It must mean your bosses are too short sighted to see a good worker when they have one, and to act on it by taking care of you. I hope you have a lovely holiday and find you've got a big raise and an assistant when and if you go back to that place to work. Not that they deserve you! Maybe you should branch out on your own. I'm sure you'd be a smashing success.


    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 2:14PM
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Hi everyone

Happy Solstice, Happy Friday, Happy 3 days before Christmas to you all!

It's been crazy busy here but work is done for the year - Yay! presents purchased and mostly wrapped, teacher's gifts dispatched, fudge made and packaged, decorations up, house sortof cleaned and several evenings of fun partaken. Missed out on any drunken debauchery but the season is still young.

T - that is the most amazing, fantastic news!!!

Eden - the pictures with Bella are just precious. I love Brad and her together with the guitar. The joy she brings is evident in all.

Babs - spill the beans when you can about Chris' interview. I'm sure they loved him to bits.

Sue - that calendar sounds way too funny. Doubly so when you know the models! Did you see Calendar Girls with Helen Mirrim?

Everyone else, I've loved reading your news but I'm dead tired and still have to cook dinner and finish holiday cards. Cyber waves instead to you all.

I'll peek in as time allows.


    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 5:33PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 6:20PM
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Sue to funny about the calendar. Get some rest.

Marie they look very matching to me. Add me to the expecting grandmothers but mine will be a Great Grandchild.

Hi Yeona and Mary and Martie Cindy and all other busy Idylls.

Look what I found blooning under the lights this morning.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 6:58PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good evening...

Cindy..hello from the newbie. :-)

Eden...we have always enjoyed Jeopardy here too. I used to enjoy the Judds when they were together. 'Rockin' With the Rhythm of the Rain' was one of my favorites. I guess I haven't listened to Wynonna much since she went on her own. Although I did hear her do Elvis on a special and she was pretty good at it.

Ei....I heard on the morning show that 'It's a Wonderful Life' was voted the #1 most inspirational movie of all time. I agree they did show it too much and I had to skip it for awhile.
White Christmas...another annual tradition for me too.

You will have to tell me sometime how you are having success with the coleus. I did manage to keep one alive over the winter the year before last, but last year, I made it through the whole winter and then lost it in March just before it was going out again. I didn't even bring any in this winter. I had too many plants to bring in anyway. [g]

I haven't heard that 'Count My Blessings Instead of Sheep' song in years. If I remember right, it was Bing Crosby who did it.

We do have some commonalities Norma. Tony Bennett too..'I left my heart in San Francisco' . :-)
No one was an out and out jazz fan, but we did enjoy what I consider 'jazzy' singers... Ella Fitzgerald? I am always pulled toward someone like Anita Baker or Natalie Cole which I think of again as 'jazzy'. My Mom also was not Italian, but knew a little Italian and had some of the funny expressions down, would enjoy Dean Martin's songs in Italian, Rosemary Clooney singing 'Mambo Italiano' I also had much older siblings and then one brother that was close in age to me.
Funny. :-)

I love that 'Beatles' song! I don't know who started the Beatles theme, but I hadn't listened to them in ages. As a matter of fact when I went to play some, I discovered I didn't even have one Beatle song on the computer. Luckily I had a CD in the house and listened to the whole album the other day. Really enjoyed it. :-)

Kathy...Boston area...Red Sox country here. :-) I am not a devoted fan, but our kids don't miss a game. I don't follow all the teams so I asked my son about the Dodgers. According to him, you have a very good team there and also have some players now that used to be on the Red Sox. I will have to pay attention the next time the Red Sox play the Dodgers. :-)

gardenbug,,,,My eyesight is not what it used to be. I didn't recognize your grandson in the photo with your husband as the same boy in the wedding day photo of your daughter and family. He really is very cute and so is your son. :-)

Sue, I got a good laugh out of your post this morning. Too funny!

Hello Mary and Happy Sostice to you too!

' are fast on the booties! Too small for a Christmas stocking this year. [g]

Healthy Happy Hibiscus ...and the color of the season Norma. :-)

I've had this photo on my desktop for two days and it brings a smile to my face every time I open the computer, so I thought I would share it.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 7:08PM
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Hi again

Norma - beautiful card and congratulations on your upcoming Great-Grandchild! I'd love to hear you sing and play the guitar - I promise I wouldn't ask to go outside!

Bug - just love the booties.

Prairiemoon - that makes me smile too. My DH knows Anne Geddes and has spent time with her on photo shoots. He was in Las Vegas while photographing her book Miracle with Celine Dion. I enjoyed hearing about the room where there were 30 newborn babies, asleep with their mothers, waiting to be brought out and onto the set. Anne Geddes is quite unique!

Clousseua by the way is a Brittany spaniel, much loved by the family but a shameless bin-diver when on his own.

Eden - those sour-cream walnuts sound soooooo good. I'll be trying them this weekend.

Kathy - my DH is from Los Angeles too - he grew up in the valley.


    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 8:10PM
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I'm so tired tonight I almost feel ill. Christmas preparations and taking care of a toddler, both at the same time, have me sooooo tired out. Tomorrow I have a lot to finish up, thank goodness Jennifer is taking Bella, Megan has to work. I need to finish straightening up the house and have a couple more cookie recipes I want to try. I'll be sending Brad to the grocery store for the Christmas Eve dinner ingredients in the morning.

Marie, what a cute little pair of baby booties. They look like a little boy. Do we know what the baby is, boy or girl?

Norma, congratulations! Will this be your first great grandchild? What a pretty Christmas hibiscus! Try saying that 3 times fast, lol.

Mary, how cool that your dh knows Ann Geddes. I've always wondered about what all goes on while setting up all those babies in her photos. You'll like the walnuts!

Prairiemoon, I brought in too many plants too and they're suffering for it. There just aren't enough hours in the day for me to give them the care I'd like to. I just pray they hang on until I can get them back outside in the spring.

Sue, too bad you can't post any of the calendar pics here, lol. I don't remember your work being this hectic in the past. I seems like you've been really busy for a while now. Will you get any time off over the holidays?

Hi Deanne. Thinking of you.

T, did you survive the twins the last couple of days? Bet you're tired too!

Babs? Saucy? Taryn?

I still have to gather up and take out the trash and fold a load of laundry and then it's the couch and some mindless tv for me until Megan gets here to pick up Bella. That will probably not be until around 11pm.


    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 9:15PM
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Good morning from rhino-virus land. Nothing like a cold for Christmas; the hand washing regimen has been stepped up in frequency and I'm crossing my fingers Mum doesn't catch it. (That's just what I need for the remaining week I'm off).

I have some last minute things to do today (wrapping and some cleaning), but as I said, we don't "get our knickers" in a twist over any holiday. It will be a good day for it, the rain is pounding on the roof and even Rex won't be much interested in "walkies" today.

BOOTIES! they look great, 'bug... and I like the soft grey. Accessorize with pink or blue ribbons should you decide to veer down "Sappy Lane" for a bit. :)

Mercy! but the Idyll brood is increasing; the pictures of Bella are priceless; now, where's Kenzie, and T.'s "little old men" (lol)?

I've been wondering about Chris's interview, too. I'm sure Nurse Ratchet will drop in soon and give us all the details.

Also wondering about the whereabouts and well-being of Taryn, Saucy, and others on sabbatical. I have to go back and reread more carefully (not much time for that right now). I had lots to share, but have lost most of it. So, I'm off to the kitchen to clean up there, and get the laundry started. Nothing like hot soapy water to remind you of what you've forgotten.

The ALL TIME BEST Christmas album is "Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas", the Frank de Vol Orchestra backs up the greatest jazz singer of all time. (Frank de Vol performed many TV theme songs, notably the theme from "Family Affair"). Ella's voice and her command of whatever material she was performing is truly awe inspiring. She could do it flawlessly in the studio, but the real mark of a "pro" is that she was able to do it night after night, LIVE and on the road. The consummate professional!

    Bookmark   December 23, 2006 at 7:51AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Good Morning Idylls!

I just wanted to tell Norma Congratulations! Thats exciting news. But, you seem too young to be a Great Grandma! Is this the first Great Grandchild? Beautiful neat to have something blooming in the house now.

I am still having problems logging on here. I probably shouldnt even being posting here right now. When I try to log on I get a message that "This websites Certificate is not valid??? and/or that there are configuration problems". I dont know if its a problem with them or with my computer (probably my computer, since no one else seems to be having a problem). I know my "security" is pretty high and I have had problems with my virus software before, so Im going to have to see if I can figure out the problem. Until I can figure it out, you probably wont see any posts from me and just wanted you to know that so that no one would be wondering what happened to me. You guys will probably be glad to have me shut me up anyway...LOL! I *know* I talk too much! :-(

Oh and also wanted to tell Martie...I think that's neat that your putting the lyrics to a song in your friend's anniversary card. What a clever idea...why didn't I ever think of that?!

Sue sorry work has been such a drag lately. You have always come across to me as very competent person and a go-getter and have a great rapport with your co-workers and boss, so I know it will all work out. In any case, they *are* lucky to have you and as Yeona states "you would be a smashing success at anything you do."

Bug the booties *are* adorable! :-)

I've missed Taryn too and wish her and her family a wonderful 1st Christmas in their new home...

Hi Babs! :-) Hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season and hope all went well with Chris.

In the meantime, I just want to wish everyone A Beautiful Holiday Season and a New Year of Peace and Happiness....

And one more "Anniversary" song for Martie....for future use....LOL! Actually, it's a very sneak way for me to post another song I've always loved.

I am a sucker for a cappella music. A well harmonized song can lift my spirits every time and make me feel like singing out loud. Maybe that is why (among the many styles of song I love) I *do* enjoy soul and do-wop too...its just the harmony and beautifully matched voices that just gets to me. Billy Joel is good at a cappella too. In fact, I honestly *thought* this song was also sung by Billy Joel, but couldnt find it in his credits.

Anyway, this song was originally sung by The Thymes and they sung it beautifully (back in the 1960s) I think. Its called "So Much In Love". I also love the version sung a few years back by All 4 one.

Anyway, I've been enjoying my old Soul Street Christmas Album, along with Bing Crobys Christmas Through The Years, Vince Guaraldi Trio, Aaron Neville's Soulful Christmas, December & Winter into Spring by George Winston and Twas the Night Before Christmas with Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians (highly recommended...though you may have a hard time finding it - it's *very* old).

Oh and one more bit of childrens music recommendations for bug. Bug, if you can find it look for Anne Murray's There's a Hippo in my Tub. The *best* children's album ever put together. My son's (and my) favorite as a child and includes songs like Animal Crackers in my Soup; Hi-Lili Hi Lo, Teddy Bear Picnic, Inch Worm, and a wonderful Lullaby Medley.'s the song and me signing off....

So much in love
As we stroll along together
Holding hands, walking all alone
So in love are we two
That we don't know what to do
So in love (doo, so in love)
In a world of our own (doo, so in love)
As we stroll by the sea together
Under stars twinkling high above
So in love are we two
No one else but me and you
So in love (doo, so in love)
So much in love (doo, so in love)
So in love (doo, so in love)
So much in love (doo, so in love)
We stroll along together
I tell you I need you oh so much
I love, love you my darling
Can you tell it in my touch?
When we walk down the aisle together
We will vow to be together till we die
So much love have we two
Just can't wait to say "I do"
So in love (doo, so in love)
Are you and I (doo, you and I)
So in love (doo, so in love)
Are you and I (doo, you and I)
So in love (doo, so in love)
Are you and I (doo, you and I)

Okay, and one more pretty Beatle's Song:

The Beatles - And I love her
Album: A Hard Day's Night
Year 1964

I give her all my love
That's all I do
And if you saw my love
You'd love her to
I love her
She gives my everything
And tenderly
The kiss my lover brings
She brings to me
And I love her
A love like ours
Could never die
As long as I
Have you near me
Bright are the stars that shine
Dark is the sky
I know this love of mine
will never die
And I love her
Bright are the stars that shine
Dark is the sky
I know this love of mine
will never die
And I love her, ooh

See...I told you guys will be relieved to have me shut up!

    Bookmark   December 23, 2006 at 9:58AM
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Merry Christmas Eve-Eve, lol! Just finishing up some baking here. I really went crazy with that this year. I'll take a picture of the spread when I get it all finished for you all to share with me. My mom and dad should be down early this afternoon. Mom's feeling so much better, her last chemo treatment was before Thanksgiving and it's been good to hear her talk about being out shopping and going out and visiting with friends. She's seems back to her old self. She's always loved Christmas and always made it really special for my sisters and I and then the grandkids too.

Ei, I've seen where other's have been getting that security alert, something about GW having to renew a license or something, but I think it's been resolved now?? I don't really know what I'm talking about here...

Chelone, I think Christmas is more low key when there aren't children involved. I know it was a big deal when my kids were little and then not so much the last few years and now it is again with Bella here. Bummer about the cold, hope it goes away quickly! I have that Ella F Christmas cd and like it a lot too.

I got Bella a couple of new cds by Jim Weiss. They're not lullabies, but are made for listening to at bedtime. He talks in a soothing voice about all kinds of things. They're very neat.

Got to run as always :) Have a good one! Eden

    Bookmark   December 23, 2006 at 10:16AM
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Im finally feeling better. I went to work yesterday, but only because it was absolutely necessary. I prepare the billing files and then transmit them over the internet to a company that prints and mails them and I was already a day late.

Tonight is our Christmas with Ricks kids and grandkids at our house. I think all the gifts are wrapped. Ive prepared my favorite casserole called Tearoom chicken casserole. Theres also pulled beef sandwiches for those who dont care for the wild rice, mushrooms, and water chestnuts that are in the casserole. The rest will be appetizers.

We have no snow, but have had rain and freezing rain. With temps in the 40s the ice is dropping off the trees. A little snow is predicted for Christmas Eve. A very strange December for us, but I dont mind the lack of snow.

The CD that is playing is Vince Gills Breath of Heaven DH got a high def flat panel TV for Christmas. Probably not my top pick, but he doesnt ask for much. It does have great sound and works good for playing music on.

I had to add the Ann Gedes picture as my desktop today it is adorable. How cool Marys DH knows her.

Norma, congratulations on the great grandchild. How many grandchildren do you have? Thanks also for the lovely Christmas hibiscus.

bug, what a great picture of your son. The scenery is lovely, especially with the wildflowers. With all your knitting, Im getting the bug. (Pun intended) I found a cute pattern of a little purse with a little dolly inside. Somehow it makes into a little cradle. I dont know if I remember enough about crocheting to do it or not. Im assuming that it will come back to me.

Eden, the Brad & Bella pictures are adorable. You guys are the most fun grandparents.

Id like to see some pictures of Taryns new house decked out for Christmas.

LOL, I think I missed how Babs went from Martha to Nurse Ratchet.

I know I havent commented on half, but I must get back to work. Guests arrive in less than 4 hours.

I love Christmas being on Monday. It gives the whole weekend before for preparation and celebrating. During the week is so much more hectic.

If I dont get back, I wish you all a wonderful Christmas. Hopefully, you all will get a chance to be with your loved ones.


    Bookmark   December 23, 2006 at 3:21PM
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I have completed the wrapping. However uninspired I was by the Christmas purchases, I've outdone myself with inspired wrapping! I used REAL ribbon (wired edges) and added some fake holly, pinecones, little "picks" for wreaths to the bows. The helpmeet came home for lunch today and was startled to see the complete "set up". "Jeez, my presents never look that nice when I wrap them... ". I assured him it was an XX "chromasomal" thing. :) The cats were immediately "on alert" when they spied the packages under the tree; approaching cautiously from behind the furniture. Could be a trap, you know.

I'm sure things are approaching frenzy in homes with "young uns". I remember the anticipation... not being able to sleep, watching the clock, and making a lot of noise in the bathroom before descending into, "Can we get up now?". I think 5 AM was about par for the course, and the 'rents were always great about it; never telling us to go back to bed. I expect lots of "action shots".

I sympathize with you, Sue, with regard to the work front. I love my work and my boss, but at this point in my life, I don't need more chaos. It's "got me thinking", too. Hang in there.

Michelle, I'm afraid it was I who rechristened Babs, Nurse Ratchet. She FINALLY told me about her job ;), and ministering and patching up the kids at school. Whenever I think of "nurses", I think of Nurse Ratchet from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"... (devilish laughter in the background).

I haven't even started an Amaryllis this year. And I just love them. Does anyone here remember the beautiful shot from Cynthia of her sun room with the Amaryllis in it? it was beautiful. I hope she graces us with a visit, too. :(

I haven't cleaned yet, don't feel like it, tomorrow is soon enough. Now it's time for some quality time on the couch ("I, Claudius").

    Bookmark   December 23, 2006 at 3:58PM
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No time to Idyll......I still don't have my tree up and decorated!!!!! Christmas cards? What are they??? I'm in a world of hurt here........caused by lack of energy, lack of motivation and good ole procrastination!!!

Hello to allllllllllllllllllllllllllll...............

On Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer & Vixen....on Comet, on Cupid, on Donner and Blitzen...........everyone help out this chubby lady get her Christmas ready................. ;o)

    Bookmark   December 23, 2006 at 4:31PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

We really are missing lots of friends here these days! I certainly understand why though. I'm lucky to only need to get things together by the 30th though.

Well tonight the tree is up and decorated. No lights for us, but balls, bells, birds, butterflies and bows. This year we have the Twelve days of Christmas in ornaments too. I'll share some of it to motivate poor T who has been too exhausted to begin. T just remember the gift of time and caring tops all the rest- and you shine in that department!!
I'll put some pictures on a separate thread.

Goodnight everyone. Sleep in heavenly peace.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2006 at 8:49PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Merry Christmas Eve Eve! As you know all the decorating has been done here for weeks. My holiday entertaining duties ended with the party last weekend so I've basically been a slug since. My latest project is planning a surprise 60th birthday party for Tom next month. I've reserved a restaurant in a nearby town for Saturday night, January 20th. Now if I can just get the invitations out without detection. T, I didn't do cards this year. I just never got around to it.

Unfortunately we had to go to a funeral today. Tom's boss lost his dad this week. We attended all the festivities from church to graveside service to lunch at a local restaurant. It killed the better part of the day but every so often there are some things you just have to do.

On the way home we stopped at the fish market to get the cocktail shrimp I'm bringing to Christmas dinner. What a freakin' zoo! It took a couple of passes to procure a parking spot. Tom went in and grabbed a number. He had 90 and they were waiting on 12. While he was standing there a guy with a couple of kids asked him what number he had then offered him 42 because the kids took an extra one by mistake. It probably saved us half an hour.

The good news is I was able to use my treadmill this afternoon for the first time in 12 days. At the beginning of the week my heel was in pretty bad shape. I could barely walk wihout a limp. Maybe it was the ibuprofen every 6 hours or the ice after work or the low shoes I wore all week...I don't know. On Wednesday night I had a pedicure and she did her usual foot/ankle massage. The next day the swelling was gone and I could walk normally again. Looks like my annual Christmas Eve walk will be a go tomorrow afternoon.

I got the official date for my Garden Conservancy open day...or at least I thought I did. One of the letters I got says Sunday September 16th and the one that came today says Saturday September 15th. Before I contact GC I'll drop Steve Silk a note and see if he got the same conflicting info since we're both open the same day.

Thanks to all for the work commiserations. I'll deal with it. Years of working in a male dominated environment have thickened my skin. Every so often I just get fed up with the old boys club-especially when people with lesser responsibility and company experience than me become more highly regarded. Patronize me when I make it an issue and I just lose it. My boss knows better.

Anyhoo, it's time for bed. Sweet dreams!


    Bookmark   December 23, 2006 at 10:26PM
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Hello Idylls

Love the card GB!

Just popping in on my way to bed. Preparations continue here though things are very relaxed. Tomorrow morning I'm getting up early to do the food shop. However, the fridge is clean and sparkly inside and out so it will be easy to put things away.

I felted the bag I'm knitting for my sister this afternoon and I love the fuzzy feel the matted fibers now have. It's drying over a box to shape the base - DH thought it was a giant tea cozy.

Good night all


    Bookmark   December 23, 2006 at 10:44PM
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Mary, maybe you will have time to take a picture of the felted bag to show us later?

Sue good to hear you are back on your foot and can resume your walks.

Ei, I hope the computer issues clear up so you can hang out here. So has the kitchen floor project started yet?
For those that asked this is our second great grandchild. The first one is eight years old already and came along much sooner than he should have. We have six grandchildren the four oldest being girls and fast becoming adults, the other two are Jake 13 and Wyatt soon to be 4. The new grandbaby will be in Florida so I won't get to see it much. Thank goodness for digital cameras and the internet.

Michelle, I'm glad you are feeling better. Not fun trying to get things done when you don't feel well.

Chelone sorry to hear you have a cold too. Did you get around to decorating the bookcases? Your present wrapping sounds lovely. I can never get inspired to do that.
I made a bunch of grab bag gifts in brown lunch bags tied shut with bits of colored ribbon. They contain simple things like pencils,candy gum, balloons, playing cards etc. Since Wyatt is getting a Disney bingo game I thought it would be fun for all to play with him and have a chance to win something.

Marian, thinking of you. I know you are probably just lurking for a few days. Hope you are feeling ok.

Eden, I am taking the easy way out with the baked goods this time. Looking forward to seeing pics of yours. I'm glad your mom is feeling good.

T, I finally pulled my little fiberoptic tree out of the box day before yesterday. I was in no mood to do it either but it does look a bit more seasonal now. Cards I don't do either.

Ok I should be in bed. We were out for a while tonight. And I didn't sleep at all well last night. Instead of one hurting hip I had two and could not find a comfortable way to sleep. Wound up in the recliner at 1:30 am.
So Merry Christmas eve eve to all and to all a goodnight.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2006 at 12:49AM
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T., I didn't send any Christmas cards, either. It's one more detail that always seems to slip by undetected. I sympathize with no energy/desire to get decorating. I had ZERO when I started (one more chore, you know), but the helpmeet works for a gardencenter and the "brush" for the windowboxes is free, as is the tree. I had to do SOMETHING with both when they arrived home one evening. It really nudged me outta my seasonal doldrums. I think the expectations that surround Christmastime can often overwhelm people; you do whatever feels right for you. :)

No, Norma, I haven't decorated the bookcases yet. I have the oasis down, though! I didn't feel like scouring the attic for a vessel of suitable scale... but it might be fun to do a couple of arrangements for tabletops and Mum's room today. I love the idea of the grab-bag prizes; wonderfully inventive and something that will add extra excitement to Disneyland bingo. :)

Another vote for a shot of the felted bag, Mary. My boss made me a lovely felted hat a couple of years ago (looks like a 1920s "cloche") that I just love. It's warm as toast and really good looking. Last year she felted some mittens for me... perfect for cleaning the snow off the car!

Fond greetings to all our missing friends (didn't they refer to that as being "cloaked" in Star Trek?); perhaps they will pop in, one by one in the coming days. It's hard to stay tuned in when things move quickly in our daily lives.

I should make the best of the time before Mum awakens and I have to change her urostomy, get her into the tub, and help her select her clothes, prepare her breakfast, etc. . It's either do the urostomy/bathing today or tomorrow... :( .

Sue, I'm completely with you on being "patronized" when I speak up about what's bothering me! It DOESN'T help. ;)

    Bookmark   December 24, 2006 at 7:47AM
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Angels we have heard on High,
Sweetly singing o'r the Plains
and the Mountains in reply
Echo back their Joyous strains.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2006 at 9:07AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

T, I emailed about 3 Christmas notes and mailed one card to someone without email. That's all the time there was! Maybe valentines will get sent instead this year?

Sue, I'm very jealous of your healed foot. I'm still limping. All that work in weeks past sure allowed you to enjoy the Christmas festivities now. Great! As for Tom's party, you should be able to pay senior's prices for it this time. ;-)

Mary, I'm hoping for that photo of the tea cozy too! (AS WELL AS ANY OTHERS YOU SLIP IN!)

Michelle, happy that you have stitchery on your mind these days too. And Norma, you seem to be in full swing with grandchildren and GGrandchildren too! I guess I'll get used to it over time, but no less delighted!

Deanne has no doubt decorated the humongous tree with zillions of tiny perfect ornaments, shopped and wrapped dozens of thoughtful gifts beautifully, prepared a spectacular meal and set a gorgeous table, gone to the gym daily and now feels she hasn't done enough. Does this picture fit? Deanne, I hope you are feeling OK with your rotten cold and are stopping to smell the Christmas roses! I hope your lovely daughter is helping and that she has a plan for the new year too.

I imagine Taryn has tired herself out with decorating and planning for Christmas joy for her boys and extended family. Hope things are going well there too.

Eden, your daily goings-on are enchanting! I get a real sense of family life as it should be from your postings. There's something quite magical about your house and home and I look forward to all your contributions here. It's not just that you are lucky either, you help make it all come together. A+ from this admirer!

Chere Chelone, big hugs to you at this special time, and warm thoughts to you for 2007! (((hugs)))!

Cynthia, a toast to you and the fuzzy ones!
Da, joyous holidays to you and your family also.
V, Drema, Babs, Honey, Ruth, Marian, David, Kathy and other dear friends, ENJOY!

I hope Ei is not installing the kitchen floor today and tomorrow! To you Ei and all other idylls, pause a moment and reflect on the wonder of it all!


    Bookmark   December 24, 2006 at 9:09AM
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Greetings to one and all. Christmas preps are done but if you asked me how I wouldn't have a clue. LOL We managed gifts for everyone in the family and some not, cards are out, house is bedecked, tree is decorated, gifts wrapped, dinner planned and purchased, Kyle home, plans made to see everyone we want to see at some point and still have a few hours to just relax in the feeling. Tree pic will be coming.

I'm all for real ribbon and am first in line when the 75% sales come up. It's amazing what a pretty bow can do for a lowly gift.

Fav given gift this year was a donation to an international childrens' charity in honor of neighborhood kids: Fruit trees for a family in Honduras. They were all told of this gift last night and thought it was "way cool" and could they communicate with the family that gets the trees? My parents are major donators to the organization so if the family is literate (Not tongue in cheek, here) I'll see what we can do.

Ky surprised us by telling us that he still hasn't made up his mind about where he'll be next year -- as in, which country. He now has a third option; a different university in England close to London is offering him a full year at a very reduced rate, and will allow him to take Master's courses in addition to what he needs to finish his BA. We may be spending the holidays in Paris next year!!! I think that would be the neatest thing ....

I've had so much fun living vicariously through those of you with munchkins in the house and in your lives. Love those booties!!

Sue -- as another female who "grew up" in the world of business according to men, I know exactly what you're up against. I agree with everyone!! There's too many opportunities out there for good people for you to feel anything less than valued.

My Christmas Wish for everyone is Peace in your hearts, minds, families and lives.

"See" you all in a few days.


    Bookmark   December 24, 2006 at 9:28AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Good morning and Merry Christmas to all! The sun is shining brightly this morning; we had a heavy frost that really sparkled earlier. (and the frost sent an overly eager lab flying when the door was opened!)

It's quiet here right now. The kids are still asleep and the dogs are back to snoozing. We had friends over for dinner last night, but the last load of dishes is running in the dishwasher and the table linens are in the washer. A little later this morning I'll make one last run into town, and then we will start our celebrations. Late afternoon church service today, then over to DH's brother's house for a soup dinner. Tomorrow, we will have his mom, her husband and his brother and sister for a light breakfast then we go to her house later in the day for the festive dinner. It should be a lovely time with family.

I'm looking forward to a little quiet time over the next week. We aren't too scheduled for that time, so it should come to pass!

I'm fighting with Amazon over the status of a package. I placed the order on December 10th, and it was to be delivered by 12/21. The first response I received asked me to wait until the close of business today for the package to show up. Since the shipper is not showing that they ever received the package, I think that's highly unlikely. I've requested a better answer - we shall see what happens. At least DD is old enough to understand a lost package.

Oops - dishwasher is done so I'm going to unload it, then get ready to go into town. I hope you all enjoy your holiday and that all my idyll friends find some peace in this season.


    Bookmark   December 24, 2006 at 11:30AM
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Norma, the grab bags sound like lots of fun. Sometimes people get the most excited over the little things.

The "real" ribbon bow that I incorporated cash into this year for one DIL was the most talked about last night.

I'm not exactly sure what "felting" is but I would love to see a picture. My mom knitted me a bag a couple of years ago of wool that was very big and then she washed it and it shrunk. Is that what Mary is doing?

Christmas cards go out to just a few. My aunts and uncles who are elderly and I am sure they enjoy getting mail and a few distant friends.


    Bookmark   December 24, 2006 at 12:45PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Merry Christmas everyone!!! Thinking of you all. Please click on the link below for a cute short movie.

This morning's story: We have a great local market in town known for their customer service. Well, they proved it to me once again. DH just got back from picking up the spiral sliced ham I'd pre-ordered. When DH got to the deli counter, he asked for a large butt-end half ham. When the woman asked him if the weight was OK, he shrugged his shoulders. So she said, "Let me see the list". Whereupon she verified he had what he was sent for. Once again, my market wins the prize for customer service!!!

Everything is on schedule here and family should start to arrive momentarily. This year, we're having my specialty -- the best of carry-out! There will be a spiral sliced ham, side dishes by moi: salad w/raspberry vinegrette, escalloped potatoes, green beans w/onions and cashews; and for dessert carmel apple bread pudding and lemon merangue pie from a local cafe.

Bullet will probably take to the hills and hide as soon as my GN arrives.

I'll catch up here later. Neighbors just stopped by.

Thinking of all and wishing you and your families the best holiday ever filled with the love and joy of family and dear friends.


    Bookmark   December 24, 2006 at 1:21PM
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Happy Eve of Christmas

Great so see everyone checking in when they can.

Here is the felted bag, completed in the nick of time. The colors are rather off I'm afraid and I couldn't get the texture to show the way I'd hoped. Michelle - that is exactly what you do - knit a large size, then felt several times by washing inside a pillowcase in the machine. The straps are knitted I-cord (GB will know what that is). I hope Ruth likes it.

With the exception of this bag all of the presents under the tree are for the children. We decided to do bought gifts for the kids only. I'm so excited about seeing Annie and David open their presents as this year I think Santa has hit it on the nose. David has an eletronic chess clock he has been longing for and Annie her dream gift - her very own cell phone (what more could a teenager ask for?) Annie's present was actually more of a savings than a big expenditure - DH was redoing his phone plan and got an extra phone and service for less than he was paying before. Annie will be over the moon as my stance on children's cell phones had been adamantly "no". However, she has begun pet sitting and babysitting on her own, and being able to reach us wherever she is will give me peace of mind. I'm already imagining how much fun she will have programming the ring tunes and using the built in camera.

The stockings were even more fun to do - little gifts that can be opened as early as Annie and David like. They include bottles of hot sauce for Annie (Queen of the hot peppers) and an ice cream scoop with a pig handle for David (who loves pigs), various fun candies, much needed gloves and toiletries.

More pictures will follow but the sun has come out and we are heading out with Clousseau for a family walk.


    Bookmark   December 24, 2006 at 2:34PM
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Mary, I'm sure she will love the bag, I know I would.
Annie will surely be surprised with the phone if you have been saying "no way". I agree they can give parents a little peace of mind. David will love his clock too. LOL the piggy ice cream scoop. I can see his smile now.

Michelle I love your snowy picture. I'm glad we don't have any though.

Marie I meant to say how much I like your card with the clematis seeds. The color of the border really sets the picture off.

Hi Honey and V, glad you checked in.

Martie, what a nice way you always include the neighborhood kids and the gift of trees is neat.
Like your angel pic too.

Ok, I have had my little break now after cleaning the house. Time to go do a few things in the kitchen. We will have our family get together tomorrow afternoon so I have a little time yet. If I don't get back for a day or two.
Have a good one. Norma

    Bookmark   December 24, 2006 at 4:15PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Merry Christmas Idylls!

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 12:28AM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Merry Christmas all.
I hesitate to post this but I sure can't sleep and I know you will all understand.
My Mother passed away at 8:00 P.M. tonight. I feel we lost her several years ago to a horrible disease call Alzheimer's.
She died at home fairly comfortably on the sofa. She sat up, with help, and said she didn't feel very well. She petted the little dog she loved so dearly, told him what a good boy he was, sighed, and passed away. I can't think of a better way for her to go at this point. I will miss her terribly , she was a remarkable woman.
She will have a very Merry Christmas indead. She will be whole again.


    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 1:25AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 2:02AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL) deepest sympathies. I didn't see your post until I had already posted my goodnight wishes to all. I know there is comfort in knowing your mother is finally at peace, but I also know how much you must be hurting right now too. I'm so sorry! These are those times when you really wish you could reach out in cyberspace or transport yourself to those who you know could use a hug and some comfort. I don't know what else to say...Sometimes I struggle witht the words, but I hope you can feel me beside you in spirit....


P.S. Taryn!!! It ia *so* good to see you! I've missed you and have been thinking of you muchly!!!

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 2:09AM
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Oh Jerri, I've just sat down with my coffee to one of my favorite morning activities only to learn of your loss. I am so sorry, and send you my heartfelt sympathies. I don't think there is anything harder than watching someone you love evaporate before your eyes. You watch as the little "family" jokes/mementos/anecdotes are gradually forgotten. You see the familiar face, but the old light in the eyes is dimmer. But aren't you so fortunate that she died at home, with her dog at her side and her family around her? What a fortunate woman she is! So, now it's for you to be sad, cry, wonder about all the things you do when someone you love departs this world.

Maybe, when you're feeling less overwhelmed you might share some of what made your mother so remarkable...


    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 7:32AM
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Merry Christmas to all, and to Jerry a big hug. So very sorry about your mum. Although you've missed her for a while, it's still much too hard to let go. I thought of my mum nearly every day for 10 years, and still can't believe she's been gone for nearly 20 years and that I'm almost her age! (She died young.) I'm so very sorry and will be thinking of you today.

I sat down for a quick hello, and have been sitting here reading now for almost an hour! No travel for me this holiday, and need only to pull out the new stuffies for the dogs and catnip for the fluffy ones. I do need to decide what snacks to serve with wine & champagne for the few drop-ins I'm expecting. A quick vacuum would be a good idea too I suppose.... Best to all! Cynthia

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 8:20AM
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Love the opening photo! A perfect start to a Happy Holiday Idyll.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 8:24AM
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Merry Christmas Idylls! I just have a couple of minutes and wanted to share a few pictures from last night.

Jerri, I just read your post and I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts will be with you today.

HI Taryn!

For Deanne, here's some of the holiday treats I've been making

Bella opening gifts

Jenni and boyfriend

Bella and my mom

We have more festivities this afternoon with my sisters but for now I'm going to have a mimosa and make Christmas breakfast for Brad and Dave.


    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 8:33AM
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Cynthia, Merry Christmas to you too! How great to have you drop in! Maybe post a picture later of the "kids" playing with their new Christmas toys?


    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 8:39AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Merry Christmas and all best wishes to all our Idyll friends and families.

Jerri, I'm so terribly sorry for your loss. She is at peace. Big hugs from me to you.

Cynthia, it's so lovely to hear from you! Now if we could get some Greyhound and kitty Christmas pics it would be perfect. LOL

Eden, thanks for the holiday treats! and the best treat is seeing your lovely family.

Off for a Christmas morning walk with Doug then off to his DS's for dinner. Have a great day everyone.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 9:06AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Merry Christmas to all of you!

(((Jerri))) sad event to mark Christmas but very touching too. Did you get your love for dogs from your mother?

Nice to see you Cynthia!

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 9:25AM
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Having a 2 year old around for Christmas sure makes things exciting! She loves candy and it was hard to keep her out of it. She got a oak doll cradle from my parents. The first thing she did was take the blanket and pillow out and sit in it and rock herself. She would like to wish all the Idylls a "Merry Missmas" :o)

I forgot my camera at my parents house. I'll have to post some pictures later.

Jerri, I'm so sorry for the loss of your mother. How great that she didn't have to be in a nursing home.

Cynthia, great to hear from you.

Deanne, I love the Christmas card. The cardinal is just perfect in the wreath.

Eden, your cookies look delicous and the silver trays are a nice touch. It looks like Bella is enjoying Christmas and it is so great so see your mom doing well. Jennie and BF make a handsome couple.

Norma, no snow here either. That is our grove last winter.

Mary, your sister will love the bag. Mine is black with a purple stripe and some purple beads. It is very special to me.


    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 9:39AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Merry today!

I'm so sorry to hear your news Jerri, but I do agree that it was a wonderful way to go. Do answer Chelone's request and tell us a bit about this lovely woman called "Mom".

Eden, once again you have shared wonderful photos. I can't believe how Jenni resembles you!!!! Remarkable! And your super Mom in her Merry Christmas top! But all those goodies...I'll try not to look!

Misty, Taryn, to hear from you all.

And now to rouse the sleepy troops here. We were up late last night chatting with DS and sharing his photos from a November trip in Eastern Europe. We have quite a few things to accomplish before his sister arrives with her family on Friday. It certainly is exciting with a seven year old to anticipate.

More recent excitement? Something dead in a wall in one half of the house ! VILE smell! Also, 50F in the house and going downward. Furnace, what are you up to?????


    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 9:55AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Time is short this morning but I wanted to pop in and wish you all a peaceful holiday.

Jerri, so very sorry about your mom. You are the third person I know who has lost a parent in the past couple of days. One of them told me it was his mother's way of making sure the whole family got together for the holidays. When I see so many friends and contemporaries struggling with aging parent issues, I can only hope that mine will also go suddenly and at home. Many hugs to you today.


    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 10:19AM
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Christmas Greetings

Jerri - you shared beautifully something so sad yet so special. Many thoughts to you this Christmas day and a very big (((((hug)))).

Happy Christmas to one and all!

With no company today (Ruth and little ones arrive tomorrow) we've had a lazy morning, but lovely just the same, opening presents in our jammies (PJ's). The best gift was seeing how much pleasure the presents brought to Annie and David. I've smoked a turkey breast for lunch and will do the festive trimmings, then we are heading to a friends house for an afternoon of family games.

It's wonderful to hear from Taryn, Cynthia and our regular posters. Eden - the cookies are fantastic and your Mum looks amazing. I'm glad Misty is ahving a fun holiday too!

Deanne - once again your artistry comes out in your gorgeous card.

Ei - yours is beautiful too!

GB - stay warm!!

best wishes Idyll friends,


    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 10:26AM
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Merry Christmas!!!

Jerri many hugs to you on the passing of your mother.

It is lovely to 'see' so many notes, to have Cynthia, Taryn and Deanne posting......a wonderful Christmas gift!

I'm running around fast this morning as it is a busy day for our family. Hopefully I'll get some photos to share later.

My very best to all of you!!


    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 12:22PM
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Merry, Merry Christmas Idylls and good wishes to all..
Jeri, hugs to you , and peaceful sleep to your Mom.

I am just dropping in as I still have my house full , and am enjoying mimosas and we'll be having burritos for breakfast shortly. Hope you all enjoy your day !

Kathy in the Napa Valley

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 12:34PM
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