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Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Posted by chelone (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 16, 07 at 6:50

Not too creative, but a propos for a day like today, methinks. ;)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

What do 30 to 60mph April winds bring?


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Oh my! the wind has really made its presence known overnight. The trees are swaying, and the low boom of heavy surf is clearly audible. Rain is hitting the northeast windows in sheets. A weather observer for the TV station iwho lives in a town close to mine has collected over 4" of rain in under 24 hrs.. At least it isn't snow... hunker down Deanne and Wendy!

I so hope Sue has a chance to pop in for a quick read, just so I may once more remind her of my good thoughts. Be a "good cooperator" and do what you must do to hasten your recovery; I know it'll be tough for you. But even though it will suck, you'll be glad you followed "orders" in the end! Thinkin' of you, kid.

I'm something less than thrilled with the prospect of venturing out to the lawyer, bank, post office, and accountant this morning. Ick.

Yes, Babs., I would definitely crack up if any of you serenaded me with a bendy straw. I'm just too juvenile to pass something like that by. :) Always have been and probably will remain a semi-adult until my "sand runs out". Wendy, I think your son and I would get on famously. I could definitely use his expertise with computers, and the like! LOL about "Smoke on the Water"...

I confesss to shrieking with laughter about the demise of Burt. Bad Scout! Rex is famous for stalking voles and pouncing on them, or stealing them from the cats and downing them in one quick gulp. Oh well... it's what they do. If they can't eat it they roll on it.

The pictures of the "why dogs bite people" did make me smile, too. My brother sent me one of two pugs dressed up in costumes that make them look like hot dogs. Their little pushed in faces and the buns on their sides were hysterical. My favorites are the squirrel behind the camera (thought of Tim) and the cats getting the fresh milk. Too cute.

I was especially interested in T.'s description of how elk jump. I simply supposed they used the same technique as deer. In our area "deer proof" requires an 8' fence, no kidding. And cows are more capable jumpers than horses, believe it, or not. Coyotes have moved into our area, too. They are not common in my part of town, but in more open areas they are becoming an increasing nuisance. Oh well, it's a big, diverse world and we all have to "get along", so you do what you can, and learn to live with rest of it. ;)

My brother is now quarterbacking the nursing home scene. I will go for a visit on a weekday and meet the staff and the hairdresser. I will take picture of how her hair is supposed to look and we'll get that ironed out. I will claim the cane and put it in my car for future fieldtrips. I'm working on an album of pictures for Mum and will get her a subscription to National Geographic, and continue writing to her, etc.. My brother is now visting her regularly (has noted the lack of fresh fruit, too) always with a juicy, nutricious "treat". Mercifully, she didn't call me last night, but had she, I'd've "dealt with it".

The accountant is merely an annoyance. Nothing money won't fix. I will deal with the payroll firm when I've simmered down; I'm still contemplating requiring the financial planner in charge of the fund establish a basis and the "foregone" interest calculated, and then making a case to the firm that my account be reimbursed for it. They carry insurance and this seems a logical way to use it. Accounting and investing is about attention to detail. The financial planner receives a portion of what I direct to my account, he was lax in overseeing it. And they need to make "good" on the deal. But right now I'm still to outraged to tackle it politely and firmly.

The helpmeet and I had a long discussion about the garage last night. My brother is a licensed contractor, too, and he and I discussed it at length on Saturday. I have no immediate plans to defect and start my own business, so we have the option of getting it up and sided, utilities buried, finished grading, driveway work, and some basic landscaping done, leaving the interior finish work for awhile. We would then be able to use it for cars and it would look nice from the street. Only one of the builders has grasped the concept that WE want to be the general contractors... it'd be wonderful to have someone just do it, but we are just not sure we want to pay that extra cost for the next 15 years. It's not as though we're totally new to the process; my father was a contractor, FIL was an architect, my brother is a contractor, and we've already done it once before! So, we're going to rein in the runaway team and not move forward until everyone we speak to/hire is totally with the program.

I ended up watching the Ken Burns' series, "Baseball", in honor of the 60th. anniversary of Jack Roosevelt Robinson's addition to Brooklyn Dodgers starting line up.

I need more coffee. And an update on Monty.


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Answer

A lot of natural pruning and sporadic power outages, silly girl!


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

I wanted to send out warm thoughts to Sue, Cynthia and Monty .....

D.


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Good morning Idylls,

Well and well, seems a lousy weekend was had by many around here. I had to teach a seminar and that cold I was afraid I was going to get came on gangbusters on Saturday night and Sunday AM I awoke with the worst case of laryngitis Ive ever had in my life. So I had to teach an eight hour painting class without a voice yesterday and everyone was nervous about getting home because of the weather. The surfaces the ladies were painting on were a horror show and there were problems with the paint lifting off the surfaces, it was just about the most miserable day of teaching Ive ever had. So I forced myself to squeak around the laryngitis yesterday so today I have NO voice at all, cant even answer the telephone.

First off good thoughts for Sue today. I know all will be fine.

The weather here is a horror show and the winds are gusting to almost hurricane force so as a result you cant even tell we did spring cleaning in the back yard. These Noreasters can be unbelievable weather systems. They are evacuating some coastal and low lying areas because there will be a storm surge at high tide today. Take care of yourself Chelone.

Chelone, Im so horribly sorry for your continued problems and anxiety over your Mom. My heart goes out to you. My dearest friend has had to relocate her Dad to an assisted care home because of Alzheimers. This facility is the best in the area and very pricy. Well last week one day she went to visit and found her dad wandering around in some other womans room. They lost his laundry and he had no underwear. This is NOT what they are paying for. It is all a horrible mess. She now has to go every day and make sure they are getting the care they are paying for.

RE the tax and retirement mess. Good grief. Id be frothing at the mouth!!!!!

Cynthia, so very sorry to hear about Monty. I hope he continues to improve. I was glad to read that last post and see he was no longer in pain. Sending positive thoughts your way.


Eileen, OMG!!!! I cant believe that happened to poor Bart. Scout was probably proud of himself to boot and wouldnt understand why you were upset. Please never take offense if I dont answer you directly. Ive been really busy lately and have had to just skim much of the time.

V. and all thanks for asking but I didnt post because I was out of town teaching in a place that didnt have an internet connection.

Kathy, thank you, thank you for the breath of spring! Lovely photos all. I needed that!

Mary, glad to hear you and family had a good time in DC and that you made it home OK in this weather. Sorry you are getting snow again, at least here it is all rain.

Wendy, Im actually glad I never succumbed to the lure of planting pansies a couple weeks ago. Isnt it unbelievable how everything in the garden is absolutely stalled? The daffodils are only about four inches tall right now and normally theyd be blooming. I was looking at photos from last April 15th and the Weeping Cherry and PJM Rhododendron were in bloom along with the daffodils and hyacinths. On the 20th of April last year my Brunnera Jack Frost had flowers. There isnt even a hint of a leaf emerging from that plant yet. This is ridiculous!

Hi Babs, sorry for your continued issues with MIL. Thinking of you and Chris.

Drema, loved the pics from the the Idyllunions. The one from the rose garden in CT brought back some fond memories. It was raining buckets that day too wasnt it? We all stood out in Sues gardens with umbrellas, remember?

Eden, Im in a mood as well. I just want to get these d - - - ed plants out of this house so I can water them with a hose. Its taking hours to take care of them now and Im ready to rip my hair out and pitch them.

Michelle, great idea to make Mothers Day gifts with your plants under the lights! I wanted to tell you I still have the geraniums you sent me last year! How cool is that???

OK Im fading from this upper respiratory infection that has gotten a hold of me to hello to EVERYONE else.

Have a great day, I know spring is happening somewhere
Deanne


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Deanne, is your dearest friend 1/2 of the charming couple I met at your home (whose names I have forgotten!)? If so, please remember me to her and let her know she is not the only person struggling with the omissions so common in LTC. I remember the lost tri-focal glasses and all my Mum's clothing when she was at the Lahey Clinic. Real professional. I sure hope things improve by the time I will require that care. :/ So sorry about the laryngitis and the cold. It took me fully 3 weeks to completely shake the last cold I had. Hunker down and keep cozy today.

Everything is stalled in our gardens, too. The only thing blooming are the croci, and I've not even removed the leaves from the back beds yet. I can JUST barely discern the emergence of fern fronds, Cimicifuga, Astilbe. Even the peonies are holding back; I have to really look carefully and give a gentle scratch with my finger to find the "pinkies". I'm glad of the "late" springs here, actually. We wait so long for spring flowers it would break my heart to see them crushed by a late snowstorm.

I wold love to hear details from Nurse Ratchet about her "vacation". And also want to send my thoughts to you and Chris about MIL. It's so hard, isn't it? there really is "no escape" from the commitment and the worry, and it can really wear you right down.

And I'm wondering if Mary has a "snow day"? Also did she get to see the cherry blossoms? That is one sight I would dearly love to see. So nice that you had a good time. What other sights did you take in?

It's probably time for me to call the helpmeet in, so we can get organized for the lawyer and he can get cleaned up. There is plugged culvert and the BIL's backyard is now basically under water. I'm looking at the proposed garage site and thinking we ought to call the excavator/site work guy (who I like very much!) and let him see what he's up against. ;)

I hope the bulbs don't drown.


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Deanne, sorry to hear you are under the weather(in more ways than one). Hope you are better soon.

Mary, what a bummer having to drive home in that downpour.

T, I would enjoy seeing pictures and hearing the story about the former shelter.

Chelone, Babs posted a bit about her getaway in the last thread. Stay safe in those storms. I would enjoy some pitures of the ocean if it is feasible.

We were able to get outside yesterday and take care of some more of the cedars that came down during the winters ice storm. Big bonfire. I also did some more weeding and am going to get out there again today. Starting to have visions of what would look good where, so I hope my gardening spirit is returning. At least the fresh air is doing me good.

I hope the storms blow through quickly for everyone.

GB, I live west of St. Louis MO. Our weather is very unpredictable. Can't wait to see your new clems this year. especially your new walkway area.

Ok time for me to get out there. Later Norma


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Too windy to work outdoors today. I hope to accomplish something tomorrow, except that then I'll have an appointment with my lawyer (wills and health proxy stuff etc)and a doctor appointment too. Perhaps Wednesday I'll get a few things done outdoors.

Doing the health proxy thing has been quite hard on me. I can't visualize what I want (other than a gun) after going through years of stuff with Mom and Dad. I really don't want DD to have to deal with her parents. Her in-laws are going to be a huge burden I can tell. There are 10 children who will never agree on anything in that part of the family. Besides, she's so far away she won't be able to make informed decisions even if she wanted to. Then there's DH who is already aging in many ways, and still refuses to talk sensibly about these things from my point of view. At least he's going too, after about 5 years of prodding. Le sigh.

Among other things that bug me about Mom's care was the loss of her wedding ring after her death. It never was found or given to me. No explanation. No apology. It was not valuable, only sentimental. Never heard about Dad's ring either, but somehow I thought perhaps Mom had that. So that's part of the whole nasty taste for me. I'm still dealing with her 2003 taxes too.

The crows are making harsh noises out there now!

I'm off to get things done around here, indoors I'm afraid!

Some colour from last year on April 15th:

Still waiting for this year's spring though...

'bug


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Thanks for the hot tip, Norma. I'll go back and peruse more carefully.

I tried to get a couple of shots of the waves (tide is either high or just ebbing now) but the battery on the camera is outta juice. We have to get rolling for the attorney's office very shortly. I'll try to get some shots when I get home.

The surf is over the road in two places and there are two pretty good size pines down across the street. The waves are enormous. My foul weather gear kept me warm and dry, though!


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

I almost feel guilty about the fabulous weather we are having compared to the NE Idylls. Yesterday was in the low 70s and today is supposed to be as well. Sorry ladies ;o) I am concerned that you all stay safe. Yesterday DH, Jaden and I took a long walk around the farmstead. DH was upset to see the creek had flooded enough to make his bridge to one of the fields wash away. It will need to be fixed soon so the tractors can get to that field. I potted up some primulas to put by the front door and sowed some seeds in 2 liter bottles.

No time for commenting as Monday morning is always a little hectic. The morning started out with a non-working computer keyboard.

I hope all goes well for Sue today and that Deanne & Monty are feeling better.

Stay safe

Michelle


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Good Morning!

This is apt to be a long post as I am reading back to Friday.

Firstly I want to say my thoughts are with Sue today, hoping all is going well for her.

Ei, I know what you mean about being sensitive about posts. I often find myself wondering the same thing, thinking, do they really like me? Am I just a bother? But I know it's just me, and my moodiness. I'm just as guilty of not answering everyone's posts as any. Sometimes I have good intentions and just don't have the energy mentally to do more than read, or moods get in the way. But I do think of everyone and wonder and care, shed tears at times and laugh at others. It's just our own insecurities that make us that way, and we can't see the reactions of others when posting on the board. I often wonder how I would do at a get together, since I am the shy type until I really get to know people. I'd probably just sit there taking it all in and seem distant, not my intention at all.

Bug, that clematis in the lilac is gorgeous. You have given me an idea - we have a lilac that is on its last legs but still has branches sticking up in the air (it was tall). I'm thinking that would be a great place to put a clematis, and let it grow on those branches with no leaves, sort of a natural trellis? And when the branches do finally break down, I can just insert a real trellis or something to replace it. Thanks!

Kathy, you will be in Indianapolis in mid May! You know I only live an hour from there! It would be fun to meet up somewhere, if you have time. It's funny how sometimes people come into our lives for a brief time and yet we are profoundly influenced by their presence. I still think every day of a person I knew 30 years ago, and often wonder if that person thinks of me. Yes the kitties are funny - but we haven't had the experience of mouse catching with a cat in probably 20 years. Just the dog...so it was pretty cute.

Wendy, we need to do that outside our front door also. Every winter it becomes a muddy mess. A spring project will be putting in a stone walkway of some type. The drive just isn't wide enough for the cars and walking space, so the grass there just doesn't have a prayer. I just have to decide what stones to use.

I've never read any Vonnegut either. It's my recollection that he's a little strange...maybe that's just my interpretation. One of the funeral homes in Indianapolis has a book out for people to sign, and then it will be sent to the family. I think that's a nice gesture from Indianapolis.

Cynthia, hoping and praying Monte is better. Having our babies sick can be so hard. It's just like being a Mom, you want to take all their hurts away.

Norma, I have a couple of clematis that were in bud also. I don't know how they will fare. Mystique is still camping out at the scene of the catch, hoping for a return engagement. Last night I almost fell over her in the dark, since she's black and I didn't know she was there. She gave me the 'Geez, Mom, watch where you're going' look.

Chelone, (((hugs))). Nursing homes are nothing short of depressing to the maximum level, in my opinion. It's a horrible but sometimes necessary evil. Hopefully you can get the the staff there trained regarding your Mom. I understand your frustration levels regarding your tax preparation: I peraonally have a hard time with incompetance in these matters. It doesn't help that I could be a conscientious well trained hard worker and do the job well myself in many cases but due to our locale and my years out of the public work environment find it hard to get a job. More (((hugs))) and I hope you did some pampering of yourself, you deserve it. Sounds like, after reading further, that you and your brother are getting a handle on things for your Mom's care.

Deanne, yes this weather IS ridiculous. Funny thing my Mom's Jack Frost is lush and flowering and mine is still tiny, but is growing, so in time I'm sure it will bloom. But things that were growing are now just sitting there. Very frustrating. The warmer weather we are due this week should jump start them a bit, I hope, and maybe now we'll really have spring. Hopefully you will too. As a side note, there is a yard in town that has a huge gorgeous magnolia tree - every year unless we have a late cold snap it blooms profusely because it is next to a steep hill and somewhat protected. My mother pointed out the other day that there is no sign of bloom on it this year, not even of leaf bud. I certainly hope it's not a goner. Magnolias are hit or miss here. I hope you get feeling better, it's awful to lose your voice.

Oh My! Poor Bert - I would have had one of those 'did that really just happen' looks on my face, no doubt. I mean, how do you react to that when it all happens so quickly! I'm so sorry. Cinders would have that guilty look on his face...

BTW, I have a black Japanese Painted fern and a rotted Starship Enterprise iris rhizome, thanks to the recent weather. Lovely.

Bug, the thought of what is to come when we get older is very scary. Especially when I feel like mentally I am still about 20. I would hate to lose mobility. We have never really discussed these things, but I'm sure someday we will have to. DH's parents were in nursing home care for some time before their deaths. A year or so after his Mother died, we got a call from the nursing home, please come and pick up her wedding rings. We didn't even know they had them. I have them now, I keep thinking someday I will do something with them.

I think I'm caught up now, and this post is long enough.

suzy


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Help Wanted:

DD is a pregnant stepmom. She is in need of a name to be called by both kids. Mom, Mommy, Mummy, Mum, Maman...will not do. Even when DGS forgets and calls her Mom, his birth mother has a fit, and that is understandable! But an easy affectionate name is needed before the end of June!

DD does not want her own kids calling her by her first name. And that I understand as well.

So any ideas from you clever ladies? Perhaps there's a character from a book, (like Harry Potter?), or some other approach I haven't thought of.


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Afternoon all,

Well the rains have just about stopped and the winds are dying down so it looks like the storm is winding down. Ive been feeling like a pretty useless lump today with this blasted cold. Grrrr.. no patience for this being sick garbage.

Chelone, yes indeed, dearest friend is the marvelous gal you met at the party. Id forgotten youd met them. Ill definitely give her your regards. She called today but we gave up trying to communicate after I squeaked at her for five minutes or so. LOL Im definitely hunkering down and staying warm and resting. (Resting in the middle of the day is so difficult for me as dont know how to sit still LOL)

Norma and Michelle, Im so jealous of your being able to get outside and work in the gardens. I keep telling myself that spring will come here soon!

Bug, beautiful, beautiful pics from last April 15th!!!! I went through some of my 2006 pics and it was a bit of a shock to see just how far ahead we were last year than this.

Suzy, hope that magnolia isnt toast from the bad winter. That would be a shame. Sorry about the painted fern and iris. Ive got a bunch of things here, particularly the hellebores that are black mush but they are sending up a bit of new growth so the plants should probably live I just wont get any flowers this year.

Eden, Ive been meaning to post a couple of coleus pics for you for a while now and finally took a couple pics today. As you can tell the lights are packed with the plants now and I really cant wait to get them outside.

And this is one of my current favorites, "The Flume"

OK Im going to burry my nose in a book or something and hope I hear some news about Sue soon. She sent me an email yesterday and said Tom would call to let me know when he had some news. Ill let you all know as soon as I hear anything.

Deanne


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Hello everyone

Well, no snow day from work but plenty of snow in the area - the heavy, wet yukky kind. I just can't wait for a real spring. I'm really ready to call Uncle. Michelle - enjoy that weather for all of us. You too Norma! The whole week looks pretty bleak here so I'll garden vicariously though you and Kathy.

Lots of healing and good thoughts going out for Sue, Monty, Deanne and Chelone. I'm pleased to hear Monty is out of pain and felt Chelone sounding more upbeat - fingers crossed all has gone well for Sue too.

Deanne - your coleus under lights are spectacular. Any chance Doug could squeeze a couple in his bags next time he comes our way? I'm afraid I was a bad Coleus Mama over the winter and only one survived:0(

Ei - I loved the singing fishies on your birthday tribute. Poor old Bert - Cloussea could never have passed up a shushi treat either.

GB - those spring shots are fantastic. Tulip colors seem so vibrant after the grey and whites of winter. I cannot think of a good name for DD and her children. Something in another language seems a good bet - are there French possibilities? Or perhaps a family nick-name the chidlren could use?

Babs - are you unpacked and done with laundry yet?

Hi T, Suzy, V, Eden, Wendy, Cindy, Drema, Honey (hope your computer can be fixed) and anyone I might have missed.

A brief update on our trip before I head to the kitchen to sling together something for supper. Our first stop was Gettysburg, which is only one hour from DS. We travelled down with our neighbors who were also heading to Washington for the weekend. The four children absolutely loved exploring the battlefields, climbing all the lookouts and photographing the memorials and statues. We bought a CD for an auto tour and alternated listening to the historical details with outdoor exploration. It was very hard to drag ourselves away and both Annie and David pleaded to stop again on the way home with DH. Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate but there will be other trips. It turned out to be a wonderful way to bring history alive.

It was fabulous to see my sister and her family again, plus my Mum who was visiting them. As always, time flew by far too quickly. We spent Thursday at the Capitol Mall visiting the Museum of the American Indian, the Hirshorn and the National Botanic Garden. On Friday DH flew in and Annie and I drove downtown to meet him at a print shop, followed by a behind the scenes tour of the National Gallery where he had an apointment. The weather Friday was cool but sunny, and we did see the tinest bit of cherry blossom. On Saturday we all went to the new Air and Space museum at Dulles airport - didn't you and your DH go there T? It is DH's favorite place (being something of a flying buff) and quickly became David's favorite museum. Ruth and I cooked a delicious lamb dinner that evening for our last meal together.

Cloussea was very pleased to see us upon our return - he looked somewhat rounder than when we left. I think he was well fed in our absense. Our house sitter had done a nice job of keeping my seedling watered and I was pleased to see some more germinators. As any green outside is under snow the little indoor leaves are even more precious.

Have a good evening everyone, I'll be checking back for Sue updates.

Mary


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Idyll News Flash

Hi all,

I just heard from Tom. Sue is out of surgery and doing fine. ALL IS WELL. Everything was benign.

She is now in revovery and will probably be there for a couple hours. Tom was on his way over there to be with her.

She was supposed to go into surgery at 2:15PM but they never got started until after 4:00PM!!! Poor Sue, what a pain waiting almost two hours all prepped and ready to go.

Will let you know when I hear anything else.

Deanne


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Think they'll give her a price break for the delay? maybe a free follow-up? ;)

Good news, thanks for the immediate update, Deanne.


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Oh that's good news! Thanks for letting us know Deanne. I'm glad that's over. Bet Sue is too!!!

I'll try to get back later, Bella's here...

Eden


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Checking for news of Sue as I head off for Monty visiting hours. 2 hour wait must have been awful, but my sister waited 12 hours(!) for her brain surgery, so I think Sue must be very special to have such a (reatively) short wait :-) Keep us posted Deanne? And warmest wishes to Sue for an easy recovery if you speak with her.

Chelone, no sporadic power outages here, just one LONG one from 12:30 to 6:30. Freaking awful. Work is what holds me together, and when I can't work, that's when everything else pushes in and makes me sob. So much for being under control, eh?

Monty man sliding a bit with serious swelling in left leg last night and now bloody urine. I'm hoping he's back on the right track when I see him tonight.

Got to feed the girls and go see my little man. Thanks so much for all of your good thoughts!

Cynthia


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Deanne, thank you for the update. Glad it all went well.

Cynthia, sending more good thoughts to you and Monty.


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

OK, 'bug... I'm goin' out on a limb here. But I think "Mum" or "Mummy" would be perfectly OK. And here's why: it's perfectly natural for a kid (any kid) to use it addressing the "wrong" person (remember calling your teacher that? I do!). It's a universal term... with some alterations to accomodate languages... but it's the sound that every mother understands the world over. :) How could anyone entrusted with the care of child quibble over something so silly? Mum, Mummy, whatever is nothing more than a term of respect, trust, and endearment to a woman who provides warmth, comfort, safety, and knowledge. That your DGS wants to call your daughter that is a wonderful acknowledgment of her importance in his life. She should embrace it more and spend less time worrying about pleasing her DH's ex.. But what do I know? I hate kids and dogs...

The narcissus are emerging over Larry's grave. And, no, Deanne, I haven't wanted to get another bird. Sometimes what you learn having one makes you think twice before getting another... . But, boy... sometimes I really miss him.

Michelle, soak up those rays, baby! Guilt is counter-productive, there will be plenty of upcoming days when the weather in NE will be fine and it will suck for you; grab it while you can and grab some for me, willya? Any chance of some curtain/valence shots? Kenzie shots?

Deanne, you must be some sick of hand watering! I have a clear recollection of the "stockpile"... and they looked nothing like what you just posted. That oughtta teach you, kiddo... ;)

Suzy, you need to show up and meet the gang. I'd met a couple of them but only quickly. I was a little freaked out about the party at Deanne's, but I went anyway, swallowing my fears. Know what? I spent more time LOOKING at people at first, and there were a few times I closed my eyes and replied to questions. LOL. The loveliest discovery was that what people write over time really does give you insight into who they "are". We're essentially penpals in revved up time. And you'd fall right into conversation as easily as I did!

Ei., we ALL feel that way sometimes. It's easy to fall prey to our insecurities and tough to shrug off the mantle of doubt. It requires a "leap of faith". Don't worry your "pretty little head" about me, OK? I have bigger things to worry about that what someone MIGHT have read in what I just wrote. If I piss you off, tell me (I'll apologize/clarify) and we'll both "move on", meanspirited, I'm not. (a wise-ass, I am, however).

Mary, I'm envious of your trip. My father was and the helpmeet IS a Civil War buff. We have the Ken Burns' series on DVD (if you don't, you should check the library, you kids would love it) and we've visited several battlefields. The 125th anniversary of the surrender at Apppomattox Courthouse was thrilling and we'll never forget it! Gettysburg is wonderful, isn't it? Little Roundtop and Joshua Chamberlain were major players... . My great-great grandfather was a blacksmith and fought in that war. He was from NH.. A love of history is what defines a people. Loving history means you are required to look objectively at BOTH side of armed conflict. I'm envious of the behind the scenes tour, too... . You have fortunate kids! Teach them that Patriot's Day is April 19th., OK? ;)

And Cynthia, you must give us the latest update on Monty. Please?


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for a worried Cynthia

(((Cynthia))))

I don't have anything really special to offer; no major insights, at all. But I know about worry and stress and the awfulness of waiting.

Do SO hope your "man" is recovering steadily! And I've meant to ask about your sister (but have forgotten too often).

P'raps you could share more with us when you're feeling stronger about it all? Just a thought... but either way, please know you've not been too, too far outside my thoughts... even though my fingers haven't tapped my concern out.

(bad, very bad, me!)


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Deanne, thanks for the update (and thanks to Tom too!). I've been thinking about her all day and hoping we would hear good news that she sailed thru w/o any problems.

Cynthia, hope Monty is better soon.


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Hi again

Wonderful news from Tom about Sue. Thank you for the update Deane.

Cynthia - I'll be thinking you and Monty again this evening. How miserable not to be able to immerse yourself in work. I too have thought many times about your sister but wasn't sure how much you wanted to share. The journey of a loved one through cancer is so very private. Please know you have both been often in my thoughts. Waiting 12 hours for surgery such as hers is too hard to imagine - what her family must have gone though in that time. I hope her recovery has been easier.

Chelone - I'm glad you reminded me of Ken Burns Civil War series. I would love to see it again and I think Annie is ready to appreciate it. By the way - what fun it will be to meet you this summer:0)

I think an early night is called for

Mary


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Deanne, thanks for the update on Sue. DH was taken to surgery and returned twice before they took him for real. There had been a car accident victim that needed to get in before him and then for some reason after they took him the second time, they decided that they needed to open that person up again.

((Cynthia)) hang in there.

Mary, the funny thing is that it was 78 and we still have snow in the ditches (not a lot) How nice that you could spend time with your mum and sister.

Ei, how terrible for Bert. Although, I couldnt help smile just a little at the thought of Scout and sushi.

bug, I was thinking of French also. You speak it, dont you?

I spent some time in the garden this evening. I am now icing my knees as recommended by the Dr. after excercise.

Goodnight
Michelle


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Hello to all, and I hope the weather has calmed down for you NE folk..Its quite lovely here, though windy the last couple of days.
I planted my tomatoes this weekend- a Black Krim and a Matts Cherry, both different varieties from what I grew last year. I so look forward to having a bit more space for veggies. Next year I hope.

Glad to hear that Sue had a successful procedure. Hopefully this will eradicate her issuesas others have pointed out , taking care of yourself up front surely pays off when you have to go under the knife..not to mention Sues great attitude.

Ei, those pet pics you posted are too much- especially the Pomeranian (at least I *think* its a Pomeranian..) What a hoot !
And as for Scout and Bert ..at least he went fast . Perhaps the fish oil will lend an attractive sheen to Scouts coat. RIP Bert .

Chelone, what a lot youve had going on ! I was sorry to read of your distress with your Mums situation., but in subsequent posts it sounds like you have a plan of attack, and that you and bro are acting as a team . And as far as the payroll tax thing-how infuriating that must be! If something like that happened at my company there would be heads rolling all over the HR department. Small businesses can be wonderful to work for lots of flexibility, no bureaucracy to deal with most of the politics involve nepotism if family members are working there. But you sure dont have much recourse when stuff like this happens. Hope things work out for you. I celebrated Jackie Robinson Day by watching the Dodgers (all of whom were wearing number 42) beat the Padres.

Deanne- What a trooper you are ! I cant imagine trying to conduct a class with laryngitis. And for 8 hours ? Hope you're feeling better today. And those coleus ! I was pretty stoked this weekend that one of my garden centers had the first coleus plants so far this year. I bought 6 and combined them with the two cuttings I took in the fall. This nursery is a mom-and -pop operation that grows all their own plant material but sometimes their labeling is a bit lacking. The coleus are never tagged but they have the best selection in Napa so what the heck.

CynthiaI continue to hope for the best for you and Monty.

Well , I know Ive missed many a comment..but hi to Norma, Wendy, Eden, bug, suzy, Mary, Honey, Michelle, T, Cindy, Babs, Drema,Monique, Tayrn, and Martie the Lurkerhope I didnt forget anyonebut then Im not the finely tuned machine I used to be..

Kathy in Napa

Ohhows about a pic ?

Some Iris with my neighbors' Livin Easy standard that is causeing me some plant envy

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Reinne des Violettes eating the fence

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Yes, an early night is due, but I will sneak in a post first.

Glad to hear that Sue is doing well. Deanne, I hope you start to feel better soon. Sorry to hear about your miserable class. I once lost my voice in the middle of a presentation and that is such a helpless feeling!

Cynthia, I hope Monty is alright and that things settle down for you.

I had my own "Monday, Monday" today. One of the roads I drive to work is totally falling apart, and this morning as I came over a rise, there was an enormous hunk of asphalt sitting there and no time to avoid it. It put a hole in the rear tire sidewall that was big enough to put your finger in. The complication is that DH took my car out of town, his car has an unusual tire and I may run out of "spare tire miles" before I can get the tire replaced. It's like adding insult to injury to consider that I may have to rent a car before this is all over.

The good news is that it was incredibly busy today at work - good because spring has been off to a slow start so far.

So here's my tale from last Friday. Mystic (the wonder dog) woke me up at 1:15 am, desperate to go outside. This is unusual behavior for him, and when he got up with me at our normal time, once again he could hardly wait to go outside. I finally determined he had diarrhea, and before I left for work I told DH to keep an eye on him. I knew DH was going out to run an errand about noon, so I suggested he put Mystic in the kennel when he left.

DH's "errand" was to buy his version of the red convertible - a "kegerator". This is a smaller fridge designed to hold a keg of beer and keep it cold and under pressure for up to 3 months. (yes, just what I've always dreamed of!). He and his brother picked up the new toy and got it all set up, and at 3:45 pm I got an email announcing that it was working. I finally got home from work at 6:00 pm (well over 2 hours after the kegerator installation was finished) and as soon as I walked in the door I asked why the house smelled like dog poop. "Oh, I guess I haven't checked on Mystic since I got home..."

V. (thinking of a way to convince Scout that my DH is extra-large sushi)


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RE: The most fun you can have for $0.99

How to instantly relieve a bad mood:

1. download itunes software
2. download "Sufficiently Breathless" by Captain Beyond for all of $0.99
3. dance like no one is watching except a lab or two!

V. :)


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Yikes! Thinking of Sue, Monty, Deanne, Chelone, Bert, V's husband (oh, I mean Mystic!)...and everyone - accompanied by the haunting Civil War theme played in the Ken Burns series, Ashokan Farewell. I'm sure Mary could play it! I even met the artist who played it one time when I was in Boston. If I could only accompany with straws.


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Thanks Deanne for sharing the good news about Sue! Now I can laugh again. That's terrific! I'm so relieved.

I'll be keeping good thoughts that Cynthia will have good news and that her baby boy is feeling a little better tonight.

Now, may we pause for a moment of respect...

In Memoriam of Bert (a/k/a/ Jonah)

October 12, 2006 April 16, 2007

That's right Mary...don't I remember some sort of "fishing" escapade with Cloussea a couple years back? Glad you had such a nice visit with your family. Thats great that you all make the effort to see each other whenever you can; especially since you live quite a distance apart. You have such a lovely family and it makes me smile to think about it.

Wow! What exciting news! My *favorite* nursery has officially opened! Deanne...what *lovely* specimens...Im in awe - *better* than the plants I see in most nurseries. Im so sorry to hear you are under the weather, hope you feel better soon.

Michelle I bet it feels great to have such beautiful weather...and on a week-end day no less! Enjoy! Looks like we will be getting some of that nice stuff later in the week.

Gorgeous pics Bug...The Sanguinaria *really* caught my eye...what a *nice* patch! Mine have already bloomed for the spring! :-( I got to see them for about 2 days and then we had that nice hard frost and inches of snow! :-( Oh well, at least I *did* get to see them. Dont you just love the way the leaves start out wrapped around the stem? Theres something just so charming about that...

I know just what you mean Norma. Today I did a little work out in the garden too. I didnt get a whole heck of a lot done, but it sure felt good to get out in the fresh air. I was losing my enthusiasm too...so disappointed about this spring (my favorite season!). But today I got down on my hands and knees and had a little visit with my Dutchmans breeches and hepatica...the best therapy for whatever ails you. I even planted my little trough with some white pansies, white tulips (still in bud), a little white ornamental kale and some white Ranunculus. I *purposely* did not wear my gloves....it felt great to bury my hands in the rich soil! :-) Keeping my fingers crossed that we are done with the S*%W here.

Kathy...seeing your *beautiful* gardens has really kept my spirits up. Thanks so much for sharing them with us. That Living Easy is a beauty. How disease resistant is it? BTW thanks for IDing the pomeranian...I was *wondering* what kind of puppy that cute little thing was! :-)

Thanks Suzy for your empathy. Your words are very kind and thoughtful. I guess we all have many things in common, besides our love of gardening. Thanks about Bert. Well, at least Cinders would have the decency to *look* guilty. Im afraid Scout didnt even give it a second thought! Although, I *did* see him take a few peeks at the vase today....maybe he *does* feel a little guilty? Nah, he was probably just seeing if there would be any dessert tonight. :-) Poor Bert! I kid, but I really *do* feel bad for the little guy.

Hi Wendy! Its always great to see you! No, the orange flowers on the top shelf of the garden window arent the begonias. The begonias are the scraggly blooming things on the bottom shelf. :-) Believe it or not the orange flowers you were seeing are *impatiens*! I was nursing a baby Fuchsia all summer that was in the same container as these impatiens. When I transplanted the little Fuchsia to bring it in overwinter...some impatiens seed must have hitched a ride. They are doing so well that you cant even see the fuchsia. Actually, Im pretty tickled about the impatiens. They were my favorite ones from last summer.

Well folks I guess I better be going its 11:00 and I have an early start tomorrow. Good Night All! Ei


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Stopped in to see if there was any word on Sue. Glad to hear things look good, and I hope her recovery goes smoothly.

Also thinking of Cynthia and her Monty, wishing for the best.

It's late, Mystique is running wildly through the house with arched back and fuzzed tail, and I'm thinking of the days events. So much senseless tragedy. With a son in college it certainly brought my own feelings close to the surface, and he got a mushy IM from me tonight. I'm sure he thinks I'm a nut case.

suzy


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

I'm not sure what the day will bring weatherwise. Lots of flooding and road closures in our area. I'll bring the camera in case there is good surf today (I can hear it clearly).

I need to give the accountant a check for Uncle Sugar to forestall the interest and penalties an extension can entail. I am going to speak to my boss about the payroll service she uses, too. Afterall, she was affected by all of this, too and she had had to PAY for it!

My warmest thoughts to Sue and especially Cynthia. Sue probably had drugs to get her through the night... but not Cynthia. I so hope things are OK.

Oh V.! haven't you had a couple of tremendous days. I am chuckling at Mystic's predicament. I had a similar experience when now departed Sally managed to consume about 2-3 lbs. of blood meal while the helpmeet gardened on unaware... . LOL about DH sushi and the kegerator. Bummer about the tire.

I love that tune from the Civil War, 'bug. And there is a love letter from a soldier to his wife written the day before he was killed that brings tears to my eyes every time I listen to it. It's such a wonderful series (we have several of them on DVD).

Gotta head out now, I think the weekend is going to lovely!


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

INTRODUCTION TO SULLIVAN BALLOU'S LETTER

Love of country is not unique to Americans, but in a democracy, sending citizens to war requires far more than a dictator's fiat. In 1861, men on both sides of the conflict were willing to lay down their lives for what they believed to be right. Southerners fought for states' rights and a society built upon human slavery, which many considered the natural order of the universe. When the war started, few volunteers in the northern army marched off to end slavery, but many were ready to fight and die to preserve the Union.

One such soldier was Major Sullivan Ballou of the Second Regiment, Rhode Island Volunteers. Then thirty-two years old, Ballou had overcome his family's poverty to start a promising career as a lawyer. He and his wife Sarah wanted to build a better life for their two boys, Edgar and Willie. An ardent Republican and a devoted supporter of Abraham Lincoln, Ballou had volunteered in the spring of 1861, and on June 19 he and his men had left Providence for Washington, D.C.

He wrote the following letter to his wife from a camp just outside the nation's capital, and it is at once a passionate love letter as well as a profound meditation on the meaning of the Union. It caught national importance 129 years after he wrote it, when it was read on the widely watched television series, "The Civil War," produced by Ken Burns. The beauty of the language as well as the passion of the sentiments touched the popular imagination, and brought home to Americans once again what defense of democracy entailed.

Ballou wrote the letter July 14, while awaiting orders that would take him to Manassas, where he and twenty-seven of his men would die one week later at the Battle of Bull Run.

LETTER TO HIS WIFE (July 14,1861)

My very dear Sarah:

The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days -- perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write you again, I feel impelled to write lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more.

Our movement may be one of a few days duration and full of pleasure -- and it may be one of severe conflict and death to me. Not my will, but thine O God, be done. If it is necessary that I should fall on the battlefield for my country, I am ready. I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in, the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans upon the triumph of the Government, and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and suffering of the Revolution. And I am willing -- perfectly willing -- to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt.

But, my dear wife, when I know that with my own joys I lay down nearly all of yours, and replace them in this life with cares and sorrows -- when, after having eaten for long years the bitter fruit of orphanage myself, I must offer it as their only sustenance to my dear little children -- is it weak or dishonorable, while the banner of my purpose floats calmly and proudly in the breeze, that my unbounded love for you, my darling wife and children, should struggle in fierce, though useless, contest with my love of country?

I cannot describe to you my feelings on this calm summer night, when two thousand men are sleeping around me, many of them enjoying the last, perhaps, before that of death -- and I, suspicious that Death is creeping behind me with his fatal dart, am communing with God, my country, and thee.

I have sought most closely and diligently, and often in my breast, for a wrong motive in thus hazarding the happiness of those I loved and I could not find one. A pure love of my country and of the principles I have often advocated before the people and "the name of honor that I love more than I fear death" have called upon me, and I have obeyed.

Sarah, my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me to you with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly on with all these chains to the battlefield.

The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when God willing, we might still have lived and loved together, and seen our sons grow up to honorable manhood around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me -- perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar -- that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name.

Forgive my many faults, and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have oftentimes been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness, and struggle with all the misfortune of this world, to shield you and my children from harm. But I cannot. I must watch you from the spirit land and hover near you, while you buffet the storms with your precious little freight, and wait with sad patience till we meet to part no more.

But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the garish day and in the darkest night -- amidst your happiest scenes and gloomiest hours -- always, always; and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath; or the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by.

Sarah, do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again.

As for my little boys, they will grow as I have done, and never know a father's love and care. Little Willie is too young to remember me long, and my blue-eyed Edgar will keep my frolics with him among the dimmest memories of his childhood. Sarah, I have unlimited confidence in your maternal care and your development of their characters. Tell my two mothers his and hers I call God's blessing upon them. O Sarah, I wait for you there! Come to me, and lead thither my children.

Sullivan


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Bug...thanks for sharing that. I remember when the series was on PBS. I was glued to the television. Can you imagine a love and passion that strong and to be able to put it into words like that?

Suzy...yes, it's such a sad and tragic thing. It's so painful it's hard for me to even talk about. My heart goes out to all the families and they were all in my prayers last night.

Can't stay, need to pick up mom in a half hour...

Ei


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Good morning all,

Well I still cant speak except to croak in fits and starts. Poor Doug was kept awake by my coughing half the night. He kept trying to get me to go and sleep in the recliner and he finally gave up and went to sleep in the recliner himself. I was not going to give up my bed. Im the sick person (Hmmm. Did I really just say that? LOL)

It is still raining and spitting snow here. Good grief, this nasty weather just continues.

No further word from Tom about Sue and Im assuming that no news is good news.

Chelone those photos you posted are amazing! The coast has really taken a hit with this storm. Dreadful.

Michelle, you are just terrific, you just keep gardening and then ice your knees. Thats the way to go! Do you have spring flowers yet???? 78 degrees out there?? !!!! Im so jealous.

Kathy, thanks for commiserating with me, yes I had to force the non-voice for eight hours and then drive home an hour and a half in the beginnings of that storm we had and I think that was just way too much for this old bod and my immune system let me down. ~~ Way too cool about having a coleus nursery. Id just love that! I have to order all mine on line which is why I try to keep all my varieties going over winter indoors. ~~ What a treat your spring photographs have been! Keep them coming! That rose standard is scrumptious and a blooming clematis! Marvelous!

V. so you had to deal with doing public speaking without a voice too??? You know where Im coming from. It was just awful! And trying to force it all day left me exhausted. ~~~ OH dear about the poor dog and your DH. Good grief, Id want to strangle him. So my question would be, who picked up the dog poop?

Bug so marvelous you posted that letter from Sullivan Ballou, when that series first aired that letter so touched my heart I committed it to memory. Its beautiful. And also so interesting you mentioned Ashokan Farewell, Mary can play it and we had decided wed both work on that piece of music so we could play it next time we got together. Maybe we should revisit that.

Eileen that Memoriam for Bert is a hoot. ~~ So happy you like my coleus nursery LOL. They really do have quite a splash of color.

My heart and prayers go out to those unfortunate families affected by yesterdays tragedy.

Enjoy your day everyone
Deanne


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Deanne, I only have a few batches of iris reticulata. They were actually blooming before the snow and when the snow melted, they looked just as good as ever. Everything here seems to be slow this year. I hope your voice improves soon, that is so tiring to talk like that and to try to stop talking is equally hard LOL

Sorry V, but the "kegerator" story gave me a good laugh. I suppose they had to try it out to make sure it worked. LOL

Ei, the consolation to you is that you usually get the weather I have within a few days. It is cooler here today though.

Kathy, I continue to enjoy the lovely garden pictures.

Chelone, I'm so sorry to hear that your mum's new residence isn't top notch. Hopefully, you can give them a few pointers and make them aware that you won't tolerate anything but quality care. After all those places are extremely expensive, you should get what you pay for. I thought I uploaded a kitchen picture to my Photobucket, but its not there. This one of my little sweetie "smelling" did make it though. She wanted a flower to put in her vase so I took one out of the Easter bouquet. This child does seem quite interested in flowers or as she calls them "fowers"


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

'bug, I read the words and am wiping tears from my eyes once more. Could there be any more touching and loving farewell to a well loved, well respected spouse? I think not. Thank you for posting it. I shall look forward to Mary and Deanne's musical interlude. The appreciation of beautiful music and a nicely turned phrase are but 2 of the reasons I am drawn to this group and its daily jibber-jabber. You guys, "get it".

Michelle, that Kenzie is just precious; that's sayin' something from one who hates kids and dogs! I can't wait to see what you devise for a child's gaHden in the coming season. I'm sad I won't meet you at IUIV. :(

Mum is getting "decent" care, but it's an institution... she's being warehoused for death. There's no other way to say it and I've never been one to mince words, anyway. I have come to the conclusion that my job is now to make sure the daily care is "up to snuff" and is maintained at that level. The "burden" for enrichment/field-trips/"goodies" is entirely up to my brother and me. And so it goes.

I "don't get" the mass shootings, at all. They appall me. So your life sucks, you're unhappy, how is shooting up a campus/school/whatever going to change that? I can't fathom it. But I have enough humanity in me to understand, at an elemental level, the anguish of the slain's parents. AND the horror and anguish of the slayer's parents... . The needlessness of it sickens me.

I have to wash dishes right now (how's that some grounding in reality?).

I'm relieved for Sue, and very concerned about Cynthia and her Monty-man. Later, kids!


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

V, do you suppose Sullivan forgot to watch the dog a few times and those were his "many faults"?

I too am worried for Monty and Cynthia. I hate waiting!

Well the lawyer/friend did a good job today. Frankly I don't give a ...darn what it costs. He managed to willingly extract DH's wishes after his death...something I have not succeeded to do for over 40 years. The draft of our wills, our Property Powers of Attorney and our Personal Care Powers of Attorney will be sent by email shortly for our perusal. YEAH! I am now working hard, OK, NAGGING, our DD & DSIL to complete theirs- which are more intricate than ours.

Our lawyer was wonderfully supportive when, with tears in my eyes, I thanked him for including living wills. That one thing in my mother's case made all the difference to me at the time I had to make tough decisions. No nurse or doctor supported me for withdrawing treatment. IT WAS HER WISH! Having it in writing certainly eased things for me, knowing I was following her request. The nerve of those others! Later my siblings were kind and supportive as well. Later yet I learned that a very low percentage of wills are followed by those left to execute them. That horrifies me. I'm so fortunate to have a non-squabbly family!

Time to prepare some grub.

I'm begging for a gardening day tomorrow. 2 roses are sitting in water, awaiting planting.

'bug


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Good evening all

Just checking in to see if there were updates from Cynthia or Sue.

GB - good for you for taking care of your wills. DH and I did the same a year or so ago, and we were both very clear on our wishes for living wills. Not easy to do but so important. Thank you for sharing the Sullivan letter. I had tears in my eyes for the second time today. The first was driving to work, listening to NPR on yesterday's tragedy. I had to take several deep breathes and compose myself before heading in for our weekly staff meeting.

Deanne - below is a link for the Ashokan farewell. I think there are files for guitar chords. I can't wait to play it with you. Hope you (and Doug) have a better night's sleep tonight.

V - am I bad to say I got a big chuckle out of your DH/Mystic story? My DH came close to qualifying for a Sushi award himself the other day. I discovered as I was driving him to the airport that he had been kind enough to remove a 40LB bag of dog food from the trunk of the car. I was rather dismayed though upon my return to find that instead of emptying it into the locking rubbermaid container, DH had left it on the garage floor, along with (you guessed it) Clousseau. I think pooch thought he had died and gone to heaven - it probably took all of 5 seconds to rip open one end and I imagine a half hour of very happy chomping taking place. That evening when he was lying on his side his stomach was a perfect dome.

I was playing Bach on the violin today and the following words came to me:

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph: The only proof he needed for the existence of God was music" --
Kurt Vonnegut, "A Man Without a Country"

Hope you all have a good evening

Mary

Here is a link that might be useful: Ashokan Farewell


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RE: Michelle Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Oops - forgot to tell Michelle how excited I was to see her name in print when I opened up Fine Gardening at the library today!! Also, Mackenzie is just adorable. I too wish you were coming this summer.

M.


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

I am confident all is OK with Sue. (thinking of you!)

I'm terribly concerned about our dear Cynthia and her Monty-man. I don't require "in depth" facts, an OK would suffice.

But I tend to worry most about those who generally post "upbeat"/mundane things... I just want to make that clear.


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Thanks for all your good thoughts! And thanks to Deanne for spreading the news. Just a quick note to let everybody know I'm home-moving slowly, but home. My surgeon removed 6 fibroids and they were all benign. Since there was some concern about the largest one (15 cm) that alone was a big relief. The care I received at the hospital was top notch but since a team of people hovers over you day and night, it's nice to be home where I can rest.

More tomorrow,

Sue


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Hi everyone, Busy day here and I'm ready to hit the hay.

Deanne, thank you for the coleus pictures. Your plants are beautiful. Mine are hanging on. I did get them all watered today! Hope you're feeling better today!

Sue, great news that you're home. You'll feel so much better after a good night of sleep in your own bed.

Michelle, That Kenzie is such a cutie! I'd still love to see a picture of the kitchen when you find it.

There's an update on Monty from this afternoon over on GreyTalk. I'll link to it in case Cynthia doesn't have time to check in here tonight. It's post #89. It sounds like he may be able to come home tonight. Cynthia, I hope you know my best thoughts are with you, your sister and Monty. I wish I could do more.

Well, I'm tired and sad about the tragedy at VT, so that's all from me tonight.

Good Night, Eden

Here is a link that might be useful: Monty update


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Welcome Home Sue!

Welcome Home Monty!

I about keeled over when Monty lifted his leg outside the vet's office and urinated what looks like pure blood. But he's on every kind of med so I just have to buck up and help him through this mystery disease. We just got home.

Sue, I think I'll send Monty up to you so you can NOT exercise together. So very glad that this went as well as it possibly could for you, and hope that you have a quick and uneventful recovery period!

Cynthia


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Good to hear from you Sue and glad to hear that all went well.

Cynthia, Monty returning home seems to be a good sign. I hope all continues to improve for him.

I was able to spend a little more time in the garden this evening. I believe everything is cut back.

Chelone, don't look at my sewing too close, I am far, far, far from professional. This picture shows the coordinating table runner and runner on the hutch that I also made. The other end of the room hasn't changed much since the countertop guy still hasn't come.


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Welcome home Sue! Glad to hear you are home OK.

Welcome home Monty!

Have a great evening all,
Deanne


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Home! Such a nice place. No place like it. :)

'bug


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Hi there everyone
We are having a windy and cool evening here in Northern Cal. Its sunny but not warm (by my definition of warm !!) and when I got home from work today I went out and made sure all the Delphiniums were well staked. Nothing worse than having one of those babies snap after you have actually gotten them to grow up beyond the stage where the snails eat them down to stumps. I confess my garden is littered with snail corpses.

Suzy, my trip to Indy is regrettably a very brief business trip. I usually go in the fall , and how fun it would be to see some gardens emerging . I pretty much have no spare time on these trips- I spend all day in the convention center and all evening being "entertained" by vendors in local restaurants, I am only there for 2 days. This was pretty much a last minute thing. If I come back in October perhaps I can factor in some extra time

Ei , you are too clever ! Thanks for the Bert Memoriam. Perhaps the Idylls should institute a minute of silence every Apr 16th in honor of Bert.
Livin Easy is my neighbors rose (Hmphh, jealous, jealous) so I have not really paid much attention to its DR. Last year was its first in her garden , and I dont recall noticing any major disease issues-and last year was absolutely horrendous for black spot because of our wet spring.

bug, thanks for posting that wonderful Civil War letter. How perspectives have changed

I re-did all wills after DH died , living will included. I think I will set up a trust of some sort in the next few years

Sue, glad you checked in, and that all went well.

Im going to go visit Cynthias Monty thread on the Greyhound forum and see if there is any new word.
One of my kitties (Boo-Boo, the elder statesman) is having some issues with bleeding from the nose. He eats normally , and carries out his routine, but he is old and the vets are concerned about a tumor of some sort. Hes had a very comfortable life, and a long one, and if the hard decision has to be made I will do so.

Hello to all , and nighty night

Kathy in Napa


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Cynthia and Monty

Didn't refresh before I posted and was glad to see that Monty got to go home ...I wish you an ueventful evening !
Kathy in Napa


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Glad to see Monty and Sue are both home, and I hope both of you rest comfortably in your own "digs". There's no place like home.

I, too, and still sad over the VT tragedy. Interestingly enough, DS had an incident at his college this morning. Without going into details, a student got out of hand, and through the course of events there ended up being a lockdown at the school for a brief time. I think it was all kept pretty low key, I didn't even see mention of it on the news, and maybe that's just as well. But I was glad the local authorities and the school officials were on their toes.

The weather was lovely here today, sunny and warm at 72, but it was do-day and so no outside work for me. Tomorrow should bring rain but there are warm sunny days this weekend and I'm looking forward to a little time digging in the dirt. It's time!

Kathy, I understand about brief business trips, but if you happen by this way and have time on one of your trips, we'll get together for lunch or something. Being here in May you are apt to hear a lot about THE Race.

Michelle, your runner is lovely. I've thought of that for my table, but I'd have to find the top of it first. *sigh*

Deanne, you have so many beautiful coleus. I'm just glad I managed to keep the best one from last year. I'm probably going to expand that this next summer. Darned thing is still in water and blooming, I really must pinch it.

Ashoken Farewell is one of my very favorite melodies. I fell in love with it watching Legends of the Fall. I really need to order the CD sometime.

The Sullivan letter is awesome. What a lovely legacy he left his wife, something to reread and cherish her whole life.

It's been a long day.

suzy


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

I was so excited that everyone is home, safe and sound that I nearly forgot to flip my "toad in a hole"! Great news.

Sue, I'll bet you're delighted to be at HOME. Were your little dogs thrilled to have their Mummy back? ;)

And I'm relieved that the Monty-man is home and able to lift his leg. Time to work on the color of the pee, though... that would freak me right out, too.

Michelle, your kitchen looks great... and all that without fire, imagine that! :)

I'm all a dither and it's time to catch some news. Talk to you all later on.


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Good morning Idylls,

So its still 41 degrees out with a heavy, grey overcast and drizzling. Will the sun ever shine again??? The lawn has somehow greened up significantly though so Doug is a happy camper. Now we just have to get out there and pick up all that debris from the storm. The news stations are showing photos of the devastation to the coast from the storm. The newsperson was in Saco Maine this AM and people there watched their homes wash out to sea. Awful! There are over 100 roads closed in ME and they said there were 35 state roads closed in NH. Peabody and Newburyport MA are flooded out for the second time in 11 months. Good grief!

This stupid cold is still lingering on, Grrrrr. I think I got the long lasting version that Chelone had. Anyway, I still cant talk (Doug thinks this is pretty funny) and it is aggravating the heck out of me but this too shall pass. I must be feeling better though because Im getting sick and tired of sitting in my easy chair and am itching to go out and get some exercise.

I cant wait to hear some updates from Sue and Cynthia.

I planted up another dozen coleus and fuchsia cuttings last night. Its hopeless I tell you! Actually, a couple of them are the Golden Marenka that I said Id start for Monique the last time I saw her. The Beacon Rosa standard is finally really starting to put some growth on and has thrown some buds. Ill have to grab a pic of that when they open. The trunk on that is getting really nice and thick. This is its third summer. I also have a coleus standard that is starting to look pretty good as well. Im so addicted to making little trees out of things. LOL

Michelle, your dining room looks wonderful! I continue to say you amaze me with the amount you get accomplished while working a full time job. You must never, ever sit still. That cornice is beautiful. Also that pic of Kenzie is as cute as it gets. What a sweetheart!

Mary, thanks so much for the link to the music. Im going to have to try to find chords. You know I never knew that it had lyrics, Ill try to learn them as well.

Bug, good for you with getting your wills in order. We did that years ago but have to review and change some things.

OK Ive got to go and get a shower and get my day started. Ive got about 500 plants that need watering. LOL

Deanne


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Good sunny morning,

Deanne, one nice thing about the Idylls it that you dont need a voice to "talk" to us. That's terrible about the flooding. I'm sure that's got to be a terribly helpless feeling.

Suzy, that must have been frightening for your DS in light of the recent tragedy at VT.

It is supposed to be very nice again today, but of course I have a meeting tonight. Rain in the forecast for Thurs, Sat and Sun. Figures.

Heres the "before" of the dining area. Its kind of hard to see on the after picture that I posted, but the valance is actually a box pleat mounted on a 1"x 3" board. As you can see from the before it was in need of a little attention.


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Good morning. Fly by post from me as my coffee cup is empty and I really, really want another cup. I'm also antsy this morning and not at all in the mood to write anything--but this feeling has been going on for a couple days and I feel compelled to check in.......so fly by post it is.

Michelle, Kenzie is such a cutie! I like the new valance that you made and the table runner/pillows. Looks very nice.

Sue, glad that all went well and that the pathology is benign! I hope you're feeling more comfortable today and that you'll be soon chomping on the bit to get back into the regular rhythm of your life.

Cynthia, I am glad that Monty is home again.....I do hope some diagnosis is determined and that his long term prognosis will be good. Worrisome and scary. Your sister is often on my mind, also....didn't want you to think she (or you) were forgotten.

Deanne, the cold sounds nasty, but I've been reading about a lot of people fighting this long lasting bug. Hope you feel better soon.

Eden.......V........had something I meant to say to you, too........but it slid outta my brain. :o\ Happens all too often anymore.

Norma, I haven't had the energy to go find the photos yet. I probably shouldn't have said anything about sharing about the shack, because I've been just a slug about doing things. So far, we've just built the 'critters' a 12'x24' 3 sided shelter. It is divided into two sections, supposedly one 12'x12' section is the horse's and the other side is the goats'(made so the horse cannot get into their side)......but of course the goats have taken it all over. I'm sure Boo will step on a goat again if they continue to lay at his feet. Stupid things.

Well, hello to those I've missed, I know there are lots....hope Honey gets her computer back soon, I miss her.

I'm going to go fill that coffee cup now and just savor every sip.

Hope it is a good day for everyone....

T.


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

YES! New York State has canceled all moneys owing on Mom's 2003 taxes today. Am I dreaming? After over 2 years this "simple" estate could be settled?

This morning it is grey and cloudy and 41F, but it was still dry enough, so out I went and moved a rose and planted 2 new ones. How strange to be out there in the mud with shovel in hand, digging. Kind of nice to watch the water from my bucket sink in and settle the soil too. The little things that amuse, my goodness.

Then the phone rang. Now this is a story about life in a small rural town! It was the post office. It seems there's a package for me, I presume my clematis order from the US. Would I like to collect it or should he bring it here on his regular mail rounds? Well, delivery would be great I said. (no car today) There's $19.45 owing customs. How would I like to pay for that? With a $20 bill I said. Oh fine he said, I'll bring along the exact change. Amazing how personal that seemed after dealing with NY State tax people!

We already have our estate papers ready to read through tonight. I'm so glad to be reviewing this stuff. It has been 10 years since we made up our wills, and those were done by ourselves. I'm way more comfortable this way!

Looks like our weekend just may be warm and sunny! (If you believe the forecasters!)

I'm already regretting missing the Ashokan Farewell performance. Oh no! And there are words? I certainly missed that too. I don't know if I'll like them, but I'm keen to find out what they are like. Now I know Sullivan was a lawyer, but I promise you I haven't witnessed writing like that from anyone recently, especially my lawyer.

Action now!
'bug


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Hi Idylls,

Im posting from my laptop. I wasnt able to post before this b/c we were in a catch 22. My anti-virus and spyware expired on the laptop and we couldnt renew it online b/c we werent protected. Further, we had to cancel all our credit cards b/c DH accidentally saved them on the computer when we were working on the refi so weve been awaiting new credit cards. Also, we had to freeze electronic access to our bank accounts and check them to make sure they werent compromised. This has been a major pain in the patootie, let me tell ya.

Whats so ironic, is that I downloaded the worm while trying to protect everyone from it! Sheesh. Dont these people who come up with this stuff have a life? How sad they do this instead of something positive and productive.

We heard from the computer folks that they think they can recover our info and pictures. But our entire operating system must be reloaded. We had a back-up drive so if our desktop info was wiped out, hopefully they can reload from it but it will take them until next week to get it all fixed.

I cant believe how much weve become dependent upon a computer, even at home! I routinely look up things on the web and I felt crippled w/o it.

In the meanwhile, weve kept busy. We spent Sat. with the board and landscaper for our subdivision visiting all the commons locations and deciding what needs to be shovel pruned, trimmed, and on improvements to our 2 entrances. The landscaper is a friend of one of the veteran board members and OK for this job, but not someone I could learn from. In fact, another board member asked me to consult and make suggestions. The islands in the cul-de-sacs and other common areas are hard to work with b/c the only water they get is what mother nature sends. So the plants have to be tough as nails. Im not volunteering to water all areas, but I will water and fuss a bit with new plantings under and around the signage and will help plant annuals. I dont need more garden work. I have enough of my own!

Sunday, my DS phoned me from Fla. She took Mom and her mobility scooter to my DBs condo he uses for vacations. During the trip, they lost the key to Moms scooter and DS wanted me to get them another one and fedex it down. After I reminded her I was off-line, she was able to get a local locksmith to make another key. Ennyhoo, she told me about how difficult their trip down was, dealing with the scooter and getting Mom from place to place in a wheelchair, etc. I couldnt help but think that it was pay-back by our friend upstairs for her leaving all of us in a lurch on our trip back home from Hilton Head last July. She grabbed the only direct flight back for herself and left DH and I to deal with Mom by ourselves.

First of all, thanks Eden for letting everyone know I wasnt ignoring them, I was out of commission here. I appreciate it!

Suzy, I second Chelone that youd immediately feel comfortable with this group. I was one of the hosts for the first IU. Our friends thot I was just plain looney to host the first ever, face-to-face meeting of folks known only thru the internet. My friends were sure something awful would happen. Also, I was absolutely terrified that everyone would get here and there would be stone, cold silence. Boy, was I wrong! It took about 2 minutes for each of us to say Hi, and then pandemonium, chatter, giggling, plant talk everywhere, inside and out. It became so loud in this house, you couldnt hear yourself think. And everyone is exactly who they are here. This is truly the most fabulous group of friends. Have no fear, youd feel instantly comfortable and would just jump right in!

Cynthia, lots of thots and prayers about your dear fellow. How scary. Ive never heard of whats wrong with him. Oh, and I see he came hope tonite! Im hoping for continued good news on his recovery. Im also sending good thots and prayers for your DS. How awful she had to wait that long before surgery. I certainly hope they kept her zoned out in the meantime. But the stress on the rest of you had to be terrible, then and now. (((((Cynthia))))

My thots have been with Sue. I was glad to get the update and hope she has a smooth recovery and that they can keep her as comfortable as possible during it. Oh, and I see you posted Sue! I hope you have a smooth recovery and a smooth resolution to the insurance stuff you were worried about. Im sure the pooches kisses will help heal you. Are they hovering? Animals always seem to know when you dont feel well.

Deanne, I hope you get some sleep and feel better and get your voice back soon! Thanks for posting pix of your coleus. I reminded me that Id forgotten to water my plants in the basement. Ive been too busy taking stock of losses outside. And boy, are there a lot of them. How awful all those folks had such terrible damage and losses from the storm. I cant imagine watching my house get washed away to sea! OMG. Glad you, Chelone and other idyllers are OK.

Mary, it sounds like you had a great trip and visit. So sorry you and everyone else are dealing with nasty weather. Enough already! We were fortunate to miss this storm. I cant believe how everyone is really getting walloped.

Chelone, Wow, great pix of the ocean. Re the 25-footers, they measure seas offshore. As the waves come ashore, size and intensity is either tempered or magnified by how steep the rise is from ocean floor to the shoreline. I sure wouldnt want to be riding that storm out at sea! Yikes.

My thots and prayers go out to all the families affected by the Va. Tech tragedy. I cant imagine awaiting news if my child was among the casualties. I, too, cant understand how someone could do this. The anguish of the affected parents, his included, has to be unfathomable.

V, me thinks your DH has suicidal tendencies! Kergerator? OMG, that poor dog and poor you. Yep, it definitely would be justifiable homicide. Youve really had a week there, kiddo.

Bug, thats a beautiful love letter. I teared up when I read it. It is truly incredible and tender. Thanks so much for sharing it. Doesnt it seem that in these days of phones and emails, weve lost the art of communicating? Oh, how fabuous the State of NY came to their senses! Hooray for you. What a relief that has to be.

Im thrilled and cant wait to hear the musical rendition by Deanne and Mary.! Chelone, I think we all have a love of music here. I think it truly is a common link.

Michelle, what gorgeous blue eyes Kenzie has. She sure is a cutie. Me thinks she comes by her love of fowers naturally, tho. I love the runner, cornice board and the homey feeling of that room. Good job, kiddo.

Ei, you are a scream. That Bert Memorium was too much.

Kathy, so sorry to hear about Boo-Boo. Im hoping something can be done so you can keep your wonderful friend with you awhile longer. They said Bullet might not rebound this last Dec., and he did! Hes doing wonderfully and Im hoping the same will happen with your beloved kitty.

Oh, T, I missed you, too! I was going to call you but cant find where I put your number. Duh! I think I have CRAFTs disease cant remember a freakin thing!

Ok. Time to watch TV with DH. TTYL, Honey


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Goodness, so much info and insight. I loath to be brief, but after missing a few days it took a while to read and I am really tired tonight. I mourn and rejoice at all that is. I promise to do better next time. Norma


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Hi Idylls--just a brief hello here, I was worried that there were so few posts today and many of you might be without power. DS is out picking us up some takeout from our fave Mexican joint. I had to have a plumbing repair today -we sprung a leak. All is better now, 250 bucks later, but now all my hose bibs work which is vitally important !

So hi everyone and I hope Sue is comfortable, Monty is feeling better and Deanne can talk !

Kathy in Napa


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Good morning! In spite of the raw rain and drizzle, and continued sunless days I'm actually feeling pretty chipper this morning. Why? it's my favorite holiday, one I feel deserves more than simply regional recognitions... it's PATRIOT'S DAY! It was on this day in 1775 that tensions boiled over over the billeting of British soldiers in Boston homes, the levying of taxes, the Stamp Act, etc.. Paul Revere, William Dawes and one other guy whose name I ALWAYS forget (but was the only one to complete the mission) set out to alert outlying communities that the regulars were on the march to sieze arms (and the ringleaders, John Hancock and Samual Adams) in Concord, MA.. We know what happened next. So let's all cheer (you don't have to, Deanne) and consider what it means to be an American. ;)

Honey, what you've just endured with the computer is my greatest nightmare and the reason I refuse to bank on line or do anything of a remotely financial nature without the low limit credit card. I'm too nervous about my own inability to pick up the bread crumb trail. It's good to know you've emerged on the other side, with everything still intact. Boy! what a good egg you are to help out the neighborhood associating... your accomplished hand will prove very useful.

'bug, as a veteran of small town living I truly appreciate the story about the post office. I miss that aspect of life living where we do... the "drop ins", etc.. And good that you are able to appreciate the finer things in life, like water soaking into the ground. (gonna be awhile before it does that here in spongeville).

Deanne, I have to say, I'm something less than truly sympathetic for those who purchase homes that are in harm's way. Every year there is the same tale of woe from Camp Ellis. My personal opinion is that the state should buy them out, eliminate the buildings and the stupid breakwater that redirects the tidal surge and be done with it. But that's not a particularly popular option, as you may gather. ;) Honey, if you go 10-15 yds. off the rocks in the pictures I posted the depth is anywhere from 150-300'. We get BIG waves. One of the restaurants nearby by faces directly northeast and the waves were breaking and washing the roof of the building. Good thing we hadn't put the canopy up yet, huh?

I gotta skeedaddle, talk atcha later.

Hi Sue, are you eating bon-bons wearing fuzzy slippers?
Hi Cynthia/Monty!
Hi everyone else. etc.


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Cough..cough...cough! Well, I caught DH's illness from last week. Feeling lousy but...

Had to write to say "Welcome Home Sue!" I am so tickled that everything went smoothly. Hope the DH is pampering you a bit. "Welcome Home Monty!". I know mommy is pampering you! Hope you feel back to your old self really soon.

Kathy...I'm so sorry to hear about Bobo! Sorry about the leaks too...plumbing's the worst. DH hates to deal with those kinds of problems. Thanks for the info on 'Living Easy'. It is a beauty...another to put on the list for the next place. Speaking of roses, my roses really took a hit this year. I think the combination of two summers of severe drought and then the warm weather early on making them leaf out and then the frost and snow we had last week. Well, they all look very weak. I've pruned them all hard to some fresh wood, so we will see what happens. But, I do believe there will be some fatalities this year! :-( All the climbers are fine, but a couple of hybrid teas I have and maybe even a few of my David Austins that I've had for years are looking very sad. :-( I'm crushed!

Michelle..that Kenzie is just a doll. I think you may have a true gardener on your hands...think you may have had something to do with that too! :-) BTW, I *love* your dining room. The china cabinets on the wall are *beautiful* and I love the little touches too...the unexpected birdhouses with the china. :-) Love too that the woods are different colors. I use to think all the woods should be matching, but the older I get the more I appreciate the contrasts in woods. I think it adds a lot of interest and character to a room. Oh, and I love the tablerunner and valance...which I guess, was the real reason to show the pic; huh? :-) I just got so caught up with the whole picture! Love the fabric and the contrast of patterns on the runner too. You've done a *wonderful* job. Did you make that pretty centerpiece too?

Hi Honey! Good to see you. Meant to tell you what a kick I got many posts ago, over your tale of singing in the car *and* your pic of Maxine in the car! LOL! So sorry to hear about the computer woes...that's a *big* fear of mine. Hope all gets straightened out and you will have your computer back soon.

Hi T and everyone else I may have missed...I gotta go blow my nose and take a nice *hot* shower to get rid of this chill and then try to find the energy to take mom to the Senior Daycare in a bit...so better go!

TTYL! Ei


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

I've missed posting -- trip to PA, the storms, horrible work week - to say nothing of the VT tragedy which is right in my backyard literally....

Im glad to see the updates on Monty and hear from Sue -- knew you'd perk up - I bet you're itching to start exercising already, LOL...

I will try to come back to read more carefully, etc. - Im still hoping to take next week off to plant all the poor things sitting in either house, patio or in transit....
Of course, Im paying dearly for it at the office right now trying to push things out the door, etc., in prep for my absence.

Mary - we probably passed on the highway (except you probably took I-81 & I was stressing on I-95 last Sunday - horrible driving weather!).

-Cindy


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Good SUNNY morning all,

I can hardly believe it, the sun is shining out and it looks like we are going to have a few spring like days finally. Im thinking I might just be able to get outside and clean out the driveway garden finally. Its a mess but I dont think it should take too much time to get cleaned out, I hope.

Honey, great to hear from you. Ive been missing your posts. Soooo sorry about the computer woes, my worst nightmare! ~~ I hear you about having lost stuff over the winter. Same deal here. I dont want to even think about it but whats the saying, a new design opportunity?

Eileen, so sorry youve come down with a cold! Get lots of rest ~~Im still dealing with this laryngitis. Im a bit better today but this is really taking its time to go away. ~~ So how is your tulip display going this spring???

Chelone, I agree with you 100% with folks building where a storm surge is going to take out the properties or building on flood plains.

Bug, great news about the state of NY finally letting you close your Moms estate. Jeesh. Way too long

Michelle, you surely did a great job with your dining room, the before and after shots show how much work you put in. ~~ So true that I can talk as much as I like online LOL

Hi Kathy, T, Norma, Cindy and everyone else!!!! Time for Mary and Babs to pop in too I think

Later all,

Deanne

PS I might just have a couple ACTUAL garden photographs from 2007 today, It looks like the species tulips exploded into growth and actually have some flowers, FINALLY!


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Hi Sue, Hi Monty. Hope youre both feeling better today. Hi to everyone else, too.

Well, DH can breathe a little easier. Yesterday, he was scheduled to meet with his boss from Dayton. Earlier, he heard that several others also had private mtgs w/this boss during which the boss told them they no longer had a job. Needless to say, DH was on pins and needles. Turns out tho, that his boss told him that of the 4 employees that had applied for DHs contract job, none were qualified. He also told DH he was very happy with his work. However, his best guess was that DH could get laid off in June OR December. So DH is as safe as he can be with whats going on for now.

DH says his boss looks terrible. Hes only early 40s, but hes turning very grey and his face is becoming lined and haggard looking. He also is looking for another job within the company. Its not a great situation.

When we closed on our refi Tues nite, the gal from the title company told us that within the tri-county area, 40,000 homes have been repod. Its just so sad that all these folks lost their jobs and their homes. When driving around this area, almost every other house has a for sale sign in front.

Chelone, we dont pay bills online either and are very cautious. It was a pure fluke in timing and circumstance that this happened the one and only time DH (just) stored our financial info on the computer. I, too am not as computer literate as Id like to be. On the information superhighway, Im still back on the dirt road!

Thanks re your comment on helping with the landscaping and sub decisions. Id like to say that were altruistic, but thats not the case. Theres a lot of self-interest involved. The previous board was a power clique and was spending $ on silly things and proposing expensive, unneeded improvements that would negatively impact property values. On the other hand, they werent taking care of maintenance required by the by-laws and covenants and in most cases, it became clear they werent savvy enough to make good decisions if they cared, which they didnt. Our property backs up to a commons area that has been sorely neglected. And there looms a possibility that this adjacent property could be deeded over as a public park. We dont want that. So to make sure we had a voice, DH and I decided to get him on the board and that Id help on various committees. So far, weve been able to recruit other concerned, savvy neighbors and have a really good group now. Many are retired, too, and are volunteering for various little jobs to keep costs down. In the end, improving the subs commons areas will help keep up property values.

Wow, I didnt realize the continental shelf dropped of so drastically right there where you took those pix. Mother natures fury is truly awesome. I totally agree w/you about those who build homes in harms way. And rebuild them again and again.

Cindy, I hope things start looking up for you. I'm sure a little sun and garden time will help.

Ei, so sorry you caught the bug! Hope youre able to get yourself some hot tea and laze on a comfy couch with an afghan today. Re the puter, this is the first time its every happened to us. I heard that over the weekend there were over 50,000 people affected by this computer worm. Id gotten complacent b/c in the last 2 yrs. between our spybot, Norton, and good internet service provider, I never get spam or stuff from folks we dont know. But these nuts seem to know just how to get you. The note was from "Postmaster". I mistakenly assumed it was from our internet provider.

Deanne, so glad you're feeling a little better and can get in some garden time today. It's sunny here, too and I'm one step from being outside. Yeah! Some of my early tulips are blooming and buds on my new magnolia are showing promise for the weekend. But in general, I have lots of opportunities here!

Well, I have to drop off my new Norton software to the computer fix-it guys and then I'll be in the garden! I do have to pass a nursery enroute tho:)

Hope your day is sunny, too. TTYL.


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

The small bed by our mailbox is cleaned up. Three piles of branches are GONE. A few more clematis are pruned. Not much, but something after this long long wait!

Here are a few photos from YESTERDAY!

I hope everyone gets to soak up sunshine soon!
'bug


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Hi everyone

Nice to see Honey back, Deanne feeling a little better and I'm hoping Sue and Monty are recoverying too. Lovely spring pics GB, and Michelle, your dining room is fabu fabu!! Turbo post here as I'm done with work, the sun is shining and I'm heading out into the garden. I can't tell you how exciting this is for me to get some dirt udner my fingernails:0)

till later

Mary


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

'bug, I want you to know that your daffodils are farther along than mine are (except those close to the foundation on the south side of the house). Also, that I'm enchanted by the "windflowers" (Anemone blanda?) and the "Blooodroot". I have a good deal to learn about early spring flowers! ;)

It was so nice to see the sun this morning, it's cloudy now, but they won't last forever. The forecast for the weekend is lovely. Good thing clean up doesn't require any vocalizing, huh Deanne? Sue, you will have to plop yourself on one of those pretty chaises and direct Tom while plotting changes, scratching the dogs, and counting the weeks until you're free to resume your usual level of gardening.

We met with a general contractor yesterday and went over the numbers. We broached the subject of restricting the work to framing, roofing, and siding. He was very amenable to that (a pleasant surprise), and we feel his 15% fee is very reasonable. Certainly, we are fully capable of general contracting it ourselves, but spring/summer is the "money season" for us and there is precious little time for "fun". It seems practical to pay him to do what he's been doing for years rather than suffering the loss of what little leisure time we have available to us. He was professional with me, and answered every one of my questions easily, expressing (pleasant) surprise that I knew about clips for sheathing on roofing, muntins, mullions, mulled units and how they make the sheathing that has replaced plywood since we built the last time. We are now waiting for the estimate from the second sitework guy (includes footings, foundation, floor), and the electrician. Those are the minimum requirements for "occupancy". We will deal with a heating system, insulation, and drywall work on our own after scrutiny of the monies spent to get the structure up, presentable, and in use. I like this approach because we should have funds remaining to get some large trees/shrubs and probably have them planted. That is my hope anyway. I'm less concerned about "finishing" the interior of the structure than I am with getting the exterior and the surrounding "grounds" up to aesthetic snuff. What we are considering undertaking is going to radically alter the character of our lot as viewed from a very public, scenic road. It's important to me to minimize the "scar" as quickly as possible; "smudging the edges" in the language of art. I'm not entirely altruistic either, Honey! in the long term, a nicely landscaped lot is going to add value to the area and fetch a higher price (and an outbuilding that can be "finished" to a new buyer's spec.s is very desireable).

My hands and wrists are sore. I've been working on a cockpit interior for a power boat... hinged, upholstered engine cover, gunwhale bolsters, upholstered seats, contoured "bucket" driver's seat. It's all vinyl, stapled on and the amount of pulling, smoothing, and fussing is hard on my hands. I am a relative newcomer to this sort of work (it's more automotive in nature), and my boss is one of the "make due" sort... "buck up", "quit whining, and make due". That's bull--it; there are tools available to make it easier! How about we ask our buddies at the automotive upholstery place and order some??? Tomorrow is Friday, praise the heavens. :)

The issue of inappropriate building is very close to my heart. I truly do sympathize with people whose homes have been devastated by tidal surge, flood waters, etc.. But as a practical matter, I find it irritating that my tax dollars are appropriated to maintain breakwaters to "protect" homes that clearly are built in harm's way. Breakwaters that should never have been built in the first place and whose presence "protects" some of the time, but actually funnels a storm's tidal surge when the confluence of fronts creates a northeaster. Time to pull the plug on federal flood insurance. I'm relieved many of you have the same thoughts. No one can pinpoint where a tornado will touch down. But it's pretty easy to define the areas affected by floods, storm surges. Building below sea level is not a really sound plan. Let's use disaster money wisely, to help those who have truly been savaged by the vagaries of nature through no fault of their own.

Wow, Michelle. What a big change in your room (and without fire!). Isn't it amazing what a fresh coat of paint and new "appointments" can make? I've never been one to "match" woods (grew up with antiques from different periods all with great "stories"). I love the different characters of woods, and pretty furniture. And pretty fabric... shame on you for "dissin'" your sewing!!! I think it's great that you sat down and made your own stuff; it requires a lot of effort and discipline ('bug will understand!). I think your "soft work" looks wonderful. :)

I have a sinkful of dishes waiting for my undivided attention. Later, 'gators.

(we have several LONG absent members who are missed, how's about a check in?)


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Both Mum and Dad were very "tolerant" people. They may not have agreed with another person, but they were keenly aware that EVERYONE had the right to speak freely and voice their opinion regardless of how offensive it may have been to those listening (that included their kids). I was reminded repeatedly that it was MY duty to "turn a deaf ear" when that voiced offended me; and to compose my rebuttal carefully to elicit maximum effect. And that message was followed quickly with the caveat that MY thoughts could be equally offensive to someone else... (imagine that!). On this special holiday I think about those things. And what they mean in the greater context. Truly, to ME, this is a much more significant holiday than July 4th.. It was on this date, that the colonists decided, "enough is enough!". I will always equate the maple flowers, calls of Red winged blackbirds, and spring peepers with the birth of a nation. I think about Howard Fast and how very glad I am that I'm not Alberto Gonzales. ;)

No peepers here yet, though! but I'll bet we hear them by Monday evening...

I 'm glad 'bug's tax woes for her mother are over. I can't even feature the worry... jeez!

Here's hopin' those with favorable weather conditions have sufficiently dirty fingernails. I hope my wrists hold up for what I hope will be a productive weekend...

:)


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Here I am with dirty fingernails. :) Chelone, your speaking of today's holiday and tolerance and free speech...honestly, it all brings Marian to mind for me. I hope spring is returning to her mountain top.

I am missing folks here: Eden, are you and Bella reading before bedtime? DD is away for 2 nights and I am picturing DSIL caring for DGS this evening. There have been struggles with punctuality. Now DD & DSIL are not great at being on time, but they do want their son to know that lack of punctuality affects others. So recently, for every minute he is late in the morning, he goes to bed early 5 times that number. He is definitely learning his 5X tables fast!

Babs, when do you hear about 'the job'?
Mary, are you going to try more fish this year in your pond?
Deanne, did you really tidy up that entire front bed today? I am so sore from the work i did, but I expect I'll attempt more tomorrow.
I need to know about Monty when you are able Cynthia. Warm thoughts to you and your sister and your soft coated family.
Get well Ei!
Cindy, you need to take time off! I hope it works for you next week.
Michelle, I like the new fresh room without the top border! I hope it wasn't too difficult to remove.
Honey, congratulations to Tom. At least he now has a time frame to consider what comes next. So so hard on everyone.
Monique, any chance of photos of your make-overs?
I'm wiped out.
Good night all!
Nana


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Well, Im glad tommorow is Friday but I have certainly not accomplished much at the office this week. Too many meetings, too many fireman stuff, and one of my employees has been out sick all week so Im keeping the ship afloat.(barely).

Boo Boo kitty will go in for some x-rays on Thursday next week. The vet is thinking his problem might be dental in nature. (I can relate to that !!) His blood work came back clean. Thinking of Monty and Bullet and Zoe Boo Boo has really demonstrated no outward signs of illness..still eats, still eliminates on schedule and still joins me in the bathroom every morning at 5am or so. And speaking of the aforementioned Idyll felines and canines , I hope that Monty is doing okay, hope that Zoe is being a devoted companion to the recovering Sue, and that Bullet is still hanging in.

I can certainly comment on the flood issue having been evacuated more than once from my house in the years I have lived here.. I am in a neighborhood that is along the Napa River. Our city is in the midst of a major flood control project-much of which involves restoring wetlands/flood plains that were built on and developed for the last hundred years or so. Some of the worst flooding occurs in the downtown section of Napa because the natural flood plains to the south are long gone. We are really fortunate here that a group of forward thinking people were able to put together a plan to return the Napa River to a "living" river . There is a huge amount of development pressure in the south end of Napa County -this is where all the wetlands are, and where wetlands are is open space, and where open space is there are dollar signs in a county where the median home price is over 500k, and where much of the land is protected agricultural reserve. We also have the brush fire issue out here-the hills of California have been built on for decades , and every year it seems there is a fire that destroys a neighborhood-some worse than others---the Oakland Hills fire , the Laguna Hills fire, and I remember the fires in the canyons of LA (Malibu, Bel Air etc) when I was in my teens. We have native plants out here that actually require scorching to germinate. No easy answer to any of this- but you are right Chelone, if people choose to live in an area that is prone to natural disaster they need to cover their a**ses and fork out the bucks for the insurance needed so they are not a burden on the rest of us.

Chelone, how interesting the perspective is in different regions of the country. Out here in the west we learn the basic "founding fathers" stuff in our history classes but we also have this really rich heritage with the Spaniards and Father Serra and "old California" . I know you love history and I read a book last year called "The Island of California" by Dora Polk. This was about the exploration of the Ca and upper Mexico coast and I just really enjoyed it. Its premise is about the myth that Ca was in fact an island and not connected to the rest of the US

Cindy, good vibes over your way.

So glad to hear that there is some weather relief out yonder in the east. We are having cold weather here. The frost fans and sprinklers have been going in the vineyards the last three mornings. There will be rain off and on for the next couple of days. The temps however are colder than what we experience in April/May. So you east coasters can nan-ner-nan-ner me. I can take it.

Ok time to go
Hi to all Idylls

Kathy in Napa


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

I, too, agree that building in certain areas should be prevented. I think it's just plain silly to build on a barrier island or right along the coastal area where one's dwelling is likely to be ravaged by the next storm. Barrier islands are nature's protection, they shouldn't be built upon. However I'm not sure how I feel about the federal flood insurance program. There were an awful lot of people in the way of Katrina that were NOT in designated flood plains, and were told they were NOT eligible for federal flood insurance, and yet they were flooded out. I'm speaking of people who were 20+ feet above sea level and well inland and still were flooded by the tidal surge. Yes, this was an exceptional storm. The system does need an overhauling.

The weather tomorrow should be lovely, nearly 70, but I will probably be going to a funeral so no gardening tomorrow for me. Hopefully we will return in time to go to the local Home and Garden Show. They don't usually have much in the way of Gardening, but it's fun to go anyway and come home with the new supply of scratch pads, yardsticks, pencils and letter openers.

Bug, gorgeous flower pictures. Thank you for the breath of spring.

I took a bit of time earlier, mid post, and went out to walk the yard. The daylily leaves that haven't really looked bad but still lay on the ground are getting a bit mushy in spots. And the roses did take a big hit.

Would someone please tell the wild honeysuckle vine that has decided to take up residence under my French lilac, to please take itself somewhere else? I should take a picture of the vine I cut and pulled out of that lilac this evening. It's all over the back yard right now, I'll clean it up later. The lilac looks horrible, lots of dead in the middle of it. I'm thinking after it blooms I'll cut the dead out and see what happens, providing I can keep the vine out of it.

Time to find something to relax by.

suzy


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

OOH NOO! I've overslept... and have no time to chitty-chat this morning.

Later, friends!


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

TGIF!

Good spring morning to you all! Man, this week sure has flown. I'm feeling somewhat better but still have to mindful that it's easy to overdo. If I do too much during the day then I pay at night. For Pete's sake though try to lie in bed when the sun is shining and it's in the 60s.

At any rate, I can't stand or sit long enough for any serious typing. Maybe next week I can become more of a participant again.

Sue


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Just a very quick hello! A sunny good morning to all.

Bug, yes I did clean out the entire driveway garden yesterday!! woohoo, there were a bunch of crocus blooming in it. cool! Love, love, love your spring flowers! I'm so jealous, no hellebores for me this year, except perhaps Ivory Prince.

Yea, Sue is with us! Morning, Sue, make sure to stay in a seated or prone position.

no time, sun is shining and I'm outta here, Hopefully pics later.
Deanne


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Good morning! And a gorgeous day it is! I filled the birdbath yesterday. Spring is here!

Chelone, Kathy, I totally agree about overbuilding on barrier islands, floodplains, etc. I'd add our southern Ca friends to the mix, too. The ones who build on the San Andreas fault or atop any fault for that matter, those kazillion $ homes atop the hills in LA and Santa Monica in mudslide areas, etc. There are truly natural disasters, but most of these are man-made waiting to happen.

Chelone, you might be able to get some cheap automotive upholstery tools around here. All those jobs are in Mexico, soon to be outsourced to China. :)

Good news. Our computer is ready for pick-up! It doesn't look like we spread that worm to anyone else, and they were able to save our address book, data and pix. Pheeewwww.

I had 2 yrds of compost delv'd last nite, more later. So I'm off to get a haircut, pick-up the computer, weed and spread compost. Then I'll have to do my nails. Tomorrow I'll be attending a high-tea and fashion show our former boat club is sponsoring. I'm not wearing a dress, hat and gloves as I hear some gals are. It'll be great hanging out with gal friends I haven't seen for quite a while. Then we gals will meet up with the guys for cocktails and dinner. I sure wish they scheduled this for a rainy day.

Sunday will be a full gardening day! Yippee. DH will be digging a trench to bury drainage lines from our downspouts and I'll be spreading compost, weeding, moving stuff, etc. I'll try to jump in here sometime.

Kathy, that's great news about Boo-boo. Bullet is doing very well. His CRF was brought on when I had him anesthetized for a teeth cleaning, a common problem in older cats. But I felt I had to risk it b/c of infection. I, too, commiserate with any person or animal with dental pain. There are enough $ in my mouth to buy a Ferrari! I read that in WWII, one of the methods of torture our enemys used was to inject bacteria around the nerves of POW's teeth to cause infections and leave them untreated. They say it's one of the worst pain there is. I feel so sorry for Boo. Hope they can make her comfortable. You might check on-line for a teeth-cleaning service w/o anesthetic. I know they're based in California. Perhaps there is one nearby you.

Thinking of Sue and Monty and hoping they're on the road to recovery. Have a great day everyone. Later, taters.

Honey


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re: tgif.

Just wanted to pop back in to say Hi to Sue and Deanne. You posted the same time I did.

Sue stay quiet and baby yourself. It's early yet for the garden. Hopefully, you'll feel well enough to sit in a lounge chair out on your patio this weekend.

Chelone, hope the rest of your day goes better Hate when I oversleep. I get so off-kilter.

Deanne, 'Bug and everyone else, enjoy this lovely weather!

OK I'm gone.


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

No time to post right now, but I did want to say how impressed I am with Sue's dedication to her Idyll job of announcing Friday. Nothing will keep her from her duties LOL Thanks Sue, hope you are feeling better each day, but do take it easy - I know that will be difficult for you.
later
Michelle


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

I'm not here...I'm outdoors. It's going to be in the 70s!!!!!

Ciao!
'bug


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

HI-YAH!

Sue! I'm sorry I haven't been back to check on you-glad you are HOME!and that the surgery was successful-what a relief for you-to think how long you waited from when you first learned about needing surgery-I bet you feel like a weight has been lifted from your mind. Sorry the recovery isn't a piece of cake-I hope day by day you feel much better. I'm just so glad you are OK! Be a good girl: )

Cynthia-have you heard word about your sister and how she's doing? Her surgery delay sounded so frustrating-there's no excuse to make a person wait like that.
Oh!Poor Monty-his/your experience in the vets office sound horrifying-I hope he's peeing better(normally)now: ( Such a worry.

I have been wondering how the pet owners here of cats and dogs are dealing with this food recall thing-had any of you been using the tainted foods?

So it's been busy here-I'm in Art Show mode now so less time for idylling. Things are going well. Thanks for asking about the job prospect here. Since our school is going through accredidation they are leaning away from hiring people with only degrees and no teaching license(which I do not have). There's some tax umbrella situation that the principle used in the past to hire unlicensed degreed people. It's not out of the question completely but I think things are slim for me getting that position. It would have been cool though had it worked out. We'll see what develops(I'm hoping she might be able to use me in some other capacity since she has my resume).

I've been doing yard cleanup every chance I get-I hate fallen squirrel nests filled with itty bity pine branch stems! Still,it's heavenly to be out there making progress finally...Chris just bought me gas for the mower-the grass is like a jungle.
Yesterday I was just admiring my yellow primula that survived all the freaky weather...and naturally overnight the deer ate it-every gorgeous lemon-yellow flower....that means it's deer repellant season!... Oh and the other night a VERY pregnant looking doe strolled through the yard with her twin offspring from last year-yikes..I didn't want to be mean but I shooed her away so she wouldn't drop the babe in my yard and I instantly felt guilty(sigh).
The neighbor guy next door who feeds the deer and all the other rodents in town was looking puzzled at his yew completely stripped of it's needles. Duh-I bet he doesn't get it that if you lure the deer they will EAT PLANTS too.

I'm just so sad about the VA happening. Those poor families of the kids/professors. I have cousins who graduated from there a couple years ago and I can't help wondering if they know any of the dead or injured. I'm sure news will trickle though.
It's odd to have a new(?) worry like this for professors. With Chris starting as a university professor it occurred to me that there's no certainty that something couldn't happen to his school. Actually there was the one a couple years ago not far from his office-but he wasn't a prof then. Now that he'll be in a real classroom it makes you think a bit. It's sad that all you can do is hope. Maybe all schools need bulletproof vault doors.Sheesh.

Take care everybody-sorry this is not everything I wanted to say to each and every...hope I can return to finish!

~Babs


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Good Morning Idylls! It looks like spring has finally sprung and Bella and I will be spending as much time in the garden as we can today. Lots of work to catch up on out there! Here's hoping you all are able to spend some time in your gardens too!

Sue, maybe you can just enjoy lounging on the patio and enjoying your garden for a change! I know that won't be easy for you. Glad you're on the road to recovery. Take it easy though...

Have a great Friday everyone!

Eden


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Michelle's kitchen

Michelle, I meant to tell you how nicely I think your dining area turned out. The paint, valance and runners really freshened it up but you still kept the comfortable, cozy feeling that I love. Great job!

Eden


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Glad you all like my attempt at decorating. I do believe tomorrow will be a full day of gardening. Its nice to hear that more of you are able to get out in your gardens and that things are beginning to bloom.

Honey, sorry you have had such a computer hassle.

Eden, enjoy your day in the garden with Bella, what a fun way to spend the day. Im jealous.

Babs, we discussed here at work what we would do if someone came in with a gun. 3 of us sit behind a counter with no way out behind the counter. We do get some very irate customers at times. We all decided that we would start throwing things.

I know there more to comment on, but its a day of constant interuptions so Ill end for now. Enjoy some time in the garden if you can.

Michelle


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

April 22, 2007
But really, it's every day!


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Sue, so glad everything went well and youre home resting. This w/end will be beautiful-you'll have to do your resting outdoors in the sunshine with Tom at your beckon call. When will you be able to go back to work?

Chelone, I totally agree with you about houses built in known flood zones. Hubby is currently taking a flood insurance class at his insurance company. The govt provides it but many insurance companies administer it (the paperwork, collecting payments to send on to the govt). He was thinking we should get it to cover any basement water damage we might get since we do get a bit during some storms. Fortunately we dont have too much down there-a washer/dryer, second fridge/freezer, ping-pong table, and garden ornaments off season. We are not in a flood zone so the annual cost would not be that bad.

I will eventually have some before/after photos once the carpet gets installed next week and were finally done. Michelle, I enjoyed your b/a photos-your new kitchen/DR areas are great. Looks like you have beadboard also?

Cynthia, Monty has been in my thoughts and I hope he is feeling and doing better.

Unfortunately, it seems the pet woes have reached our doorstep also. Some of you might remember that Emma had Lyme last year and went thru 2 rounds of antibiotics before she felt totally better. Every once in a while she has symptoms again that consists of lower back/leg pain, but the Xrays did show lower lumbar arthritis and hip dysplasia in her back right side. She gets pain pills as needed but has been doing fairly good the last few months. Well, the symptoms came back the last couple of weeks and we took her to the emergency vet last Saturday and asked for another set of Xrays. The spinal arthritis had gotten worse so they recommended daily doses of the painkiller. However, she started having problems walking on her FRONT feet and eventually became totally lame and could not get up to pee on Wed, so we took her to the veterinary neurologist yesterday. She did not have a MRI machine (shes setting up a new office and would not be in the other office with the MRI until Monday), so she recommended we go to Tufts Vet school. We immediately drove up there and they admitted her. They just called to say that they found a large compressed disc in her neck. However, her eyes seem to shake when her head is in various positions so she might have had a stroke at some point and they will know more when they finish imaging her. They will call when they are finished with the MRI. Ive been a basket case the past couple of days thinking the worse. Well know more soon. We were supposed to drive down to MD yesterday for our breed national specialty, but we had to cancel our plans. I wish I could enjoy this gorgeous weather were having-maybe later if we get good news.

Honey, you are wonderful for taking on the subdivision gardening project. So sorry about the computer worm problems. I have an external hard drive and just updated all my files and pictures. I should do it more often though. The photos take up so much memory and take forever to transfer to the HD. Im so happy that Bullet is doing much better. Those furry creatures really are special.

Marie, it is so nice to see COLOR besides white snow and brown mulch isnt it? It seems that you were almost ahead of us in the blooming dept until we had a couple days now of warmer weather. Everything here is going to bloom at once instead of over the past few weeks.

Kathy, you on the other hand are so far ahead of us. Your photos really helped when the rest of us had cold gloomy weather.

Hi Deanne-hope your voice returns soon. Speaking of your driveway garden, youll have to let me know if the Burgundy Glow Ajuga comes back correctly again. If so, maybe I can have a tiny piece since mine all reverted years ago and maybe you have a better strain LOL.


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Hello All! It's me again for my monthly hello (hopefully I can keep that schedule up and it's not too optimistic!)

Sue, I've been keeping up with your progress and am so glad things have turned out as well as they have. You'll be back out in the garden in no time, I'm sure.

Beautiful pictures are starting to show up here too - a good sign that Spring is revving up. I wanted to post some pictures of the trellises that you all helped me with. A special thanks to Eden, Chelone, and Cynthia for some specific ideas. We modelled them off of one of the "trio" suggestions Eden linked us to.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

And made sure to hinge them at the bottom for easier access to the house - Chelone, my DH thought that was the best idea.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

And he added some moulding at the top to make it look a little more finished.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Cynthia, just so you know, I'm power washing the shutters this weekend and hopefully will have them up soon! :)

All in all, I liked how they turned out - although we commented when they were done that we have the nicest looking side yard that Nobody sees! Oh well, I guess we don't garden for other people...

On another note, I'm hoping some of you clematis lovers have some insight on this...

My Grandma, who was so dear to me, passed away last week from a four month battle with cancer. I got to spend a lot of time with her, caring for her, near the end. We were so thankful that we were able to keep her at home, but it also was really hard on those of us caring for her. I know many of you have had similar experiences. Soon we'll need to sell her house. She has a beautiful clematis that has been planted for over 10 years. She gave me directions in the last month of her life how to cut it back and tend to it the way she wanted it. It makes me sad to leave it to the next owners of her house. Do you think I could move it? I'd rather leave it than kill it, but if you all think it could handle it, then I'd try to move it to my house as a memory of her. Does anyone have any experience with that?

We're suppose to have a beautiful weekend and I'm so looking forward to it. Norma, I saw you had posted recently and I bet you feel the same way. The weather dealt us midwesterners a yucky freeze late this year and my garden is just started to get going again. Although I know right now that you northeasterners have it bad too - I probably should be complaining about ours :)

Hoping to stop back again later!

Lauren


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Lauren. About Grandmum's clematis. This weekend is the time to move it. Don't wait!
These are directions from another site:

How to move or transplant an existing Clematis?

The best time of year to move an existing clematis is while the plant is dormant before the new seasons growth begins - usually in late winter as long as the ground is not frozen. At this time of year the plant's energy is stored in the root system. Prune back the top growth to about 12 to 18 inches and dig at least a 12 inch diameter root ball as deep as possible.
Mature clematis roots can reach 4 feet down into the ground so the more roots you can save, the better. It is best to dig and prepare your new location before you dig up the plant to be transplanted. Dig a large hole, and dig it deeper than needed to make some room for compost or rotted manure in the bottom. You will also want to plant the clematis two to three inches deeper than the old level. One can use a post hole digger tool to get a nice deep hole. It is best to bury one or two pairs of latent buds, leaves and all, so that the plant can sprout from under the ground. It becomes a good insurance planting policy. The buried stem will develop roots.

Before you place the plant into the new hole, throw in a handful or two of bone meal or other fertilizer high in phosphate to aid in root growth. Bulbtone, an organic fertilizer, can be added to the hole without fear of burning the roots. Mix the bone meal and fertilizer with compost in the bottom of the hole, fill the hole with water, and place the new plant in it's new home, submerging it in the water. Fill in around the plant with the best compost or enriched top soil you can find, and water it in.

Keep the plant well watered and fertilized the first few years until a deep root system capable of supporting the plant through dry times has had time to develop. It is best to mulch a large area around the base of the plant to keep the soil moist and reduce evaporation. Watering your plant is critical to its survival!


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Gardenbug,

Thank you! Thanks you! Thanks you again! I was so afraid that you would say I should leave it. Also appreciate the detailed advice, I'll follow to a "T" or maybe "C" would be more appropriate :)

Congratulations on the upcoming grandbaby. I always knew my parents loved me - and I'm glad I did, because after having their grandchildren, frankly they're usually much more excited seeing them than me! So from that observation, I'd say grandkids must be great. Also loved seeing your "projects" for the new babe. My MIL is a great knitter and has made my 3 kiddos many precious gifts that, as they've outgrown them, I've packed away for them to use for their kids. Certainly a family treasure to be enjoyed for many generations.

Thanks again!

Lauren


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Lauren, your trellises look great! you must be tickled pink with them. It's such fun to see pictures of projects that were bandied about here. I told the helpmeet you used the hinge idea on your trellises and he smiled.

We had a little excitement here this evening. The helpmeet was late getting home. I was outdoors with Rex who ran to greet Daddy. There was some barking... in the backseat was the tiniest dog I've ever seen, looked like a Chihuahua with wirey hair. Evidently, it had been crossing the highway and was nearly hit by the car in front of the helpmeet's. Naturally, he stopped and coaxed it to come to him. Wet, smelling of shampoo, and no tags. We called a couple of places in the vicinity and then Animal Control (no microchip, either). Rex was so funny... sniffed her all over and his head was the size of her entire body. She gave him a few snaps when he got too personal, but other than that she was absolutely nonplussed by him. She was a strange lookin' rig; smaller than our smallest cat, lol. The dog officer just called to tell us she was claimed; she bolted out the door when the kids came in and they were unable to catch her. They had just brought her home today, so she wasn't bonded to them, at all.

Monique, I'm so sorry to hear about Emma. How old is she? I can't wait to see the picture of your projects, but you probably have more on yur mind right now.

Thinking of Monty and his Cynthia, too. And hoping all is well in her pet hotel.

Tomorrow, Sunday, and Monday are supposed to be just wonderful and I can't wait to get outdoors and do some clean up work. There's plenty of it.

There's more I'd like to say, but the eyelids are growing heavy and my bed is sounding pretty appealing.


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Wow, this place sure was action-packed last night! I, too, meant to tell Sue her dedication to heralding Friday is noted. Here's hoping you're turning the corner and will be able to sit more comfortably at a keyboard soon. I missed you. :)

The pet scene has been tough lately, huh? Monty, Boo-boo, Zoe, Emma... . We had been slacking with respect to canned pet food, but the tainted batch really "got our attention". The helpmeet has been diligently cooking up the following items on a regular basis: chicken liver, chicken, hamburger. I'm not wild about cutting up a chicken liver at 4:45 AM, but I do it, to the excited mews and chirps of the feline contingent. The helpmeet was quite taken with the beer can sized dog and rather liked the idea of a pet for Rex. ;)

I listened to the apology from the VT shooter's sister last night and was again reminded that her family has been plunged into turmoil and grief, too. I heard a snippet that they are now under police protection and are moved daily (for their safety). I am sickened that anyone would threaten them; they didn't do anything wrong. Their lives will never be the same again, either. The whole notion of considering a plan of action in a classroom in the event of a murderous assault by a gunman leaves my head spinning. I don't understand any of it at all and perhaps I ought to be grateful for that.

I loved the spider on her web that 'bug posted in honor of Earth Day. The quote from Chief Seattle seems visionary from a perspective 152 yrs. later. And doesn't it just tie in perfectly with the discussion on natural disasters, inappropriate building, etc.? Draining "swamps", building breakwaters, fire suppression, clearcutting great swaths of land all carry a cost that is often unknown for years. I was thinking about seeds that require scorching to germinate... I learned that when Yellowstone burned in the '90s. Have the rest of you noticed the big talk about "greening" lately? I certainly hope something comes of it, but it tickles me that what I've been twitted about for years is suddenly becoming mainstream. ;)

I can't wait to get outdoors today! a quick spin around the grounds revealed more Narcissus emerging from the ground (Larry must be decomposing nicely under his patch of them). It reminded me of Marian, too, 'bug. I hope she is well and enjoying the reappearance of springtime, too. I have to cut down a few clematis and give them some food (I'm always late with that), and look carefully at "Maidwell Hall" who had a considerable amount of dead wood last year (I'm not looking forward to that, wanna come for a visit, 'bug?). I think the Magnolia stellata may begin to open today, too.

The hands and wrists are still sore and that troubles me. Honey, I would LOVE to score some of the automotive industries upholstery stuff, but it's probably in cargo grates on the high seas somewhere. Good news for your husband, for however long it lasts. I have noticed a lot of land for sale in my area, but that seems to run hand in hand with the spring season and the arrival of seasonal visitors. The stock market has been wild this week; are we simply seeing a widening of the gulf between the "middle class" and the wealthy?

Time to post this, get going on the dishes, start some laundry, and dress for the arrival of the mason this morning (7:30).


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Good Morning Everyone!

I'm still feeling pretty lousy, but I have to muster up the energy to get out in the garden like the rest of you Idylls are doing. It's been beautiful here too (Thank you Michelle). We are to get rain next week and I'm glad of it.

Monique, I'm so sorry to hear about Emma! I can imagine how worried and distressed you are (((Monique))). I'm sending my good wishes to Emma and to you all. Scout's arthritis has become pretty severe too (osteo of both elbows) and we had to put him on Rimadyl (though I don't like it). The pain was just diminishing his quality of life far too much. He's doing better with the Rimadyl (playing and even running a bit - something he hasn't done in months). He goes back next week for a blood test to make sure the Rimadyl isn't causing any problems with his liver.

Lauren your trellises are *beautiful*...You & DH have done a wonderful job! How neat that you will be able to save your grandmother's clematis! :-)

Hi Babs! :-) It's great to hear from you. Sorry to hear that the new job may not be a go, but as you say, they have your resume and I'm sure that when the opportunity arises you will be #1 on the list. I know they love you at the school; how could they not?

Deanne - sorry to say there is no Tulipfest here at at our house this year. Originally we thought we would be putting the house up in fall, but then realized there was so much needed to get it ready. Anyway, I didn't plant any bulbs last fall, thinking I wouldn't be around here to appreciate them. All the daffs I had did bloom, but it's been kind of a disappointing show. The warm weather early on brought the bulbs out early and then we had that nasty snow and frost just as they were all opening. Those that bloomed during that period are all pretty sad. Some of the later daffs are putting on a nice show though. The tulips that I have seen blooming around here, it just breaks my heart. Our freaky weather has really hurt them. There is always a fabulous display of tulips (replanted fresh every fall) at the mall not too far from me, but you should see the poor things this year. They are short with heads only about an inch wide! :-( Oh well, that is the life of the garden; right? BTW, Good job! I'm inspired by all your hard work in the garden. I hope to get something accomplished today too! :-)

Speaking of the house, we are about done finishing the basement...what a job! Thinking of Bug and her hard work in the basement last year. I really understand the hard work now! We've gotten rid of a lot of junk and only have one more room in the basement to paint...looks like The May deadline will be made to list the house.

Speaking of Bug...thank you for all the pretty pictures! I loved them all, especially the hepatica and your "pure as the driven snow" white hellebore...lovely!

Lots of other stuff going on here, but too much to cover now, I'm in a rush to get out in the garden and get something done.

Hope you had a nice day in the garden yesterday Mary!

Good to see Sue...you will get stronger every day...you're already sounding like your old self! :-)

Well, have a lovely day everyone....Hi to all I missed! Ei


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...Oops!

Oh and meant to comment....I sure *hope* no one here has been affected by the pet food tainting! That was just awful, distressing news. Scout eats Solid Gold Holistique, which thankfully, wasn't on the list, but I feel so bad for anyone/everyone whose beloved pets have been affected. Very scary, as I hear now that it may have been *purposely* tainted.

Re VA...the whole thing just breaks my heart. I saw a young man on T.V. the other day who goes to speak to schools about this issue. His sister was killed at Columbine. A very wise, sensitive, admirable young man. He says we need to change our focus, not on the shooter, but on the positive and on doing positive things in the schools, teaching our children affection & respect for all their peers, and for "telling" when we see that something is wrong....not to get someone in trouble, but to get them help if they need it. I am doing a crummy job of summarizing his words, but I was most impressed with him. It is people like him that give me hope for this world, when I start feeling that all is lost.

P.S. Yes Bug, let every day be Earth Day!


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

So much to do outdoors today, also the regular errands, but here I am planning how to make cafe curtains for the baby's bedroom. Some of the Googled instructions are just plain WRONG, so I'm going to wing it...on the next rainy day! At least I now know that there are varying opinions on the width ratio. Some people say multiply the width by 2, others say by 3. I thought it was written in stone, but I guess there's room for preference after all. :) Maybe I'll start by washing the fabric over the weekend.

In other news we had a fine live jazz evening with our friends last night. Good banter, really amazing pizza (satay!), lovely fresh salad, creme brulee for dessert. Yet this morning I am feeling queezy in the stomach. Hmmmm.

Off to start the day. Make it a good one, but don't overdo things, OK?
'bug


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

It's morning that will be the nicest part of this warm day, so I hope you're all outdoors! I was outside from sunup to 8ish, and then finished painting a sash in the bedroom, cleaned the brush and decided to have coffee with you :-)

Although it's been a late spring here too, most of the bulbs have been gone for weeks, and only late daffs are blooming now, with the fruit trees, viburnums and muscari providing most of the color.

Everything is up or starting to leaf out except the usual late things that I worry over. The lorapetalum (borderline hardy here) had a tough winter, but it's been through 4 now, so hoping it is deep rooted enough to recover and leaf out. I opened the door to the gh, as it's going to heat up in there today and should move things out as it's gotta be safe now? Sheesh it's almost May! The overwintered geraniums are in glorious full bloom.

This is the year of removing/moving things instead of adding things. I need to reduce the clutter I see. I have no sense of design so don't see what's wrong until it hits me in the face after things have grown on for a few years.

Dannie and I are 'cutting class' today and staying home with Monty & Katie. I just need an uninterrupted day, and Monty isn't doing well when left alone. He isn't allowed walkies for 2 weeks so it's a challenge to sneak the girls out while he's eating and get a quick walk in for them. Stressing isn't good for him.

Monique, Can't think of many places better for a doggie to be than Tufts! I hope they can manage her issues and get her comfortable. Sounds like she has a lot of things going on. Has glucosamine chondroiton helped the arthritis at all? I'm a big fan of it, as it does wonders for Monty. I understand 'basket case.' Hope her cuteness is back home soon.

Lauren, the trellises look terrific. Nice sturdy looking things, your husband to a great job on them.

Chelone, that little dog may have been better off with you. This dashing out the door thing sounds like supreme lack of caution on the owners part. (Grumble.) Loved the ocean photos.

Sue, the garden will wait for you :-) Hope you're doing well today.

Hi to all. I'm in serious catch-up mode here, so only remember what I just read.

Best, Cynthia



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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...Craig Scott

Here is the link to the young man I was talking about, if anyone is interested!

Hi Bug!

Gotta go...

Ei

Here is a link that might be useful: Craig Scott speaker on Oprah


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Thanks for all the concern about Emma! Emma is almost 10 years old and does have arthritis so we did start giving her the Glucosamine/Chondroitin about 2 months ago. I cant tell if she was getting better since the disc problem cropped up. A vet in our breed said it should help the joint issues, but not the arthritis. I need to do more reading. They called late last night to say she was finally out of surgery and they "fixed" the large compressed disc. There are still some concerns with the 2nd smaller compressed disc but they were not able to correct it b/c she started bleeding excessively and was under anesthesia too long. So, they called again this morn (Tufts is wonderful at updating us) to say that she is awake and ate her breakfast with gusto. She reacted when they pinched each toe which is another good sign. We can visit her tomorrow and pick her up Monday or Tuesday.

Eileen, pour Scout. I know how you feel about the painkillers. I resisted putting Emma on the Deramaxx full time, but its all about quality of life. I wonder if there are some holistic or herbal remedies that can help also. Once again, I need to do more reading. Ive also been very impressed with Craig Scott and his positive message. He impressed me since the first time I saw him on the Today show with the father of his friend who had died at Columbine.

Lauren, your trellises are spectacular. So sorry about your Grandma.

Even though it was gorgeous outside yesterday, I could not work out there b/c I was emotionally distressed all day waiting for news of Emma. Today is a different story, I cant wait to get outside. Ill need suntan lotion-havent worn that is a while LOL.

Have a great w/end everyone!


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

I'm in for a break, having cut down perennials and GRASSES (good for the wrists) and removed two GardenWay carts full of leaves and debris. Like you, Cynthia, I'm in a mode to eliminate things that haven't really performed as well as I've wished. On the list to go "bye-bye" are Perovskia (needs more sun and drier soil than I have), and a Hypericum that has broken open at the crown (it too needs more sun). The helpmeet will have a fit if I tell him before "just doing it". I'm bracing myself for the fact that what limited "full sun" I have will probably be eliminated by a garage.

Rex stole off this morning and went next door to visit his American Stafforshire buddy, Bentley. I noticed he was gone and then heard the barking... Bentley's Daddy let him "come out to play", and they went NUTS. Rex towers over Bentley, but only outweighs him by 10 lbs.. They run and wrestle, growl and are exhausted within 20-30 minutes. Definitely worth the price of admission. :) Cynthia, we wondered the same thing about the little dog... but it would have been wrong to just keep her. The owners received "a lecture" from the dog officer, too, and notification that they needed to register her within the week or risk a fine. Clear evidence that he takes his job seriously and shares the same concerns we harbor and you expressed.

My boss had a Lab. who was the victim of poor breeding and had multiple physical "issues". She swore by glucosamene chondroitron. Rex has now developed a chronic lameness in his left hind leg that two vets have been unable to pinpoint... one says hip dysplasia the other says no... I wonder if it might help him. Such a worry. I'm glad that Monty is recovering and Monique's Emma is perking up, too. Now, we need to know about Boo-boo.

Ei., I meant to pass on my condolences on the cold. What a crummy time of year to be under the weather, are you feeling any better? While I understand the point of view of the young man you linked above, the reality is that it's a news story. I don't feel the media focused on him "too much", at all. While background on him has been given there has been equal, if not greater attention paid to the lives lost (at least on NPR and PBS The News Hour). As I see it, TVs and radios all come with knobs and on/off switches. Like freedom of speech, freedom of the press carries a high price and can try your patience. There was an interesting editorial on NPR's evening news (Wednesday evening, I think) written by a young man who had been a friend of one of the Columbine shooters and had been told, "I like you, go home" by whichever one it was. He was criticized and ostracized for his friendship with the shooter... . The "collateral damage" is staggering and the effects last a lifetime. There is no doubt we must treat our fellow man with kindness and compassion and concern. We all have to try a little harder today, huh?

Enough of this, time to regrease my face and head back out to tackle some more clean up.


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Good Gloooooorious Day!!!

As I hope you all are we have been outdoors-we were hiking-Mertensia time : ) I found a red trillium and white dogtooth violet for the first time!

Lauren I love those trellises!! They are perfect because they are functional and sharp looking. Tell your Dh he did a very nice job-you are lucky!
Just look how blue your sky is!

I feel so bad for Monique,Ei & Cynthia with the dog worries-Sue is your dog doing better? Sue are you doing better yet? I am thinking how hard it must be for you to stay out of the garden...I hope you are improving-how's your energy?

Did I ever tell you guys that Ryan got bit in the face by my sister's 8 month old border collie?(a couple weeks ago) He had one deep puncture to the corner of his lip and another less deep an inch below his eye! Ryan didn't provoke it though we think the stress of my nephew's bday party was a factor. I forgive the dog but my sister and BIL kind of bothered me with a lack of interest in how Ryan was doing. Strange.

Sorry to run but we're off to MIL's...I hope she's in a better mood than she sounded on the phone....clear blue sky clear blue...sky!

~Babs


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Hi everyone

Glorious here too and I have mud not only under my fingernails, but on my knees, feet, face and in my hair. A hard working day in the yard, cleaning up the beds, sweeping the patio and opening the pool. Annie and David would join a polar bear club if they could and can't wait to get in the water. In fact they swam in the creek Friday after school - considering we had snow on Monday I'm sure the water was pretty frigid.

David is now at a sleep over, DH departed for his night at the sleep clinic and Annie and I about to head out to a friend's for dinner. It will be quiet here tonight but I think I'll sleep well.

I've been thinking of the poorly Idyll pets, Sue's recovery and now Ryan's face - how scary and most upsetting about the lack of concern on sis's part. I hope the weekend is healing for all.

Also hoping the sun has lifted the spirits of those in need and getting over colds.

Lauren - great to hear from you adn see your photos!

must run - have a great evening all

Mary


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

HI, IDYLLS!!
Still kickin' in Indiana :) We're getting some of our first nice weather of the spring. It's officially spring here, by the way, because yesterday I got to play in the yard, and then had to cut off my "winter nails" last night. I grow the nicest fingernails in the winter, then the rest of the time, have man hands, lol!
Anyhow, just wanted to say howdy!
Brenda


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Howdy Brenda! How nice to hear from you! I was just cleaning my short nails to get ready to go out and party tonight. This group just wouldn't understand my grubby look...

DH is still on the roof repairing raccoon damage. Le sigh. I've cut back still more grasses and clematis this afternoon. There must be more to life than this, but I hope not. ;-).

So Brenda, soon you'll be out in the fields again, right? Keep dropping in and telling us what's up!

Mary, I hope DH lasts through the entire test. Many don't, they give up and go home. I can't even get DH to go! But if there's something they could do to help, then everyone would be happier!

Toodle loo
'bug


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Oh Babs., biting is NOT acceptable in dogs. Like you, I'd be more foregiving of an 8 month old animal in a boisterous setting, but I see trouble ahead knowing what I know about dogs (and you know I hate them). Ry. must be OK or we'd have heard about it, but (and this is MY opinion) I agree with you and think your sister needs to take that incident a little more seriously than you believe she has. The "bite threshold" is a biggie with dogs, and with a breed as active as a Border Collie I'd be "on the case" ASAP. Working and herding dogs are incredibly smart and they HAVE to have a job or they can get really out of hand quickly; they have to be smart and "free thinking" to do what they're bred for. That's why German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Dobermans, Corgis, Schnauzers, Bouviers (? 'bug?)etc. have acquired a reputation as "rank". The more complex the job they're bred for the more "independent" the personality and that means MORE TRAINING is required to keep them "with the program" socially. Rex is a big, BOLD dog and if we "slack off" with his training he'll take full advantage of it; he "thinks for himself" if we don't think for him. He has bitten a child and was surrendered for it; doesn't really matter that he was going for a dropped cookie, he still BIT a kid who was reaching for the same cookie. He's never shown any aggression when I've reached for or handled his food bowl, but he has curled his lip at me when he's had a bone. I was quick to command, "Leave it!" and took the bone away, too. I now give him smaller bones that he may enjoy and finish in a shorter amount of time. It was a reminder to me, though. You have every right to be unnerved by your sister and BIL's reactions, or lack thereof. I would be, too!

Annie and David remind me of myself, Mary. A total water rat! I recall swimming in lakes that still had ice in them, and well into October, as well... lol. I don't know what it is, but being in the water is natural and comfortable for me. I absolutely LOVE it. And here's my shameful admission... I haven't been swimming in over 4 years. :(

I managed to tame the wilderness of Sanitary Ridge today (the bed that surrounds our raised septic system). I raked and raked, cut back the Vinca minor, and assessed the status of a couple of shrubs that may well get the shovel prune. I cleaned out the entrance to our driveway, too. The cats were THRILLED to have their human outdoors with them and put on intermittant and spectacular displays of athleticism. :) Even elderly Floey tottered out and "hung out" with me, lounging langurously in the sunshine. It WAS a glorious day. And I'm looking forward to another tomorrow.

We went outdoors after we had and Rex had dinner. It was wonderfully warm (sweatshirts) and the air smelt of wet earth and decay. Yummy! We heard a few lonely croaks and a lone, plaintive "peeper" (the first this season). But more exciting was the appearance of BATS. They put on an aeronautic show in excess of the paltry insect selection available. Jeez, I like them so much! I will listen more carefully for an increase in what I consider to be Naute's edition of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony chorale... the "peepers". If they don't arrive tonight, surely they will speak up tomorrow! I can't wait.

I have to make another pass around the yard to collect the missing cats. Both Polly and Vera have been sited but have deigned to be "caught", picked up and carried indoors. This is the evening dance we do every night in the fair seasons... call, play, turn away, and repeat. Ahh yes... spring is here. ;)

I have failed yet again, time to call in the "beast master". Night all!


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

"le sigh', where the heck is Da anyway? Whatever she's up to I hope it's fun.

I'm sitting here with a huge lemonade and vodka, heavy on the lemonade and heavy on the vodka. It's a summer evening here !!!

Oh poor Ryan. Hope this doesn't affect the way he feels about dogs :-( A 7 month old border collie? Yikes, I hope your sister has a herd of sheep to keep him busy. In one of Patricia O'Connell's books (she's an ethologist and behaviorist), she tells about going to a party where the hosts had working border collies. The BC's herded all of the children under a tree and wouldn't let them go, lol. Hope Ryan heals nicely and doesn't suffer emotional or physical scars from this.

Chelone, ripping out that perovskia is a guarantee we will all suffer a long dry summer. Remember that when we're all complaining about drought in a few months. I ripped out mine a few years ago. Not enough sun, and I don't live in a parking lot. The best stands of perovskia I see are generally in front of shopping centers.

Monique, I hope I didn't kill your inbox. Just sent you a 3MB issue of Whole Dog Journal because I found a good arthritis article in there today when I was looking for
something else. I try to remember to download them before they disappear from the site, which is by subscription only.

I wasn't very productive today. Got a lot of outdoor time but it was mostly stuffing sticks in plastic bags for yard pick-up day, followed by a trip to the pet store with Katie. Is it called the pet store because she gets lots of 'pets' (petting) there? My little sluthound thinks so. That was followed by a 2 hour nap. The nap seemed such a waste but I needed it! I have outdoor dog beds for the boney ones, but Katie decided she would sleep away the rest of the afternoon in the unmown grass under the weeping cherry. I still don't have a working camera, so my mind will have to remember the picture. It was total peace and completely soothing just to look at her.

Hi Brenda, good you could drop by.

Ei, you probably have a cold because you're wiped out from doing so much. Getting a house ready for market is a ton of work, and I know there are other things going on for you that take a lot of energy too.

GB, I think I'll have pizza for supper since you mentioned it. Pesto pizza. And I have the nicest creme brulee in the freezer, so may crack that out too.

Kathy, sorry I missed that your kitty is ill. How old is he? Cats live so much longer than dogs do. My Peter died at almost 22, and George has had CRF for two years and is now hyper thyroid, but he keeps on ticking :-) Hope Boo Boo can be comfortable and happy for a little longer. I know how tough it is to make those decisions. Thinking of you.

Hope tomorrow is as lovely as today. Oh, I did one thing right in my garden when I planted a common, boring purple leaf sand cherry (prunus cistena) right next to the patio. It's in bloom right now and the scent is just heavenly. I get to enjoy it when ever I step out on the patio or walk into the back yard.

Enjoy the rest of the evening, time for supper!

Cynthia


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

Looking like my Saturday weather is worse than my east coast compadres. Started raining here noonish and is supposed to continue into tomorrow AM. This is ok, we have way under our normal rainfall total , but why cant it rain when Im at work during the week ? I did manage to do a purchase this morning before the wet stuff started- got some basil, zinnias, and a dwarf Bearss lime and a dwarf Lisbon lemon. Got Blackie and Marguerite too. I have about a half hour before the ballgame starts so I spending it with the Idylls, while enjoying a glass of pinot.

Sue, glad you checked in and with the all important Friday greeting to boot. Hope you dont get too stir-crazy !

Babs, I feed my dog home-cooked stuff for the most part. She is diabetic and a very picky eater who started turning her nose up at canned dog food quite some time ago. I cook her low fat hamburger and chicken. I do use kibbles, usually IAMS senior stuff and mix it with the home made stuff. My cats get a bit of canned stuff but it was not a brand that was involved in the recall. Sorry about poor Ryan ! Dog bites are so painful..I guess sometimes young dogs and children dont mix well. Unfortunate that your BIL and Sis are so la-dee-dah over this. I would think at least they would want to keep a close eye on doggie to make sure no unwanted patterns develop..

Monique, so sorry we had to add your Emma to out list of pet illnesses. Boo-boo is holding his own-he has an appt Monday for some X-rays .Fortunately he is extremely mellow and vet visits dont seem to freak him out at all. We will be starting him on anti biotics as well.

Lauren those trellis are really fantastic ! They look so sturdy. What will you plant on them ?

Cynthia, I hope things continue to improve for your Monty. Boo-boo is about 15. He was a feral cat that my late hubby found in the vineyards and brought home in his shirt pocket. He has had very few health problems in his life- most of them were skin problems due to what the vet thinks is an allergy to fleas. For some reason over the last ten years or so we have had no flea problem here. I dont even bother to use Advantage any more.

Chelone, (and all the others who played outside today) I feel better knowing that you NE-ers are able to get out into your gardens at last ! Ironic that I am gazing plaintively out the window as the rain falls.

Well, I need to go watch some baseballgreetings to all not mentioned and you too Martie !

Jean Giono

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Kathy in Napa


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RE: Idyll #314, April showers bring May flowers...

I spent a good part of the day in the garden. I moved some large clumps of tulips that the deer get every year. I also moved a rose, which required the move of a lavender. Lots of other misc. jobs were accomplished as well It was horribly windy though I hate wind! It was also hot. I suppose we will go from winter to summer. I spent a fair amount of time helping DH do some clean up around the farm.

Jaden and I took a long walk along the creek and thru the grove. I told DH that it was the wild life loop. We saw 5 deer, a rabbit, lots of pheasants and a hawk in the grove. Jaden was most excited about the rabbit. There were ducks on the pond and a very large snapping turtle sunning himself on the path in front of us. He slithered in as soon as he saw us.

Monique, so sorry to hear about Emmas health issues. I hope all turns out OK. Is she an older dog? I look forward to your before and after photo. Yes we do have beadboard in the dining area.

bug, you should tell your DH that all the other Idyll husbands are going to the sleep clinic. Sues, Marys and mine. It didnt bother DH in the least. He really likes his machine and feels so much better.

Babs, sorry to hear about Ryan being bit. That was always my fear as a child. I would walk home from school in a round about way to avoid the houses that had barking dogs in the fear that they just might be loose that day. I wonder if your sister is embarrassed and doesnt want to bring it up.

Lauren, the trellises are great and the trim really adds to them.

I guess Id better put some ice on the old knees.

Michelle


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