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Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Posted by gardeningmary (My Page) on
Thu, Dec 7, 06 at 7:27

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat.
Please put a penny in the old man's hat.
If you haven't got a penny, a ha'penny will do.
If you haven't got a ha'penny, then God bless you.

Mary


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

I love Christmas time!!!

Good morning everyone!

T.


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Good morning Im trying to get into the spirit perhaps will go pick out a tree (in the dark) after work tonite last year was a bit of a trauma finding one; maybe this year Ill beat the crowd. I moan about going to artificial (which I hate, but understand their simplicity and ease) but havent quite made it there yet. I really need to decorate to get myself in the spirit!

Ugh Kathy you make me feel like a piker from whining 8 work days in a row, uh? Yuck. My body never gets used to days like that!

Tseriously, its wonderful of you to adopt those goats have you ever tried to produce goat cheese from your herd? I know nothing of this process, but Gardenbugs comment made me wonder yum. . . .

The other rescue stories (Sue & Jerri) make me want to cry. . . . Im one of those soppy people who treat their animals like children and cant understand how people mistreat their pets then again, people can mistreat their kids too so I guess theres logic in that analogue... so horrid. You guys are to be soo commended to put all your energy, emotions and hard work into real rescues.

Mary congratulations on 20 years thats wonderful one is amazed how life flies by Im sure you remember the details of your meetings & first romantic details of this big relationship.

Hope everyone has a peaceful and kind day!

-Cindy


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

I've been thinking back to France in 1950. We celebrated a simple Christmas together there near Paris. Life was still bleak after the war. There were many who wore only black, many on crutches or who begged on the streets and in the subway areas. There were no Santas, no decorations, no shopping, no trees. My parents had next to no money, but celebrated with a candle and one gift for each of the three children. I loved that Christmas like no other.

My gift was this bronze rabbit, which I treasure these many decades later. He is about 4 "long.

And more recently, the first plowing of the drive today! :-)


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

The Autumnal Equinox is coming...and after that, longer days. Yippie! Then New Year's Day is coming...with the New Year's parades...Whoopie!

My poor Blue Spruce has been reduced to pieces. Nolon could not contain himself and got out yesterday to do the job. I spread some of the limbs on beds and my cold frame. The top 6 feet or so is still laying in the 'island'. I would like to 'plant' it in a large container, for a winter's ornament, but it is so heavy I can not raise it up! It is very pretty, with cones in the top. The trunk of the tree was becoming hollow due to what ever damaged it.
The view has certainly deteriorated! boo hoo

T, I would like to have some goats if we had a well fenced area for them. I think they are cute too, and they do a great job of keeping the brush down. If I were rich, I could fence the 'eye road' and run them there, so we could see the mailbox area better. A small pond would be needed there also.

Another wintry blast is on it's way, but thankfully no precipitation. I'd hate to have to postpone my tomorrow's dr appointment. ( I had to move my eye Dr's appointment because of last week's weather.)

Marian


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Bug, your bunny is indeed a treaure. Thanks for sharing that memory with us.

I just popped in to say hi, realized how much time has passed since I was here last. Crops are finally harvested, did Thanksgiving for 61 this year, and we're in the middle of tearing up our old bedroom downstairs so we can install pergo in there. Then, that becomes the living room and voila-I have a dining room at long last!
Better get back to work, I'm just about ready for the guys to get involved. Jim has an ice fishing buddy who's going to help...cuz I told Jim NO fishing until it's done, lol! Hey, sometimes ya gotta come down a little hard on 'em.
Hi to everyone, and I'll be back!
Brenda


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Driver by, just have to say Marie that I am very touched by your story of that Christmas past, and the ongoing memory of it symbolized by that beautiful bronze rabbit. I don't know what kind of relationship you had with your parents, but I can tell you I would be very pleased if I ever managed to give one of my children a Christmas gift they would treasure throughout life.

By the way, I was at Home Depot last night looking for tree lights. No success there -- most of the lights are already cleaned out, and what remains are mainly outdoor display stuff. But Jim spotted a cart of plants -- mainly routine stuff, most of it looking spray painted. But on the top shelf -- clematis, dark dusky purple and one that looked exactly like C. florida sieboldii -- white flowers with green and purple semidouble centers. In bloom and looking pretty good! They were labelled as "Garland Clematis", "bloomrite" I think, from Roy Evison in England. They are supposedly bred for smaller size and adaptability to indoor culture and temperatures. Naturally, I had to buy one, and I might even go back and get the other one too. The idea of a clematis that would stay small and bloom all winter in your living room (then outside all summer), is certainly appealing, isn't it?


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Nice to see Brenda, again! and David... (now where did Da, Saucy, BABS., Taryn, and (sigh) Cynthia toddle off?).

Lovely story of Christmas in France, 'bug; were you born in France? And have you heard of the book, "The Story of French"?... the author was on NPR's Diane Rehm program this morning... very interesting for those inclined to linguistic pursuits! There is a similar story from the helpmeet's aunts/uncles/cousins in Germany (though a few years prior to '50). They had survived WWII, but there was nothing left in the country; they were lucky they had a roof over their heads. The kids couldn't go outdoors to play because they didn't have winter clothing; they shivered and walked briskly to school and home again. The branch of the family who had emigrated to the USA responded with characteristic loyalty. Coats, hats, mittens, socks, galoshes, and all manner of clothing arrived as promptly as was possible, along with some toys. The helpmeet's cousin read the letter of thanks from them over dinner one night. It brought tears to my eyes. A timely reminder of what Christmas is really all about... . 'bug, your anecdote contrasts pleasantly with the shots of people fighting over "Playstations". THANK YOU. How big is bronze "bun-bun"? and how/where is such a treasure displayed? :)

I'm procrastinating again about starting the decorations. Was all set to get rolling, but a rough day at work (a lot of nit-picking that goaded me to an explostion) and then racing home to get Mum to a haircut/manicure app't, only to listen to her grouse about "how long" it took and worrying about the fact that "it didn't cost 2 bits", has me wondering why I even get out of bed in the morning... sheesh! :/ . Probably precisely why I ought to hit "submit" and cloister myself in the "lab" for some quality time with boxwood and cedar.

Congrats to Mary on 20 years; there's a lot of compromise and humor tucked in those years. Hayden's "Surprise Symphony" is wonderful... has Annie ever listened to Jean Luc Ponty, Stephan Grapelli, Eileen Ivers and another woman whose name I always forget (it begins with A)?

Dogs do love to play and roughhouse, don't they? I so wish there were dogs in the neighborhood so Rex could get some "ya-yas" out on a more that thrice yearly basis...

To the "lab" I go...


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Aww... c'mon! where is everyone? Lesigh... OK... I just wanted to share my triumph over sloth. I have finished the 8 windowbox plaques. They looked pretty good in the "lab.", but as the saying in the shop goes, "EVERYTHING looks good on the table... " (meaning that it can take a decided turn for the worse at the time of installation).

Next up will be the pediments and the greens in the windowboxes. It's supposed to be quite cold tomorrow, so I may wimp out on the greens and lights and concentrate on the pediments, instead (supposed to be milder on Saturday). Could address the new urn, too. I took some pictures and will post some when the project is completed. Promise!

The helpmeet asked the other night when we were going to put the tree up. I felt my blood pressure rise, lol. Now I'm not feeling quite to "under the gun"... in fact, I'm feeling rather energized.

:)

(Mary, I haven't heard that rhyme since I was itty-bitty!)


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Thanks David for your thoughts. I know your kids will treasure moments with you more and more as they grow older. You have spent time with them along the road...and they will value that. All those hours at sports events cheering your daughter on... discussions with Matt...visits with your son and his wife. Anyway, those are things I did not have.
Chelone, I was born in Buffalo New York, but my brother was born in France and my sister in New Jersey. The War and my father's tour of duty in the French army created a rocky start to family life. The intention was to be a French family, my mother becoming a French citizen and marrying in Strasbourg. But the situation was reversed by war, and my father was the one who fled and came to the US, never becoming a citizen. The bunny is about 4" long and moves about the home as the spirit moves me.

Today was spent mostly knitting the "right front" of the jacket. This evening I tore it all apart as somehow the width was wrong. Two steps forward, one step back!

I MUST get going on Christmas but everything is working against me: meeting on Saturday, DH's concert Sunday...So much to do, so little time.

Happy though! :-)
'bug


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Had I been "reading for comprehension" the first time through, I'd not have wasted your time with such a silly question. Bad me!

I HAVE to go to bed now... another busy day tomorrow. They're all busy, these days, it seems. Too busy for me to settle down and actually look FORWARD to things that make me smile... most days it all seems like one more thing on the "laundry list".

I really regret that; I'm not that sort of person... at least I never USED to be.

:/ Nighty-night.


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

~Babs
p.s.(peek-a-boo,Chelone!)


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Yeee-ha , tomorrow is Friday and the weekend is coming at last. I have a ton of stuff to do , so it wont be leisurely by any means but at least I can sleep in till 6:30 ! I bought my paint today for the home office and started a bit of the prep work tonight when I got home. We are expecting rain over the weekend , which if nothing else will raise the temps for a few days. I realized today as I was walking my doggie , that I hate the boxwoods that I bought for the front yard project. My fault too, I ordered the wrong variety. Im going to find someone to give them too and re-order the right ones . Grrrrr. I was going to try to live with the ones I got but I just cant ! They are Korean boxwood and get a really yukky color in cold weather .Dont like the shiny foliage either. Monrovia grows one called Buxus "Green Velvet" which I will try to order. Good thing I get an employee discount.

bug I just love your bunny and the story that goes along with it.

Marian, I cant wait for the equinox either- What a drag going to work when its dark, and coming home when its dark ! I guess it at least gives us time to get caught up on the indoor chores !

Were waiting for those pics, Chelone !

See yall tomorrow, Im going to read for a while..

Kathy in Napa


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Good morning

Peek-a-Boo, I see you Babs! What a lovely photo - so fresh looking.

Thank you for all the good wishes and cards. Chelone put it exactly - twenty years represent much compromise and humor. There have been some real peaks and valleys but I wouldn't have missed it for the world. I had no idea coming into a marriage how much work it would be. We spent our honeymoon travelling around Italy for 3 weeks, staying in tiny little pensions living on a shoestring. Venice was particularly beautiful in the December light. I remember on a train journey to Sienna an Italian lady asking us if we were just married. She told us we gave off such happiness she wished she could bottle it. I'm not sure we exude that any more, but like a companionable pair of old dogs we're still happy together, admire each other's strengths and love to share a good laugh.

Looking forward to seeing the fruits of Chelone's labor.

Lots of snow here, so I need to head into work early. I don't want to steal Sue's thunder, but I sure am glad its the end of the week.

Mary


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Oh Mary! It was November 1966 and a rental car...but wasn't Sienna glorious?! We were returning from Nigeria then, and what a contrast.
I keep asking DD and her husband to bottle their joy too...
'bug


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Good Friday morning all,

Ive been trying to keep up with all these bazillion plants in this house as well as get the Christmas shopping done and get the decorations up and keep up with friends in hospital, get to the gym every day and on and on. AND of course, getting used to my new camera lens set up which I havent had a pick of time for which is a bit frustrating to me but I have gotten out a couple times. Here are a few from a couple days ago

Im finally getting the hang of the new equipment and have found new areas of the yard to photograph from where I can get better backgrounds. The areas I used to use with the digiscope set-up didnt work well with the 400mm lens. Not enough reach. So Doug is laughing at me because Im thinking of trying to set up an area in the back yard with a blind for taking the pics.

We apparently got the fish in the house just in the nick of time. The pond has been frozen over since that night. LOL Dougs workshop is absolutely stuffed with brugs, fuchsias, dahlia and canna tubers AND the lights, all 40 feet of them are stuffed with coleus, acalpah, alternanthera, abutilon, fuchsia, coprosmia kirkii, strobilanthes and on and on. Ive decided that Im totally and completely out of my mind. And then, of course, there are the orchids to take care of. One of my cymbidiums has decided to grace me with a couple flower spikes this fall which is a wonderful thing. They arent reliable bloomers for me here and some years I get flowers and some I dont.

Mary and Dan, congratulations on your Anniversary!!! How wonderful! Doug and I are approaching our 35th. I keep thinking I cant possibly old enough to have been married for 35 years! I love your analogy of being like "a companionable pair of old dogs we're still happy together, admire each other's strengths and love to share a good laugh." How true! And the work to maintain a relationship is something they never put in the romance novels. LOL

T, Jerri and Sue, you are all doing wonderful things for those critters.

Sue, are you all ready for your party?

Marie, I LOVE your Christmas Bunny! What a lovely memory and story. Thanks for sharing that with us.

Kathy, Ill bet you are going to enjoy this weekend at home after the marathon work sessions youve been putting in.

Brenda, terrific to have you back. Your presence has been missed.

Chelone, looking forward to seeing these window box plaques.

David, I still have my clematis that looks like C florida sieboldii (I think it was Evpo something) that I bought last year at this time. I should think about taking it in the house for the winter. LOL Like I need another plant in the house. I put it outside in a container in the spring and it bloomed on and off all summer and, in fact, had a lot of flowers on it when this last freeze finally took them out. Its a great plant and you are going to love it. Just watch for spider mites on it. Mine had a terrible case of them mid-winter last year and I wound up cutting back all the top growth and using a Safer miticide to keep it from infecting the rest of the house plants. I also bought that lovely, fluffy purple one and planted it out against the foundation in the rose garden and Ill see if it winters over.

OK hello to everyone! Have a great day,
Deanne


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Very quickly because I've got month end hanging in the balance.

TGIF!

Tonight is my company Christmas party and I'm blowing this taco stand early to have my hair put up. It's freezing and windy today so I should be real comfy in that halter cocktail dress...lol.

Happy Anniversary Mary & Dan!

Sue


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Good morning!!

Today is my day to babysit the twins. Because the day is a long one away from home, I have to take the 'boys' (dogs) along. They spend the day sleeping in an x-pen in the twins' home with potty breaks during the day. I don't like my morning being this rushed (it reminds me too much of the days I held a 'real' job, lol)....but I do love helping the kids out and spending time with the babies.

Still no holiday decorations done here. I have enjoyed watching the old Christmas movies that have been on television and listening to the Sirrus holiday music channel (satellite t.v.). I've not been to town much so haven't enjoyed the decorations at the malls and such...I do enjoy seeing the gigantic decorations at the malls. Simple minds, simple pleasures! :oD

Deanne, my zoom lens has arrived and I was allowed to put it on my camera to make sure it 'worked' and then I had to tuck it back in the box so that DH can wrap it for Christmas. Of course the elk were here the next morning :oP . Mine is a 70/300 so I won't have the range you have.....but I'm still expecting to enjoy it immensely. I would like to buy some photography books, but don't have the time right now to research which ones. Time for that in January.

My new beds are still looking wonderful. There are HUGE elk footprints throughout the front one (grrrr!) but the shape still pleases me and I've not got a clue as to what plants I wish to put in it. Time for designing a plan in January/February I hope. I hope!

Marriage........I thought Mary put it very well. We've passed the 30 year mark (can't remember right off how long ago, LOL, how awful of me!!!) and the deep love & trust, companionship and delight in his personality still make me thankful for him in my life. Not every day maybe (LOL).....but more often than not. I'm sure he'd probably say the same.....I'm sure I drive him to distraction some times also (some times???).

Well, I'd better get moving if I want to be loading the dogs into the car in 20 minutes.

Hope the day is a good one for all!

T.
Hello to ALL!!!


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Happy Friday all!

David I saw that Garland clematis at Trader Joes last weekend; but managed to NOT buy it sometimes its a personal triumph when I manage to resist spending $$ for a plant.

Marie thats truly a lovely Xmas story; Im wracking my brains for a lovely childhood Xmas memory and am dismayed to not be able to think of one in particular nor any gift in particular that I have to this day (altho one g-mom did give me a doll from a different country each year; and I still have that collection stored away). I do recall however that my most favorite "Mimi" (maternal g-m) did traditionally grace us each year w/ a lovely box of hand-made marshmallows covered in chocolate from a local candy store in Phila it was divine and I truly looked forward to that gift every year. To this day, I earn for them; but unfortunately they are no more. . . . She also gave me on Easter each year marshmallows dipped in a lite caramel. Yum!!!

I love to hear about other family traditions and ethnic customs for holidays its so wonderful to learn of such diversity of cultures whether it be another country, region or personal. Diversity makes it so interesting and much fun!

Deanne incredible bird photos better than seeing them in person (because I could never get that close to them!).

Chelone Im dying to see what you did for your pediments Ive said before Ive got one over front door & have always intended to make Wmsburg type dec. for it but never get around to it. . . .

Its frigid cold here today so cold after making my way to the ofc I ordered a down coat online (as usual I have to wait til all the free shipping, discount coupons I had from various places had expired) but I decided looking like the Pillsbury dough boy would be preferable to pneumonia Ill be a Warm dough boy at least. . . .

T how great, a new lens from Santa we can expect even more lovely photos from you too the winter is sure to be fun here w/ all these great photographers!

--Cindy


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Well, I have "bagged off" work today. I didn't feel like working and there is nothing that is crucial in the work "pipeline", so I've come home early. Pediments await! I put the plaques up last night and when I turned into the driveway this morning I was most pleasantly surprised by the overall effect; I was worried they would look too insignificant. But I'm pleased. I'll put pictures up when I'm finished with the whole project. I'll try to get one of the plaques today... very festive with the dusting of snow.

We have a few inches of snow and it's cold and windy. The roads were pretty greasy, but going slowly and allowing plenty of room to stop/avoid the less prudent has always worked for me. ;) (I definitely live life in the "slow lane").

I started a fire in the woodstove when I got home, good day for it! And thought again of the unfortunate people in the mid-west who are STILL without power a week after the fact... it was the 2 cord of seasoned, split firewood under the filon shed that reminded me of precisely how fortunate we really are. Polly has ventured outdoors, Vera declined, Spencer and Flo will have NO part of it, at all. Flo has headed for her place behind the stove... it's a prized location and she defends it with great vigor. Methinks some catbox mining is the immediate future; I heard sounds of scratching.

Deanne, is the charming little creature in the second picture a Titmouse? I confess I'm not very good at identification, but am a sucker for the little guys with "crests". They have such a jaunty look about them.

OK, I'm procrastinating now!


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Brrrrrrr., VERY chilly here today also with 30mph winds and 20 degree temps wind chills are in the single digits. Speaking of digits mine are freezing as I type this. LOL

Chelone, yes that is indeed a Tufted Titmouse, one of my favorites. Like all the tits they are difficult to capture because they dont sit still for a minute. Im having better success with the new lens because the auto focus is pretty fast.

T, congratulations on that lens, that 70/300 Canon is a really nice, versatile lens and you are going to love it. I couldnt stand to put it under the tree until Christmas.

Sue, HALTER DRESS TONIGHT???? You outta your mind? Youre going to freeze your body parts off. LOL

OK must get to the grocery and pick up all the items DH forgot to get last night. Never works when one forgets the list.

Have a good afternoon all and Sue have a great time at your party, photos would be much appreciated?

Deanne


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Wow, Deanne, I'm surprised the "police" allowed you to get away the appreviation for Tufted Titmice, lol. :)

OK, here you go:

Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com

Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Deanne, your bird photos really are incredible -- beautifully composed and nice blurring of the background to make the bird stand out. And with every one (at least those you are showing, but that's OK.....) the highlights reflected in the bird's eye which makes them come alive! You really MUST come to the midwest and go to Crane Creek or Pt Pelee to see the incredible midwestern migration of warblers. Let's just say that the photo ops for a photographer of your caliber would be beyond belief. There is always an army of photographers with long lenses, but I bet what you would get in terms of photos would beat most if not all..... (and of course you would get to visit all your midwestern friends :o))......


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David is right, Deanne. Point Pelee is magnificent. We saw a tree full of white egrets there that amazed me one October. Of course I had no camera.

And what to my wondering eyes should appear today??? Four feet away from me at the diningroom window....

Only one antler left, but still he amazed me. In fact he just stood there staring at me for ages. Those eyes! I went upstairs to get my camera and opened the window to take this shot. He had moved over to the bridge area by then to munch on my rugosas. :(

Chelone, A+++!


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Pity you don't care for venison, 'bug. You had a perfect shot, though not the sort you took. I can taste the mincemeat now...

(sorry) :)


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

The weather has turned mild here with temps for the next 5-6 days predicted to be in the 40s to 50s.

Chelone, I love them! They turned out great and the snow is a great touch.

Deanne, Im blown away by your bird photos.

bug, I enjoyed your Christmas memory.

Mary, congratulations on 20 years.

Nice to hear from Babs and Brenda.

Not much new here, other than a little candy making. I dont do much of it, but Im supposed to bring a tray to a party on Wed.

Later
Michelle


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Thanks for the positive feedback! I've completed the pediments, for the most part... I want to add some grasses along the lower edge of for that extra "oomph!".

I pretty sick of boxwood and cedar about now... :)

Next up? the greens in the windowboxes and the lights. And the urn. Tommorrow!

Wonderin' what the temp. is inside Sue's house that permits a halter dress? does that girl have a woodstove?!


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Come out, come out wherever you are...

OK, I confess to a good deal of envy for those of you out there with "lives". :/ I remember what it used to be like! I've done 2 loads of laundry, cleaned the kitchen, done the dishes, set out Mum's fresh fruit (she likes it room temperature) and I'm trying to decide whether or not I should go out to cut down some grasses, letting her sleep or should I just get her up, administer Fosamax, and then be "free" to move about the compound at will without fear that she will awaken alone and be afraid. My brother will see the attorney on Monday and then we will begin the tedious process of paperwork. (There are 25 pages of it, most it involving the details of financial assets!).

I was hoping for yummy details of Christmas parties; food, clothing, ambiance... but no...

;)


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Sorry Chelone, no " yummy details of Christmas parties; food, clothing, ambiance..." here, so I am just going to lay low until about the last of the month.

Well...I 'did' use my gift BD card from our son. I got myself 3 pretty necklaces.

I also got a good report from my dr on the EKG and chest x-rays that were taken yesterday. My BP was up some, so she prescribed a stronger med.

Marian


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Good morning everyone,

The temps have moderated here and I guess it is supposed to get back up into the 50s tomorrow and stay there for a few days. This weather has been swinging hot and cold for weeks now and is one of the strangest late falls I remember. I started getting my Santa collection out yesterday and putting up a few of the Christmas wall ornaments. Ive got some painted things, some embroidered things and some needlepoint things. Kind of a mish mash but they all look festive when put together.

Chelone, LOL about getting away with the abbreviation for the family of Tufted Titmice and Chickadees. I didnt think of it until after Id hit the submit button. ~~ Your plaques for your window boxes are just beautiful! Love them! What a terrific job youve done. All your home decorations, your table and window treatments youve show us are so elegant and tasteful. ~~ Ill post piccies of the Christmas decorations later when all is set up.

Michelle, thanks very much! I appreciate the feedback. ~~ Like yours our weather is supposed to moderate for the next week or so. Thanks for sending it along this way. ~~So what kind of candy do you make? Ive never done that and am not likely to start now unless it involves chocolate. LOL

Marie, what a sweet pic of that little two pointer. Your farm is looking like a winter wonderland. So beautiful! We never did get any snow from that storm the last couple days it stayed couth and on the coast.

David, you are too kind! Coming from you that is a compliment indeed. For those of you who dont know David is a fabulous bird photographer and more importantly a knowledgeable and experienced birder. When I visited him at IU1 he showed me some slides of warblers that were outstanding. ~~ So David, Id love to come out in May for migration. Im going to need to practice my field work with the camera. Im comfortable in my back yard where I can kind of set up the perches and backgrounds but to be fast enough to catch small migratory birds in the field is going to require some work and practice on my part. If I have spring migration out your way as a goal that will give me incentive to just get out there.

Cindy thanks, I love working with the telephoto lenses so you can see the details on the tiny songbirds clearly. Lots of fun. ~~ So what do you consider frigid cold in your southern climes? You arent going to regret getting that down coat. There is nothing like a good down outer garment when the temps are dipping well below freezing.

So Sue, tapping my foot here. Id love to see pics of your updo and halter dress please?

Marian, what kind of necklaces did you get? Bling is ALWAYS a good thing. ~~ Glad to hear your check up when well.

OK I guess its time to get to the gym and work off those two glasses of wine and plate of pasta I ate last night. We had company (every Friday night, LOL) and I fixed a chicken dish where I simmered boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a non-fat marinara sauce I get from Trader Joes. Then I add yellow, green and red peppers, onions, garlic, sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and fresh mushrooms and serve it over whole wheat rotinis. Yum! Throw in some nice Cabernet and ooo la-la what a meal! Good food, good company and lots of good conversation.

Have a great day all,
Deanne


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Good morning

Chelone - your fruity decorations are fabulous! How wonderful your house must look in its Christmas glory. Your days sound so hard, yet you always get so much accomplished. Hope you can carve out some more time to yourself this weekend. You certainly deserve it:0)

T - hope you enjoyed your day with the twins. A new lens is a super exciting present! How are the goats doing now? Thinking about what their family are going through and will have to face in the future is heartbreaking.

Deanne - stunning birds!! I love the idea of a blind in your back garden LOL! Glad your fishes will not become fishsicles. Mine are dormant somewhere below the ice though I'm keeping their air hole open.

GB - deer are such pretty creatures, though their damage is anything but. Your photo of DH and students show a lively and interesting crowd of young people. They must have some stories to share.

Sue - any chance of a pic of you with your hair up in the halter dress? Hope the party was fun.

Michelle - what sort of candy do you make? Fudge is a fovorite here, though the homemade marshmallows we did one Easter were a huge hit.

Cindy - stay warm and toasty in your new coat. My serious winter jacket is a puffy down one from Lands End. Cosy but pretty unflattering.

Today the market run is already complete (wearing unflattering down jacket) and kitchen cleaned to government standards (good enough). I'll be baking later so will save the serious scrubbing for after that. No music lessons this morning, Instead a trip to a wool shop with a friend to spend a gift certificate which will be fun.

Our other project for the weeekend it a miniature Iroquois Longhouse. David's teacher assigned a family project to complement what the kids are learning in class. It can be as simple as a shoe box covered in paper, or as complex as you like. Drawn in by anything miniature I've spend a couple of evenings making tiny scale Indian figures out of Fimo, and David and I will be adhering fake bark to the structure today. David is very excited that there will be a removable front to reveal the furnished interior.

Hi to everyone I missed and enjoy the weekend. The Longhouse calls.

Mary


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Quick drive by here. No time to read...

DH finally was able to get our net service back up yesterday pm. Then we got a call from Mom's neighbor that she'd fallen in her garage, might have been unconscious, was disoriented and hurt.

We FLEW over and had her transported to university hospital. Of the 3 stories we heard from her, it's most likely that she lost her balance on the ramp to her back door, hit the ramp with her hip and the back of her head on the concrete step. she has a baseball sized hemotoma on the back of her head and one to match on her hip. So far, the xrays and CT scan show that nothing is broken and she's not bleeding internally. They're keeping her for observation because of her age (82) and meds.

At the moment, she's stable and doing OK other than being very sore. I have to say tho, after he initial disorientation, I'm amazed how sharp mentally she still is. I'm on my way up there now. I'll be back when I can. TTYL.


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

OK, OK, the pictures came out crummy, as usual, but here I am, fake smile, frozen pose and all. Tom apprently needs some pointers on taking portrait shots. You can't use a flash with my camera or everything washes out and the room light is never enough. Paint Shop Pro to the rescue. The dress wasn't halter but the back was open. As luck would have it the function hall was warm enough so I got away without having to toss a frumpy wrap over the dress. Got lots of compliments on the "do". My hairdresser put it up for me in the afternoon.

All-in-all the party was fun and the food was actually decent considering the turnout was somewhere around 300. We hung around fairly late with a couple of my co-workers people watching on the dance floor. I must be getting old but does everyone under 40 have tatooes these days? You should have seen some of the artwork people have on their backs and chests-women garbed out in outfits that barely cover their you-know-whats doing god knows what to the beat of jungle music. Egads! lol

Here's another shot of mommy and her little freshy man.

Today I've got to get serious about finishing up the decorating and getting into party planning mode. As usual we'll probably have close to 40 here next week for the open house and as of right now I am nowhere near ready.

Chelone, love the pediments. A few people in the historic district here in my town do a really nice job with that type of outdoor decor. It's perfect for their lovely circa 1700 and 1800 homes too.

Deanne, your bird shots are reminding me I need to get the heated birdbath and feeders out. Birds are starting to hang around. They must be thinking, "What gives?" lol.

Later,

Sue


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Good morning to Chelone who is feeling lonely! My excitement last night was sitting here too brain dead to put words together into a meaningful sentence.

And I brought home a pile of work to do this weekend.

I hope that Sue's party went well. There would have been no halter dresses in my house last night; it's been near zero the last few days.

I got a chuckle from David's story of going to Home Depot to buy Christmas lights and coming home with a clematis instead. My DD is now up to three plants in her dorm room; she brought home a pointsettia the other day. I think I have definitely infected her!

Speaking of plants, mine are crying for water. TTYL!

V.


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Nah, Deanne...no Bling ! Just el cheapo necklaces from Wal Mart's wall display. But I like them.
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And a pic of the naked island:
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Boo hoo......
The tall stump is from a long ago cut down oak. The shorter one to it's right is the Hemlock's. The pile of wood to the left is the Spruce. It's top is behind the tall stump. The oak in the center is the dying one that will be coming out next. Ah....the ever-changing scene!

Sue, very spiffy! You look loverly...(smile).
LOL, about the tattoos, skimpy clothing, and weird dancing. Not "my cup of tea" !

Deanne, your forecast sounds just like ours, only the warm 50's are to start today for us. Your bird pics are beautiful... ( naturally).

Marian


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Yahoooo - Sue, that's a hot (chilly!) dress - you looked great - love your hair. But gives me the chills - in myhouse you'd be wearing goosebumps for accessories.

Honey - glad to hear your Mom seems to be okay but Im sure you lost a few years from worry in the meantime.

Chelone - I do love your decorations - well worth the effort - they are so classy and cheerful.

My big excitement last nite was hitting Home Depot for an Xmas tree (single people solo are definitely discriminated against -- everything is tied up (bring your own scissors); no carts/no help/etc... but their prices are "reasonable" -- after last year's fiasco trying to find a tree I was determined to get one before the hoards and bad weather had descended this year -- so I was pleasantly surprised to see quite a stock of Frasers 7' & above.... almost had a 8' in my "hands" when I decided to look in the size down -- managed to get the sole employee in that area to uncut this one tree - I swear it was 10 feet tall - I said to him, this is way more than 7 feet - no, no, maam, is right.... Im staring & staring (thinking I know Im right, this tree is huge and mismarked - "7'") - I decide to take it -- manage to stumble to the car & push it in; bring it home; plop it up outside the front door - grab the tape measure -- after he cut 6 or 8 inches off the bottom - this tree is STILL 10 feet tall! LOL.... Im going to have to chop the leader off (& o dear, may have to knock on a neighbor's door for a borrowed chainsaw to cut more off the bottom - my hacksaw wont do it)... They definitely had them mismarked. But the house is smelling like Xmas now (tree standing in the foyer in a bucket as I couldnt lumber it around back).

To answer the inquiry re chilly in this area -- it was about 20 degrees here yesterday (of course, going back to the 50s in a couple days); it's been known to get down below 0 a few times a winter; and we've had times when it's constantly been in the single digits for week at a time -- usually my wool coats & heavy sweaters work for that; but I find the biting winds the worst & my vanity (re the ugly bumpy down over fatty body) has been overcome by chills. If I have to do the DC commute, I'm going to have to be warm - the heck w/ "fashion".... I will never make a good snow bunny!

Brrrrr - gotta go chop that tree some more!

Cindy


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Yeah! now that's more like it... some stories from people with "lives". Just what I needed this morning. :)

Sue, you look maHvelous! love the up-do, VERY flattering. (As an old timer in the village where I spent my teen years once said to me, "more mystery to a woman with her hair up that one with her hair down..."). You and "freshy man" make a handsome couple. As for tatoos... I don't get it, either, but I've seen what years and gravity can do to flesh, ;). Would it be same to assume there weren't many foxtrots or waltzes on the dance floor... ? (YOUR decorations look lovely!)

As one who choses NOT to cook, I am not the person to comment on baking, candy making... though I am duly impressed by you culinary efforts.

Marian, great news from your doctor, huh? and count me in with the crowd that wants to see your "bling".

Honey, I'm glad your Mom is OK. At 80, Mum is physically pretty spry, but I worry that she will fall, too. Mentally, she is "out to lunch". There is a worry that goes along with caring for the elderly that can sometimes be overwhelming. You want to "hover", but how much is too much? and when does hovering become more detrimental than helpful? Such a fine line. No question, though, your mother is going to be stiff and sore for a few days. :( In truth, it's probably harder on you than it is on her! How's Bullet?

Coats... I used to work for a retailer that sold only coats (did alterations for them). I have several. But get this: I now wear my late Aunt's aubergine microfibre parka! I filched it from her closet after her death. She was a sharp dresser and I did a picky cruise through her closet, scoring several very nice items. So, I now sport dead people's clothes, lol. I have no pride. In truth, I think of Betty every time I put on one of her things, she was a fascinating, vibrant woman, well ahead of the times. I remember when the "snorkel" coats were "in" the last time. I was in HS and everyone looked like the Michelin Man. The kids that smoked always had duct tape over the holes the ashes burned in the nylon outer fabric... LOL. Still, though, you have to be practical. Warm coat, warm boots, gloves/mittens, and a HAT. Being uncomfortable in the winter is just plain STUPID, not to mention potentially dangerous.

Mary, you can keep the cookin', but I'd be ALL OVER the Iroquois Longhouse project! I love doing stuff like that, too. And I always received an A on projects/reports. It's such fun to get right into something like that. The more you read, the more you learn, and the more fun it becomes. Makes me sad that too many parents don't "help", get involved, and kids feel overwhelmed by the scope of the task. Can't imagine how frustrating that must be for them when they see a project that is well researched and beautifully rendered. Lesigh.

Gotta feed Mum and get about the things I WANT to do today. One foot in front of the other, step by step, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step... how come I've not get arrived at the destination?

;)


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming-Honey

Honey, Wow! That must have been quite a scare! I'm glad she wasn't hurt badly,( but bad enough ! ). It made me envision such a thing happening to me, espacially with my treks out to get the wood. I shall be even more cautious now.


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

I wasn't going to do this until I had the windowboxes filled (really I wasn't!), but I'm running outta steam and have a late afternoon customer. No way will I be able to complete the project with enough light for a "photo op.".

Sooo... here's the next phase:

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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Well how beautiful can it get? Chelone, your home is stunning and tasteful. How incredibly wonderful! Be proud of yourself!

DH was a martyr today. After a long meeting all morning (which I too attended) he drove me off to the camera shop, to the Fraser fir tree outlet, to the ribbon and berry decoration place (where I bought myself an orchid), to the framer's to frame a wedding photo, then to the grocery store to pick up a roasted chicken for our dinner. Poor Charlotte had her day alone from 8am until 5 pm and survived. She has amazing bladder control! But she got lots of attention once we got home. DH installed a wreath on the barn, so that is the total of our decorating so far.

Sue, your party "do" is gorgeous along with the dangling earrings! Tom's photography skills can't hide your loveliness! LOL on tattoos. Boy was I relieved when DD and SIL decided against tattooed rings! In fact their rings are unique and quite striking. Two German sisters who married nephews of ours had butterfly tattoos on their shoulders. Last I heard they were bored with them and were contemplating the painful removal of said butterflies. Yuck.

Cindy, I too bought a long jacket for winter in Alberta for my visit there. At -41 you don't want to monkey around. I even bought it in a men's size, so you can imagine how flattering it is. NOT.

Marian, what a wide open space you will have. I can imagine planning something fun for the new space, whether plants, an arbor, a birdbath or simply a comfortable bench with a view. What fun to buy yourself a few bangles! Every now and again a gift for one's self is a real 'pick me up' I think.

Oh Honey, I hope all goes well with Mum. Falls are the biggest problem as we age. And I know my parents were stubborn about using walkers when in fact they were really an aid to independence! I wonder if I will be so hesitant when my time comes.

Can someone tell me if we have decided on a book to read come the new year? I'd like to be prepared this time!

I'm off to knit.
'bug


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Hello Everyone, Im enjoying my Saturday afternoon beer (Fat Weasel pale ale today) even though it is after 5 and almost Saturday evening. It was supposed to rain all day today but we only had a couple of brief showers. But with the overcast it has warmed up quite a bit and so Ive been able to lay off the heater all day.

I got about halfway done with painting the home office / study today. And I had the dude who is going to finish my hardscaping in the front yard over to view the project-he thinks he can get it done in one to two days, and will try to start Monday, depending on the weather. I know the bare root roses are in down at our local garden center , so if Im lucky Ill be able to do some planting next weekend.
I just today got all the Christmas stuff down DS DD and I are going to get the tree tomorrow , and hopefully in the next couple of days I can create the Fabulous Mantle Display. Wont be as fabulous this year though, because I have a home repair issue involving the sheetrock over the fireplace and the mirror that will not get addressed til after Christmas.

Chelone , love how your project turned out ! You must be really pleased-that faux fruit sets them off beautifully. You wont get any yummy details of parties etc out of me at this point. Im just happy to have a day off even though I spent most of it with a paint brush and roller. So are you going to send us a pic of you nattily turned out in Aunt Bettys aubergine parka?

Honey, wow, scary thing with your Mom. You must be relieved that nothing is broken.

Great dress Sue- but think how well it would show off a large selection of tattoos if you were so inclined ! Perhaps a banana tree on one arm, a clematis vineing up the leg and and anklet of rosebuds ??

Hey Marian, those necklaces look pretty nice for Wal-Mart cheapos ! Isnt it fun to buy yourself a present ? Thats how Im going to feel when I go down to buy my bare-root roses. I bought myself a new hat this winter too, one of those fleece brimmed hats from Lands End I ts nice and toasty when Im out walking the dog at the crack of dawn.

Cindy, Well good for you with your bargain 10-footer ! Kinda makes the annoying Home Cheap-o experience worth it ! I am fortunate to have an employee discount when I get my tree tomorrow. I will get a 7ish foot Noble and only have to pay cost plus 10% . Your tree may have been mis-marked from the grower-often times they do the tagging of the height.

Think Ill go start a fire , as it has started raining steadily , and a fire seems like the thing. Im reading "The Historian" by Elizabeth Kostova which is a Dracula story , quite suitable for a rainy night by the fire dont you think ? Accompanied by Bach ?
Im eating leftover rice and lentil pilaf for dinner, I havent cooked anything decent in ages working all those days in a row really messed up my routine, and now I have all these chores to do. Whine whine whine.. Im going to make enchiladas this week come hell or high waterthat chicken pasta dish of Deannes sounds mighty tasty too..
G night yall

Kathy in the soggy Napa Valley


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Chelone, I love the overall look of your house and the decorations. Very New Englandish.

Sue, you look fabulous!

Marian, I have a bracelet that would look perfect with your caramel colored necklace. I really love the color.

Last night we attended our first wrestling meet. Our 10 year old grandson was participating. I was surprised to see Pre-K kids wrestling. Tonight was the Christmas party that the school board members put on for the teachers and staff. Not nearly as formal as Sues. I wore jeans, a pale pink turtleneck sweater and a black jacket.

My culinary efforts are pretty pathetic. I made those candies with the round pretzels, Hersheys Hugs and an M&M, it doesnt get any easier than that. I also made mixed nut clusters and another toffee kind of candy.

We hit 59 today, so the Christmas shopping in the city was fairly bearable. It actually wasnt very busy, I believe that people must have thought it was too nice out to shop. So V, hopefully its headed your way.

Honey, what a scare! I hope your mom is back on her feet and home quickly.

Mary, Id love to be your kid and do projects with you. You are such a great mom.

Cindy, I have to give you credit on lugging home that big tree by yourself. I gave that up quite a few years ago as it was too stressful.

Kathy, I love your ideas of tattoos for Sue. LOL

Later, I have gifts to wrap.

Michelle


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Honey glad you mother is all right, and that the neighbor was there for her. It's when I hear of things like that that I wonder if it isn't worth it to set up one of those personal alarm thingies that phones for emergency help when you press the button. I've also heard of neighbor alert systems for closer help, though probably nothing is necessary as it sounds as though the fall was an isolated incident.

Chelone the outdoor decorating is lovely. I think you did a splendid job of mixing real and artificial elements. I blush as I mention that most of the greenery I've got is fake. I buy lookalike garlands and pretend they are real, as they have some real elements, like pinecones and nuts in shells, to them. I only do lights outside, so no one but me and my family see the fakeness. I get a real tree though, so the scent of tree permeats the indoor air. I find extra greenery to be very expensive here and don't like paying over and over again for more than the tree. I guess I'm cheaper than I think. (:o/

Marian love the cheapo bling. Is there such a thing? Anyway I went to quite a few craft fairs in the last little while, and did the same, treated myself to some jewelry. Years ago I lost all of my jewelry to theft, and have never replaced any of it. I had been waiting for the right time and to choose pieces of equal value, but recently I wondered why wait for that, as it looks as if having the kind of money it takes to replace diamonds and emeralds, and the irreplaceable sentimental pieces, is a long time away, or never, so I've decided not to wait any longer.

Mary I'd love for you to send some recipes my way. I need to cut down on the wheat I consume, even though it's mostly whole grain, whole wheat blends, and I'm hoping other grains will have the satisfying taste/texture combo or at least be close to wheat.

I love both of Sue's evening dressy oufits but am particularly partial to alive warm, loving, cuddly fur, so the second pic is my favorite.

Hi to everyone else. It's my sleepy time as it's late as usual. Da used to sometimes keep me company a bit in the wee hours, and I miss that.

Take care all,

Yeona


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

A little bit of Christmas from my house:

The tree urn:

The dwarf Alberta spruce that I had in a container this summer along with some fruit to match the wreath. It also has lights:

New front door wreath:


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Michelle, it all looks wonderful! I love the urn. (rather than the ugly stand we use) You seem ever so organized. You probably have time left over to come do my decorations too. LOL

I just glanced at my calendar and saw that Friday the 8th was the "Immaculate Conception". I guess I've missed something in my religious education. Wasn't Jesus born on the 25th of December? Even cats don't produce offspring so quickly. I guess God works in mysterious ways. You learn something new every day!

Today is DH's concert. He is not thrilled to be performing along with dozens of kids at a recital but his teacher assures him that other adults (probably age 18) will be performing as well. So if you have a moment, send good vibes (not flat ones!) to him around 4PM.

Progress is being made on the knitting front with 2 sleeves left to go. Then lots of stitching pieces together, crocheting edges, making fringe and attaching buttons.

I am looking for ideas for our big dinner for 10 on the 29th. Some will have had their Christmas dinner already on the 25th, so I won't be doing turkey. I've been told by DSIL that spinach is NOT a favourite except raw in salad. Chelone, they served lots of venison while I was out there visiting, so I probably should go with something else for the meat, likely beef or maybe a salmon. Any thoughts to share on this?

It is sunny and working its way to above freezing for the day. YES!

Enjoy the season!
'bug


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Good Warm Sunday Afternoon!

We are lit outside, the larder is full, Village is up, family rotation plans made, and work-work stuff done. Tree next weekend along with most gift-getting and then will make every attempt to get to Sue's party.

Vavavavoom for Chelone's house, Michelle's arrangements, Sue's dress even sans Clematis tatoo, Marian's deserved bling and outdoor-dining-room-to-be, snow and animal/bird shots, and Moniques entire thread. Whew!!! Lots of cool looking today.

Busy, busy week to be sure, but a lot of laughing, learning and fun. My new corporate structure makes "home base" Burlington, VT. I'll still have an office in Springfield and can work out of home more, but Burlington???? Three hours one way and no four-wheel drive. Think I need the group kids and grand-kids to make me a rocket :-)

Every day has been a party with clients and I have the three extra pounds in one week to prove it. Western MA has tons of great restaurants, but my favorite "party" is bringing really good food into offices for everyone who doesn't normally get asked out. So, this week's lunch pick was from Max's Tavern and included spinach/dried tomato/portabella/provolone lasanga, 10 veggie chopped salad with vinegarette, sausage-stuffed penne in basil/rosemary cream, turkey and stewed cranberries in puff pastry, dessert from LaFiorentina Bakery (how can That be bad???) and sparkling cider.

Put in my first seed order to Territorial and Rich is keeping track of spending and space for me. Uh-Huh!! I won't let him near the Pinetree catalog without the same caveat. LOL

Good to see so many folks posting.

Will be in and out for the next several weeks. See you all later!!

Martie


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

A fond good afternoon to all my friends in faraway places.

Michelle, the tree in the urn is beautiful! what a great idea. And I love the little Alberta spruce in the urn, decked out to echo the pretty wreath. Just lovely. I have yet to get that pretty fall arrangement out of my mind.

Now 'bug... the Immaculate Conception wasn't Jesus, it was Mary; who was born without original sin. I learned that at a very funny play we saw at the theatre a year/two ago, "Late Night Catechism". If you have a chance to see it, GO. I think you would love it.

I stuffed the windowboxes this morning, but didn't have the patience to deal with the lights, so that will get done tomorrow, and then I will be able to safely add some more delicate greenery to the fronts of them. I also filled the new plastic urn I bought. This is the first time I've used red twig dogwood as a vertical accent and I just love it. I'll have to add a couple of them to the plantings around the perimeter of the yard, methinks (like those neon green jobs, too).

I don't think you can go wrong with Salmon! What about a pork roast? or my very favorite... lamb. Maybe a ham (with horseradish)? We have CD that parodies Christmas carols, and one of my favorites is "The Most Fattening Time of the Year", to the tune of "The Most Wonderful...". I howl every time I hear it; by rights I ought to weigh considerably more than I do... because I love to eat good food. :)


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Chelone, I put a link to the online version of "The most fattening time of the year. BTW, loved the greenery on your house; can't wait to see the finished scene.

Michelle, the tree in the urn is a fantastic idea.

Hubby just informed me that it's time to get back to painting the kitchen. Duty calls...

Here is a link that might be useful: The most fattening time of the year song


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Bug, neither "the Immaculate Conception" nor the " original sin" are found in the Bible.


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Thank you for the lesson Chelone. I must have been absent that week. It explains alot!

DH's concert was quite fun. It took place in a nearby Mennonite church and there were about 15 participants, ranging in ability. They came from many walks of life too. DH did quite well, but it amazed me how nervous he was for someone who has been in rock & rioll bands and who has tought for almost 40 years! One woman who sang is a karate instructor who sings to her students to thank them. Another girl was the daughter of the church minister. Two beautiful young ladies are granddaughters of a couple who are Ukrainian Mennonites who escaped to near Poland after WWII, went to Germany, then to Brazil, and on to Canada in 1964 with young children. They speak many languages, are outgoing, happy and delightful! They have sung in church choirs in every country they have lived. The whole family sings, and well too! One fellow is training to sing in musicals in Toronto...and on and on. Here is the church. (The photo of DH on stage was fuzzy)

Monique, why are you painting your kitchen? It was perfect 2 years ago when I saw it! Is there a new colour scheme?

Off to make dinner.
Tra-la-la-la-la
La-la-la-la!
'bug


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Good evening

Michelle - your tree looks quite regal in that lovely urn.

Sue - you must have been the most glamorous guest at the party. Fabu-fabu-fabu!!

GB - what a beautiful church. Bravo to your DH! - the concert sounds fun. For your dinner how about a leg of lamb? Perhaps roasted with garlic and rosemary, or boned and stuffed for easier carving. lamb has always been one of my favorite treats.

Today was mostly occupied by craft projects. David and I are making a lot of progess on the Longhouse. He has become quite expert with the hot glue gun and most of the "bark" is now attached to the outside. Tomorrow we will construct the sleeping platforms inside. I also had a lot of fun making a tiny Christmas scene inside a tea cup. It is for a friend who collects miniatures and each year I make her something tiny. I was pleased with how it came out and can hardly wait for her birthday. Perhaps if I post a picture Da will come back again.

I've just finished the kitchen clean-up and have one more load of laundry to fold before turning in.

Nite all

Mary


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Just a quick note.....it has been a busy weekend and I'm very tired.

Honey, I'm thankful to read that your mother seems to be okay. I hope she will not have any lasting problems from her fall.

Sue, you look wonderful! I wish you had been able to get a photo of you and Tom together....I bet you were the best looking couple there.

Mary, you are such a good mom...I'm eager to see the photos. I hope your DH is feeling better/healed from the wisdom teeth extraction. I had mine done at 18 (many, many moons ago) and still remember the experience.

The Christmas decorations have been lovely .... The bird photos wonderful.....

I cannot remember what else I was going to mention so guess I'll just stop here.

Hope it was a restful and nice weekend for everyone. :o)

T.

Here is a link that might be useful: I'm dreaming of a White Christmas---fun site.


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Good morning all,

Well the temps were so warm yesterday, I think it topped out at 50 degrees or so, that we were able to work outside and (please insert a drum roll here) we now have two cars in the garage again! I cant believe Ive gotten 95% of the pots cleaned out and dealt with and Im suspecting that the remaining ones are going to go the big compost heap at the dump. There are a couple very large Golden Marenka fuchsias that I really should take in but other than that I think its time to let the rest of it go and call it done.

Last night MJ and I went to a movie and saw that new one Happy Feet. Well it was just too cute for words and I laughed all the way through at the silliness of it. Dancing penguins is right up my alley.

We still didnt get the behemoth tree down from the attic but Im hoping to get to that this week. Now to wrap all those presents and get them delivered. We will be going to Dougs DS for Christmas dinner this year so no large meal preparation for me which is a good thing.

Saturday evening was one of those social events you think will be lots of fun but turns into a bust. The gym hosted a party for its members and Doug and I thought it would be fun to participate. Got all gussied up for a party and we got to the party and didnt know a soul there! And on top of that everyone was wearing old blue jeans and the girls were wearing tube tops and the guys old t shirts. Whats with that? The buffet was just about inedible so Doug and I finished our one beverage and got out of there, went to Surfs had a lovely date.

Chelone, your decorations are just beautiful! What a fantastic job youve done with that. I dont know how you find the time with everything else on your plate right now.

Hey Monique! Nice to see you! I dont remember what color are you painting the kitchen? You remember those cuttings from that variegated perennial fuchsia? Well I dont know what is with them, Ive lost all but one. Cross your fingers that one survives.

Martie, Burlington???? Jeesh, how often are you going to have to make that commute?

Bug, Id vote for salmon or a nice lean pork loin.

Michelle, that tree in the urn is absolutely inspired! I just love it! What a clever idea and so elegant. It all looks wonderful.

Sue, Oooo la la! You look fabu-fabu! Love the updo! And the dress of course. Those arms of yours show all the strength training you do and that dress is perfect for you. And Freshman is quite dashing on your arm. Was he crushed he couldnt go to the party? LOL ~~ no kidding about the tats thing. It seemed that every woman in the tube top at the party was sporting several, hence, the tube tops to show them off. Im not getting why one would put several tattoos that dont go together on the same body. Like a red rose on one shoulder and a crescent moon in a blue circle on the other. Go figure?

Michelle, how do you stick your nut clusters together?

Kathy, so how much rain have you gotten there? ~~ Youd love that chicken pasta and the best thing is it tastes even better as leftovers. Sprinkle a bit of fresh grated Parmesan reggiano on top and it is perfect.

Honey that is just awful about your Mom. I sure hope she is fine and there are no ill effects from it. Its a worry. Have you figured out why she fell?

T Ive been hoping you could sneak that lens out from under the tree and show us some lovely elk and your beautiful mountains. I guess Ill have to wait until after Christmas.

Cindy, I LOL over your Christmas tree story because we are stuck with an artificial tree that is ENORMOUS! It was on sale at Sams club several years ago after the holiday and Doug and I thought it a great bargain so we picked it up and stored it in the attic. The following Christmas when we dragged it down and set it up I was horrified. Not only is the thing nine feet tall, which is the height I wanted for this room, but it is NINE feet wide which is the problem. We put it up anyway but I can tell you that Im glad to have my space back after the holiday. We do have a good laugh at ourselves every year when we set it up.

Marian, pretty necklaces. Love them. Im partial to almost anything that is shiny! LOL

Mary, Im looking forward to seeing photos of that longhouse when finished. Also do you have a pic of the miniature? When I was in school many moons ago I did a miniature of the House of the Seven Gables. I had a ball with it. All those dormers and clapboard.

All righty, Ive got to get to the gym and get that over with earlier today. The lady who colors my hair is coming over this AM at 9:00 to banish those unfortunate gray hairs that insist on showing up.

Have a great day all,
Deanne


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Chelone those final decorations are gorgeous. Did the cedar and boxwood all come from cuttings on your property? I bet your fingers are sore & tired after all that wiring & gluing. Many man hours involved there.

Kathy what bareroot roses are you planning for this "winter?" Youll have us all envious I love reading about what treat of ale youre choosing each Sat. its a nice little "reward" isnt it for your hard work? Hope you had a pleasant time w/ the kids picking the tree enjoy it while theyre single; once theyre married they have to start their own traditions I find myself a bit wistful each year as time goes one maybe one a grandchild makes an appearance it will make it exciting again. I do know that putting up the Xmas tree is hard but brings pleasant memories each year when my DD was young, we used to make Xmas ornaments as presents for friends and family (a somewhat inexpensive way to economize) so I now have many crafty and cute presents to unwrap each year as I recall the projects hanging on the tree. Some of them are a bit bedraggled by now; but still get places of honor. In fact, as I recall, in earlier years, most of the family in fact made presents of some sort each year; it was kind of neat to look forward to see what cool/weird/wow projects wed get!

Michelle love that tree in its urn so elegant looking!! Your decorations look perfectly suited to your wonderful farmhouse as well. Youre looking very organized.

I did manage to get the tree pruned and decorated Sunday which is a record for me usually it takes about a week to do! managed to get a few things outside hung as well. I think I may forego all the other inside decorations except for a few things this year it seems Ive got way too much and its going to be "quiet" this year; so I may restrain the full-blown set-up. Ill see how the evenings are this week as to whether Im inclined or not.

Had to drop the 4-footed furry off to get her teeth cleaned this a.m. at the vet not a very nice Santa present but necessary. Shell be mighty hungry when I pick her up this evening but have nice clean teeth and hopefully no more "catfood" breath!

Marian love the "bling" you got its quite pretty. Jewelry is one of my favorite "me" presents! You deserve it!

Martie yuck to new corporate structure Burlington VT! well, hopefully youre going to be telecommuting 99% of the time there... sheesh. Isnt it annoying how work and life never stays the same? I have often said I have learned to appreciate boredom (because otherwise its usually chaos and stress in life be careful what one wishes for!). Hopefully youll work something out that wont require a rocket or a change in jobs!

Marie I vote for the salmon or lamb idea that Chelone suggested. I love lamb and salmon is certainly usually quick and easy to prepare. Both offer something different that people may not often have. Yum!

Mary I think its neat that schools permit "family" projects so often I recall them being assigned in the guise of having to be one solo by the child but it almost always involved "surreptitious" involvement/assistance by one parent. At least now they acknowledge it! What a neat idea the longhouse is.

T- Im with you had the wisdom teeth out decades ago but still remember the horrible experience! Somewhat akin to childbirth frankly.

Deanne re your huge Xmas tree; I think thats just one more reason I have yet to succumb to the artificial purchase I cannot figure where I would possibly store the thing . . . . you must want to build an addition to the house for storage w/ a 9 wide one!! Yikes! & my little "steal" from Home Cheapo is wide enough that its taking up a good 6 feet into the living room its definitely fat (& no top now kind of looks like its growing into the ceiling for the next floor LOL no top star for this guy this year!).

Sad to say, now to start the Monday office crush at least its 50ish today great for walking to the office.

-Cindy


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Sort of a dreary morning here; I saw some hints of vibrant pink on the southeastern horizon this morning, but it's been covered up by clouds since. And there is a chilly drizzle, but it's supposed to lift by afternoon. Anyway, it won't preclude the finishing touches to the windowboxes.

There will be a trip to the attic for me, too, Deanne! Helpmeet is home today to assist; receiving the boxes and handing up things like window screens, awnings, all the trappings of seasons gone by. :) I LOL at the thought of a 9'x9' tree in the living room. You make me laugh.

It is interesting to note the touch of melancholy the Yuletide season evokes. I feel it, too. The passage of years, the "missing" faces or newly absent greeting cards... . Still, every year there is some new memory to give added sparkle. This year is esp. poignant for me as I'm sure Mum will not be here next year. My brother is meeting with the attorney today; if all is in place we will submit the application for LTC, if not... well, I'm not sure what I'll do. I'm hanging on by a thread. But enough of that for the time being.

Cindy, I buy the boxwood and cedar from a very nice nursery in the area. Boxwood can be difficult to grow well in the more northern areas of New England (even though so. Me. doesn't really count), lots of winter kill. I picked it up early last week, bashed the stems with a hammer and plunged it into buckets of water, letting it soak for day/two. Wiring the fruit took the most time, actually. I have a nice electric stapler; did the pediments one year with a manual one (sucked!) before buying the present model. (I use it for upholstery projects, too... so a good "capital investment"). I figure, all told, the plaques and the pediments required about 12 hours of labor. Time consuming, indeed; but for someone who is relatively housebound of necessity it was a relaxing, creative way to fill weekend hours that can be terribly monotonous.

I have Mum fed (sliced banana with some blueberries and a drizzle of milk, coffee, and 3 blueberry pancakes with real butter and syrup). And now it's time to get busy on the attic run and the lights.

Hi to all I've thusfar overlooked.


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Well, good morning! It is a Bailey's in the coffee morning (one of the perks of being a laze about stay at home 'kept woman'). It is still black outside but I can hear the rope and pulley hitting the flagpole so it must be a bit breezy. We awoke to 50 this morning which was a nice change.....I'm trying to decide if I'm going to do outside stuff today or stay indoors to pull out some holiday decorations. There are many, many briars that could be attacked with the brush cutter (carried in arms with the assistance of a harness)...but I don't believe there is any of the special gas/oil mixture so I'd have to go to the gas station, mix it myself and I'm thinking that just sounds a little more testosterone than I have the energy to deal with.........so.........I'll continue to consider it over the next cup of Baileys......er, the next cuppa coffee. Maybe I'll go get the gasoline and let DH do the mixing of the oil. It should be straight forward...one gallon of gas to one tiny pre-measured bottle of oil....but I had trouble with the machine the last time I did the mixing (had to take it into the shop)....so I think I'll leave it to the true Testosterone. There isn't much I won't dig in and do around here.....but some stuff just isn't enticing to conquer. This is one of them.

Our oldest goat, Claude, wouldn't eat his grain last night. I am concerned about him. A goat not eating his grain is akin to me not snaking my hand into the M & M dish at every opportunity......it just isn't natural. I hate that these animals, that become 'pets', live such a short period of time.......and hope that his health isn't declining.

Deanne, your lens was one of those that Mary's DH recommended to me, but I went for the 70/300 DO (the other lens that he recommended) so that I wouldn't have 'all' that lens to carry about (to those not familiar--as I wasn't prior to researching them--the DO is a short lens perhaps 3" long versus a lens that is 5" or longer). This one was also a couple hundred dollars less, which was another reason I went for it.....but now I'm wondering if I should have gotten the other one, lol. It is here so I need to be happy with my choice. I'm sure it will be wonderful. I ordered a book from Amazon this morning about how to master a digital SLR.....we shall see what I can come up with. It is my only Christmas gift that I will receive, as everyone decided to only buy for the little ones. I chose to have it under the tree, otherwise I'd be pretty long faced come Christmas morning. ;o)

Yesterday morning, there were lots of elk in the upper backyard. Many were grazing but there were many that were laying down, resting. They seem to be much more comfortable with their napping during the daylight hours so close to the house. It was still too dark to get any photos so I didn't attempt it. Besides that, Jamie awoke early not feeling well and it was a very rough morning with lots of tears, laundry and clean up (of him and me) needed until he began feeling better around lunchtime. Poor tyke......poor Grammie!!

Well, 3rd cup of Bailey coffee and I'm still not sure how I want to use my day. I'm sadly lacking in energy and ambition. I think the wintertime doldrums is hitting harder and sooner this year. I need to get myself outside more, eating wiser and exercising....I'm sure that would perk me up a lot.

Well, it won't happen if I continue to sit here.....I hope it is a good day for all......

T.


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Hi everyone.

Chelone, I love your fabu outside decorations. I remember you having posted the ones you made last yr with the pineapples and greens. Doesnt the fruit turn black when it freezes? Id love to follow your lead and use fruit in my outside dcor. Its stunning.

OK, about Mom. Thanks everyone for your comments. They did release Mom from the hospital Sat. She was very, very sore and uncomfortable and couldnt wait to get home to her own bed. She didnt sleep in the hospital so was very tired. Upon release, the Dr. said she needed to visit her primary today to follow-up, particularly since fractures often dont show up on the x-rays until a couple days later. Their primary concern was her head and neck. At first they thot shed broken her neck. It was pretty scary.

She did not participate in yesterdays bday dinner for GD b/c she feels so unsteady. Shed never miss a family event so that means shes REALLY not feeling well. I still dont think we have the whole story. Shes now telling DD that shes missing a block of time and thinks she might have something else going on that might have caused the fall.
Of course, in the hospital, she was Miss Charming with the young Drs. and didnt say a word about it. Kept insisting she just lost her balance.

I got a tongue lashing from the nurse about letting my mother live alone. In that dept. the nurse was a piker. Shes never incurred the wrath of mother, nor her stubbornness. As I said, Mom was her most pleasant, charming and engaging in the hospital.

Ive been investigating medical alert systems she can wear so she can summon help or us if she needs to. I will approach the subject carefully with her today. We can get one installed in 24 hrs. The one Im looking at has a small pendent that you either wear as a necklace or bracelet. Its about the size of a car door lock faub with a button she can just press for help. It is waterproof so she can wear it in the shower, has a range of 300 ft so she can go to her mailbox, AND it has an option for a key lockbox for the front door of her home. Thus, the alarm service personnel can give the emergency medical team the code to the box so they can get the key and get in the house to help her.

Im also going to stop by an assisted living place this am that I heard about and will have them send her a brochure (which will probably go in the garbage). I have to do this on the sly b/c if she has any remote idea any of us were thinking about that, shed dig her heels in.

About Bullet hes rallied and doing surprisingly well for now. Ive been pumping him full of baby food and hes actually getting a little meat on them ole bones and acting more like himself. If he asks and eats, I give him as much as he wants. Sometimes hell eat as many as 6 jars a day. I still cant get him to eat his regular food. He is asking for and drinking milk (never used to), and takes a few bites of our meat entres. I dont care what he eats just as long as he does.

OK, gotta run errands and take Mom to the Dr. Hi to all. Sorry this post was all about me. TTYL,

Honey


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

T, one of the perks of a non-kept woman is that I dont have the dilemma of what to do each day ;o)

Chelone, my heart goes out to you as you make arrangements for your Mums care. It has to be extremely difficult, as Im sure caring for her is.

I really cant take credit for the tree in the urn as it is actually meant for a Christmas tree. LOL on the fact that everyone thinks Im so "organized" The house may be decorated, but what a mess the rest is.

Cindy, my DD and I often made ornaments too. The kids also picked out an ornament each year that reflected their interests. When DD got married I gave her all hers. It is fun to think about the "story" behind each ornament.

Deanne, I make my nut clusters with mixed nuts and melted chocolate chips. I had some of the chocolate/caramel chips and used those for some and that gave them a good taste.

Martie, Id like to be one of your clients ;o)

Back to the grind
Michelle


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Good news from Honey's house, I'd say. I'm glad to hear it, too. Nothing is more stressful that the news that a frail parent is unwell. Throw in a frail pet and nothing seems right, does it?

My personal experience with nurses, Honey, has been only marginally better than that of social workers (not saying much). I found many of them quite young and they seemed to lack sensitivity to the elderly and the subtlties required to care for them effectively and allow them to maintain some independence. I understand they are busy, but too often they were too perfunctory in their duties, with little reassurance to offer. There were exceptions, to be sure, and they were treasures. I received a similar "dressing down" from a 20-something. I asked how many classes in gerontology she'd been required to take... she blushingly retreated hastily. No amount of classwork or outside reading will substitute for "on the job training". It was a long time before I encountered medical professionals who accorded me the respect my own experiences "in the trenches" have garnered. And it's true; they simply don't understand the dynamics of your relationship with your mother... nor do they understand that once out of the hospital, the elderly patient is no longer in a submissive position/frame of mind and returns to the ADULT they actually are! It always irritated me that the nursing staff referred to Mum as "honey", "dear", "sweetie"... as if she was a toddler, ignoring her completely when my brother or I were in the room, leaving her out of the very conversations that concerned her. We were both quick to point that out and insist they stop it. It is always a breath of fresh air to encounter medical people who UNDERSTAND; the stoma nurse, the visiting nurses, and her PC doctor and his nurse all know me to be fully capable and level-headed, not an alarmist. They respect my decisions and willingness to allow Mum to "live" and remain as active as her limitations permit. Mum was always the same way as your mother, Honey... never fully "straight" with the doctors, as if being stoic or witholding details that frightened her would make them cease to exist or show her "strong" and "resilient"... . It's a tough stage of life to enter. Hang in there.

I am in a different position with Mum now. She is no longer mentally capable of making decisions for herself or caring for herself at anything more than a most basic level (and even then she's not reliable). I will effectively over-ride her objections because I HAVE to; she is rapidly approaching a point where I will no longer be able to provide for her daily needs. I hope your mother will consider "assisted living" rather than viewing it as a "sentance". In reality, it could well provide her more independence for a longer period of time than stubborn insistance on remaining in her "home". Mum was the same way... "it's none of your business", "I'll TAKE CARE OF IT myself...".

All the fruit is FAKE! I used the real stuff the first year and it was OK until we got socked by some really, really cold weather followed by another thaw... it succumbed quickly and looked like dog poop. Fake is where it's add for this dellarobia stuff, lol. The greens are real, though. I finished everything except the door swag today... would have gotten that done, too, had I not gotten the bright idea to soften the edge of the windowboxes with white pine... . :) I ended up wiring little "bouquets" of it that I was able to shove into the soil... I made, ummm.. all told in excess of 72 of them. Yeah, I'm definitely "soft".

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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Magnifico, Chelone, Magnifico!!! You enjoyed doing it too I can tell -- a wee bit of mental therapie.

-Cindy


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Some great Christmas decorating going on in Idyll-land! We dont do much here other than the indoor tree. Not having small kids around, we dont feel any need to get fancy. Weve both got a streak of Grinch in us I fear!

Chelone your house has the shingles I want my shed to have! (Except the shed will be painted/stained gray while your gray looks like it is largely due to natural aging?) What is the length of the exposure on your shingles? We had a choice of 5" or 7". The 7" ones were considerably less expensive so we went with those, although I think theyll give it a bit more of a rustic look than I originally intended.

Honey I have one of those emergency call button things that you are describing. Theres a lock box on the front door funny story about that The lock box is the same one that real estate agents use. One morning a few years ago Misty and Chelsea raced off to the door, barking like crazy. There was someone trying to open the lock box! It turned out to be a real estate agent. There is another yellow stucco house up the street and it was for sale. The agent was going to do a showing and didnt look closely at the address. When he saw the lock box, he assumed he was at the right house but was confused as to why the combination wouldnt work! Several of the neighbours also have keys to the house and the Connectcare folks have a call list with the neighbours phone numbers and other emergency contacts. If I pressed the button and didnt respond on the two-way speaker, they call the contacts in the priority order Ive set and one of them would come in using their key. If they cant get through to any of the contacts, then they send an ambulance and give them the lock box combination. Once a month or so Im supposed to do a test call they can check to make sure that the battery in the call button is still functioning properly. I always forget to do that so they usually end up calling and leaving a reminder message! Ive only accidentally pressed the button once in the 9 years Ive had it. I usually take it off to sleep (because I figure it is more likely to get set off by accident then) unless DH is away. When the speaker unit needs updating, the local fire department volunteers to do it. They send very cute guys :- ) although they usually come in a serious fire truck so all the neighbours think youve had a big problem! Overall, the button is a comfort to have although its not going to help much if youve knocked yourself out and arent conscious enough to use it! Or if youve broken a few bones and cant get your hands on it! But having it is better than not having it

GB why not consider a Reveillon style dinner, even though it will be considerably later than Christmas Eve! DHs brothers Quebecois wifes traditional Reveillon supper is tourtiere, baked ham, baked beans, with potatoes and other vegetables. And lots of rich desserts

I know DH has gardening books for me on his Christmas shopping list I know because to date hes bought two that he realized I already have! Anybody want some good garden reading?

It felt more like April (I wish!) out today warm and damp.

Hi to the many people I've neglected to 'talk' to...


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Woody,

5" reveal. We used a 50/50 blend of bleaching oil and Ben. Moore "Silver Grey" to treat the shingles. it needs another application and the trim needs painting DESPERATELY. I want the construction of a GARAGE to coincide with staining... helpmeet is dragging his feet. :(


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Evening all,

Well this afternoon I was all set to go outside and do a bit of bird photography in the small amount of time I have with available light.(maybe three hours mid-day)Just as I had everything ready a Coopers Hawk came swooping down and snagged a Mourning Dove. Of course I didnt have the camera ready and have no photos of the event The songbirds gave my feeders a wide berth for the remainder of the afternoon so by the time they got over their fright the light was gone. Le sigh! That was the third time I'd seen that bird around in the last week or so and I guess he thinks my feeders are easy pickings. Its sad to see but the bird is just following its nature and I guess if we didnt have Coopers and other bird predators wed be up to our eyeballs in Robins and Mourning Doves.

Cindy, the artificial tree folds up so does not take up that much room which is why I bought it in the first place. I didnt know how wide it was. Silly me for not checking.

Chelone, I LOL at myself when I see that behemoth tree in the family room. But it sure is pretty when all decorated.

T, I know you are going to love your lens, I find Im working with a tripod a lot as its a bit much to carry about. When we went to Plum Island a couple weekends ago I was pretty tired by the end of the day with that huge rig strapped about my neck. ~~ I sure hope Claude perks up soon and that there isnt anything wrong.

Honey, that is such a worry about your Mom. Do you think you are going to be able to get to the bottom of the missing time? Thats a huge concern. ~~ Im so glad to hear Bullet is doing better lately. I hope this rally lasts a long time.

Michelle those nut clusters in melted chocolate have me salivating. Yum!

Hi Woody, cant wait to see your shed all finished. ~~ We used to always have tourtiere and baked beans on New Years Day at my Memer Michauds house. Good food but oh boy, the fat grams in that stuff! LOL

OK Im ready to hit the sack. Have a great evening all,

Deanne


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Greetings from the wilds of California ..
Things are ramping up around here, and this looks to be a very busy week. In fact I guess it looks to be a very busy 2 weeks! Today I got some electrical issues fixed in my house and the front yard project has made a giant leap towards completion. The arbor is done, the brick path should be done tomorrow (if no rain ) as well as the last minute request I made for a raised bed area with the leftover bricks. The Christmas tree shopping and decorating took so long yesterday that I did not get one lick of painting done in the home office. I have till Friday to make that happen,unfortunately it will be an after work thing , which means it will be dark. Oh well, it is what it is.

Deanne, Im jealous of your "Golden Marenka", both my golden and my regular "Marenka" succumbed to the damn fuchsia gall mite-:( Thus far we have only gotten about 5 inches of rain this season, which is about 2" behind season normal. We seem to get most of our rain in Jan and Feb. LOL re; your 9x9 tree ! I got carried away this year since I'm having an open house and out of town guests I splurged on a 9 foot Noble. Of course we got it home and the trunk was to big for my stand so I got out my trusty Sawzall and carved the trunk down till it fit. DS and I were decorating the thing till about 8 last night ! Glad you and DH were able to turn the gym party flop into a nice evening out together !

Cindy, interestingly, my children have never actually participated in decorating the tree until the last three years or so- Our tradition was DH helped me get in in the stand and in the house and then I was on my own ! It almost seems odd to have someone help me- I find myself wanting to put ornaments in different spots. Is that controlling or what ???
And as for the roses, I will be getting Our Lady of Guadalupe, a pink floribunda Vtwo of this one actually, one for each side of the path, also Souvenir de la Malmaison, a pink Bourbon, Michelangelo , a yellow HT ( I already have one of these but I really love it so need to have two ! ) Lady Emma Hamilton, an orange David Austin (if I can find it, it's new) Happy Child , a yellow David Austin , and a player to be named later since I can't make up my mind- I already have an own root Cl. La France which I ordered from the Uncommon Rose in early fall-this one will be on the new arbor. I hope you all won't get sick of me talking about my roses ..I am a serious addict.

Marie, I'm going to order a beef tenderloin for Christmas dinner-there will be six of us so it should be do-able from a financial standpoint. I have a recipe for beef tenderloin in Cabernet sauce, and DD will make her famous roasted garlic/shallot veggies, and I will probably have fingerling organic potatoes , and some bread from one of our great artisan bakeries we have here in Napa. You could easily go into bread overload in this town !

T , so just how much Baileys did you have in that coffee ?? No wonder you can't decide how to use your day !! LOL. Hate those winter doldrums. It seems such a long time ago that I was outside enjoying the garden but we really have only had maybe 6 weeks of cold weather. I think part of it is the short days and that low angle of the sun. And you are much farther North than me so you have even shorter days than I do. I just figure winter is a time to catch up on inside chore and readingKspeaking of which, I need to start a thread for our January reading so all who wishes can get the book...

Chelone- love the lights and the window boxes !

Honey, hope you get Mom squared away. I think our medical practitioners are going to have to become a bit more sensitive to the elderly needs, since realistically, folks will continue to live longer lives.It seems like the answer is to just keep pumping them up with more expensive drugs. And how nice that your beautiful Bullet is hanging in there

Well, I must go have dinner This is my last evening to goof off. T-ra all !!

Kathy in Napa


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Good morning!

Honey: Use those insensitive nurses to your advantage. If they're telling you she shouldn't be alone, they're telling the wrong person. They need to tell her! I totally agree that medical practitioners are so geared to the technical that they forget a human is in that body, sometimes. But -- if they have the kahoonas to speak to you like that, ask them to speak to your mother. She can dig her heels in all she'd like, but she'll listen better to the "pros."

Chelone: Rich wants to know when your coming South to decorate. My fresh fruit has survived thusfar though the Pomegranate is getting a bit dingy. Why do I blow $20 worth of fruit each year? LOL

And Sue: Rich saw your pics and now wishes we could make the party :-) ("She didn't look like that at Logee's!!!") Saturday night is getting crowded again, this year, but I will definitely take a rain check in Spring ... Thanks for the invite!!

Kathy: You're going to love the Souvenir de la Malmaison. If it is indeed the same rose I had in a former garden, the cabbage blooms will entrance you. Be careful the first winter, though, and give it some extra mulch. I lost half above the graft because the mulch receded on that side.

Oh what fun it is to hear everyone's Holiday preparations. We get the joy of decorating for kids (neighbors) but not having to get the gifts! Actually, there will be a little something for everyone at the annual gingerbread man decorating party.

Work is work is work. Burlington won't be that bad as any day I have to go up I'll have the next morning off and it won't be that often. AND -- They asked me to host the corporate Skybox at Hartford Civic Center for the Trans Siberian Orchestra!!!! It's the day after Christmas but I talked Rich into the idea that it'll be AOK and he's agreed to go. We'll see when the day comes ...

Hi to everyone near and far and inbetween!!!

Martie


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Good morning

Honey - great to hear both your Mother and Bullet are rallying though many concerns for both.

Chelone - the overall decorations are incredible. A labor of love I hope, but certainly one that's worth it.

Kathy - I'll be interested to hear how you find the Historian. I read it a year ago when it was one of the hottest books in our library. At the moment I'm immersed in Lional Shriver's - We Need to Talk About Kevin. It is brilliantly written but the subject so disturbing I can't decide if I'll be relieved or sad when I finish it. Either way, I'm having a hard time putting it down. Did we decide on another book for the Idylls? Michael Polan would be high on my list.

T - I have a relaxed start to the day - I'm taking this morning off to attend David's Holiday concert - so pour me a Baileys;0) David has a small solo so is both nervous and excited. Unfortunately the concert is at the Mall so I'm breaking my resolve to not step foot in the place till January. (I HATE shopping at the Mall). Our gifts are fairly modest, mostly for the children or handmade. I'm knitting my sister a felted bag and like GB I need to dedicate some time to the project or I'll be up till all hours Christmas Eve. I've never felted wool before but it looks fun.

Martie - the Trans Siberia Orchestra sounds mega fun.

Deanne - congratulations on all you've accomplished with your pots. How many lights do you have going this winter? What a coup getting the Hawk in full swoop would be.

The Longhouse is nearing completion which will free up a little time - just the roof and final details. After that I'll be able to clear the dining table - at the moment you can't see any of the surface.

need to run - Hi to all

Enjoy the day

Mary


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Good morning! I'm dressed and ready to leave the house. I'm babysitting the twins from 7 to 5 today and it is a 30 minute drive each way added on to the day. DH just laughed as he left for work saying 'enjoy your day'. Last week the twins decided that sleep was highly over rated -- they didn't need more than a couple of short cat naps a couple times and I was exhausted by the end of the day. I sure hope they will give me a break today.

I never did receive the book for the last book review from an Amazon seller. Ordered it on Oct 30th and the seller gave me a full refund when it hadn't arrived by Dec 5th. I thought it was very understanding and nice of him not to balk at the refund and I promised to notify and pay him if it ever does make it to my door. Odd as no other packages or deliveries have been 'lost'. Maybe it is traveling the states instead of taking a direct route. I did order the book mentioned as a possiblity for the next review...and even if it isn't chosen it will be a delight to read a book that others have mentioned as a 'good' read. Oh, that book arrived a couple weeks ago......lol.....while I was still awaiting the first book.

As for Baileys.....Mary, I wish you could come have a cuppa with some Baileys in the mornings!

Yesterday it rained hard and a lot with plenty of strong winds all day long so no work contemplated outside. I spent some time visiting with my mother and ran an errand for Jamie's mother. DH came home from work early and then 'poof' the day was gone. Claude did not want any grain again last night (beyond weird and worrisome for him not to want it), all of the other goats gobbled theirs up so it isn't that the grain is 'bad'. Claude did want/eat the grass hay when I tossed a couple of flakes into their area so it isn't that he is not eating. I hope he'll be okay.

I still have done no wrapping nor decorating for the holidays. DH hasn't said a word......hmmmm wonder if he is afraid he'll have to help if he says anything? ;o) We, too, have a monster artificial tree. I miss the smells of a 'real' tree, but figure it is more prudent to bypass having a real one so that there is a less chance of a house fire and although logging/clear cutting doesn't bother me (it is after all a 'crop' that is replanted and farmers aren't made to leave a portion of their fields unharvested) for some reason cutting down a tree every year to enjoy for a couple weeks is something that I feel some guilt over (heck it is a crop that is replanted, too! LOL---go figure out my reasoning--I'm not going to try to!). I love, love, love smelling the greenery and always plan on going around trimming some cedar boughs and fir limbs to bring inside for mantle and bannister decorations....but it hasn't happened this year.

I'm babbling...time to say 'good-bye'.

Thinking of all......hope it is a great day!

T.


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Hello everyone!

I've been busy here with decorating, shopping and planning our Christmas Eve get together which will be at our house. I'm having so much fun with it all this year thanks to Bella's enthusiasm. I've loved seeing everyone's decorations, you're all such a talented bunch! I'll try to take a few pictures of ours and post them, I have a urn tree like Michelle this year. I've got a list longer than my arm to accomplish today but wanted to take time for a quick post. I've been trying to read every day or two and keep up somewhat. I'll try to do better about posting but don't know how often I'll be able to get here the next couple of weeks.

Oh Mary, I'd love to see a picture of your miniature creation in the teacup!

Eden


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Quickie post from me, too. Unexpectedly home from work today... incomplete work order, insufficient instructions, and I just can't deal with it in addition to everything else. Out of patience. At the end of my rope.

I paid ALL the bills, collected the necessary paperwork for my brother, mailed everything off. Made the appointment for routine service and inspection of my car. I'll try to get some things done in the "lab.", but Wrecks is looking at me balefully and perhaps a walk with the huge dog would help settle my mind.

I can order some gifts anytime and the weather is lovely today.

Grrrr...


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Deanne did you get my email.

Hi everyone else. I feel like I've been saying all the wrong things here lately , so I won't say much, except sorry if I've said the wrong thing to you! Also that I enjoyed seeing Michelle's and Chelone's wonderland work, and as always, love reading of everyone's days. Hope everyone has a better day than me, which won't be hard. :(

Yeona, feeling rejected by Idyllers, due totally to her own folley and still bravely posting, while quaking in her boots at the fear of further rejection.


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Yeona, thanks! Sorry your day is a bummer. I can't imagine what you said wrong. We would never reject you!

Chelone, the first picture of your house would make a fabulous Christmas card and the urn arrangement is wonderful. I have used red twig dogwood in some of my arrangements in the past as well as rose hips to give that nice red color.

I got a kick out of Martie's DH comment about Sue. You wouldn't think that she's a gardener would you?

T, I hope Claude perks up.

Eden, I'd love to see your tree urn.

Kathy, I can't imagine your kids not wanting to decorate the tree. Mine always begged to do it as soon as Thanksgiving was over, which was my rule.

Later
Michelle


Michelle


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Yeona,
No way have you said anything wrong! Anyway...that is MY job ... saying the wrong things... LOL.
I'm glad you like my cheap necklaces. I couldn't care less about the price, and the 'fashion'. If it looks pretty to me, that's all I care about.
I've been restocking my winter clothing. Have recieved most of what I sent for....3 sweatshirts, 2 pull over sweaters, 4 pair of slacks/pants , and a bra. A fleece jacket is on backorder. I also got 2 zip-up thermo shirts for Nolon. I am enjoying doing this. Maybe I'll send for more. :-)
Two pair of the pants are flannel-lined jeans. They will feel great when winter weather returns. This week is back to fall temps.Infact, even warmer than average. No complaints here. ( No decorating either.)


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

I'm waiting for David to get back from the grocery store so am taking the opportunity to check in here. I got some of my list accomplished but never get enough done, especially at this time of year. I have Bella here the rest of the week so depending on her mood I may or may not get anything else done. She is racing toward 2 and testing her boundries these days. Being the doting grandma I have a somewhat hard time with discipline but I'm trying. She's just so cute though, even when she's being bad I often have to hide my smile when I'm explaining "why you can't do that".

Kathy, don't worry about talking roses. I will love to hear about yours! I would have more if I had the room. I have a small collection, as many as I can cram in here and there. Oh, to have the space for a "real" rose garden! I did add Souvenir de la malmaison last summer and also Eden, a climber, that I really like. My new one for next season is going to be the Apothecary Rose. Some of my other favorites are Heritage, Abraham Darby, Graham Thomas, McCartney, Zphirine Drouhin, Louis Odier, Ferdinand Prichard...I have a few miniatures that I really like too!

Michelle, I'll try to get a picture of the tree soon! I'm really liking the urn since it raises the tree further up off the floor. Yours is decorated beautifully!

Honey, how scary for your mom and you. Glad she's ok. Also such great news that Bullet's doing better.

Chelone, I hope you were able to get out with Wrecks and get some exercise and fresh air. I'm sorry that you're having a not so great day. Your decorations turned out so nicely. Your house looks so festive and I can see that it was a lot of work.

Deanne, I'm having a hard time keeping up with all of the plants! I tossed out a few the other day. I just don't have time to give them all the attention they need. After dinner I'm on my way downstairs to at least give the poor things a drink.

T, I hear you about being exhausted after a day of babysitting and I only have one. Hope you and the boys had a good day together today and that Claude's ok.

Yeona, don't feel rejected. I can't imagine that you've said anything wrong. You're such a kind person you could never do that. I think that at least in my case if someone doesn't post often I don't know enough that's going on with them to really comment back to them ,other that to say glad to see you drop in. So I guess my advice to you would be the more you post the more you'll probably get comments back. I would love to see you post more often and hear what's going on in your life!

David just pulled in the drive so that's all from me. Have a good evening!

Eden


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

If It's Tuesday It Must Be Trash Day...at least here in my neighbothood ! Didn't get home from work tonight till after 6 so I got nothing done-except making bacon and eggs for me and DS (whose new camera came today )and a bit of clean up around the house.

It rained most of the day today so no work on my front yard-maybe tommorow. I'm chomping at the bit !

Eden, I have Abraham, Graham Thomas and Cl Eden. I am going to dig up Abe this winter and replace him with an own-root version instead of grafted. He is just not growing well, and should be extremely vigorous in our climate. Cl Eden gets horrible blackspot here, but I tolerate because that first spring flush is so great. Graham grows to gigantic proportions here in Calif, 10ft plus canes.

Martie, we do not need to protect roses over the winter here-in fact I often have to strip off foliage when I prune since they do not go into a particularly heavy dormancy.

Mary, we will read Micheal Pollan in January , and I plan to put up a thread to that effect this weekend. I am enjoying "The Historian" thus far, but I may not be very objective because I love vampire storys (what does this say about me-it must be my Catholic upbringing ) I have probably read "Dracula" about 15 times since high school! I really expected it to be more difficult to read - I guess based on write ups , but it's easy going, which is not always a positive factor -

Yeona,I don't think you were around much when I first started posting, but you are OK by me as a fellow Pacific Time dweller ! You , me and T can chit chat when everyone else is cutting Z's out there on the East Coast !And of course veryone know BC is a gardeners paradise-you can feel a little superior , right ??

Chelone, hope you feel better tommorow ! Some days are just bad., and you have to cut your losses and move on to get through them. Listen to some music.

Time for bed for me - bet all of you (except T and Yeona) are tucked in !

Kathy in the Napa Valley


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Good morning

Yeona - hope your days get better. I'll send you some GF recipes this weekend (I'm swamped at the moment) but in the meantime you might like to check out the site below. All of the recipes I've tried have been awesome. Excellent links as well.

I feel lucky to be part of what I feel must be one of kindest, most suppostive, fun and inspirational groups on the net. New posters are welcomed, absent members greeted back with joy, and experiences and expertise shared freely. So it never fails to sadden me when with increasing regularity the group is told it has made someone feel rejected, uninteresting, different or not valued. I just recieved a private email from one of our missing idylls voicing the same sentiment. I'm left feeling very discouraged and wondering what more anyone can do.

Right now, I need to head out to work but will be pondering on this during the course of the day.

Mary

Here is a link that might be useful: Gluten free girl


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Morning all,

Well, what a day yesterday, I came down with some kind of bug and was down for the count the whole day. I couldnt eat a thing and Ive got to be pretty sick before I have no appetite. I didnt even want a cup of coffee if you can imagine so Im nursing a splitting caffeine headache this AM. My morning infusion of French Roast should take care of that problem.

Kathy, thats a bummer about your losing so many fuchsias. Id be devastated if I lost my large older plants. Theyve been with me for four years or so now and are lovely and huge. Makes me think maybe I shouldnt ever bring home any plants from your neck of the woods. ~~ The good think about a real tree is that if it is too large the saws all will take care of the problem. LOL

Mary, I can just see your dining room table covered with all the materials for the Longhouse. One of the fun things about having visited you I can see what you are describing on your table. You served me some fantastic meals at that table, BTW Do you remember how you prepared that pork tenderloin for Doug and I? I remember it being pretty wonderful and Id like to do something different. ~~ I agree with you 100% about the group. This is an amazingly diverse group of people who are unfailingly kind and supportive of all who participate.

Yeona, sorry I didnt get your email. Im not getting any email from GW anymore and I dont know what that problem is. Im at aol, use my sign in name. Now Im hoping that doesnt give me a ton of spam but its buried in this thread so should be OK. (Chelone I should have thought of doing it that way when you wanted to email me.) ~~~ Next, what are you talking about???? No one has rejected you??? I"m so sorry you feel that way. Maybe its the winter SAD taking over?

Marian, so youve gotten into internet shopping???? Cool! Ive got a couple pair of flannel lined jeans from LLBean that I just love for working in the basement in the winter. I know you are going to like them.

Eden, you are going to have such a great time with Bella this year. The season is so magical through the eyes of a small child. Im enjoying hearing about your preparations and Bellas reactions. ~~ RE the plants, I feel your pain! Im completely outta control and like yourself Im finding I have too many to deal with. It isnt even spring and all forty feet of my lights are full!!! Yikes!!! Ive got to pare down the numbers here. I wish the weather were warmer Id ship off some of these extra coleus to unsuspecting Idyllers. LOL I have three or four coleus for each variety (35 varieties) and really only need one at this point in time so I need to get rid of some of the extras. But all that being said, you should see the Bella hybrid abutilons. They are absolutely covered with flowers and are gorgeous at the moment.

Chelone, I sure hope you have a better day today.Sending you positive thoughts and cyber hugs.

OK the coffee has kicked in and Im thinking I might be feeling well enough to do a light workout at the gym. To that end Im off

Have a great day,
Deanne


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Mary, I agree with your statement that the Idyll's are:
"one of kindest, most suppostive, fun and inspirational groups on the net. New posters are welcomed, absent members greeted back with joy, and experiences and expertise shared freely."
I am one who has frequently felt left out, but always, on retrospect, discover it is only because of my insecurity that I feel that way. My main problem is loneliness from having no one to talk to that can respond appropriately.

It is hard to 'speak' to each and every poster, but eventually everyone has been acknowledged by at least one or two other posters. I realize that there is no situation in life where everyone in a large group responds to everyone else. I don't think it happens in family gatherings either. At the Golden Year's class there are usually 40 or more attending. I try to at least say "hi" to eacn one, but there is always someone I miss. The same happens at our church assembly. I am sure there are some in those gatherings that may feel left out, but if they do, it is because they do not make an effort to be included.

Not everything any of us posts prompts a response from everybody else. ( Pictures are sometimes the exception.)

It is also hard to remember what each person has posted, and if a reader is one of our very busy posters, it is extra hard for them. ( I have frequently noticed a response that did not really match the post that was referred to. It makes me realize that some have to read so fast that they do not really get the gist of what they read.)

I do not comment on subjects that are not applicable to me. Right now, it is all that is connected with the up-coming holiday, since we do not partcipate in these doings.
But I hope those who are posting don't think I am ignoring them. If they post something that I find interesting I try to comment, and espacially if their comment is directed toward me. I think this too is the same in a family get-together.

As I mentioned before, I am open to recieving e-mails from any of 'us'. I'd like to feel that any of you can come to me for comfort or advice. I think many of your worries and woes have already been experienced by myself. ( I promise not to 'preach' to anyone, unless you ask me to) :-)
Marian


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

It's hard to keep track of everyone (I'm terrible at remembering to add things and then never seem to get back to them). Anyway, Eden said it much more eloquently than I. There're a lot of people who drop by regularly and then take a "sabbatical" for whatever reason. Life sometimes "gets in the way".

I have blown off work today, too. Unfit company for a workplace, unwilling to be nit-picked for failing to do something because the instructions were incomplete and haphazard. So I'll do something that makes me feel capable today. (like mining the catbox)

I've never tended a toddler on a daily basis, but I know just how tired I am at the end of a day. The questions, the reminders, the repeated requests, and the deep breaths... . And the effort required to find a few minutes for yourself here and there. My "sityashun" is different, but the effort is the same.

The large dog and I did get out for a walk yesterday. We chatted with some landscapers who admired him. He began to bark, and the guys cracked up when I turned to Rex and said, "willya shut up?". He grumbled a little and then wagged his tail, "no back talk!". The sun was warm, but the wind off the water was cold.

Hey, I saw a bit on the news this morning about wild boars. I knew theywere an issue in Texas and the lower states, but I had no idea they'd spread so far north and east. They are apparently in every NE state, as well! I was wondering if they are commonplace in Marian's area and Michelle's. Apparently, they are trememdously damaging to farmers, as they not only eat the plants, but root through soil, as well. And they are thinking the dreadful e. coli outbreak may well be traced back to feces dropped in the fields?! Wow.

Time to get breakfast on the table.


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RE: Idyll #294:

I do want to add that I think all your ornaments, decorations, and table settings are lovely. It was very rare for me to be so fancy with meals...:-)
Chelone, I espacially like your house's embelishments. You have done a great job, and I can't even imagine the work involved.

Woody, I am keeping up with your progress also, and hoping you are okay through it all. I so admire your tenacity.

Deanne...no, I haven't ordered anything from the internet, (except a catalog). I sent for the clothing from Blair and Haband. I had sent from them in the past. They are advertized in the AARP publications.

Eden, That is so great that you ( and Michelle) can spend so much time with your dear granddaughters. I never had that opportunity. Also T mentions being with her grandsons, both at her home and theirs. That is winderful. So many memories are being made, and bonding. Next will be Marie...adding to the thrill of the new 'grandson', with a new bambino!

There is no gardening going on here. Only the watering and grooming of the many indoor plants. It has been plenty warm enough for me to work outside, but I just can't get motivated...espacially with this miserable back. :-(
The indoors is suffering also.

Nolon is still piddling around with his firewood. I am thankful he has that to interest him. It, and the cats, is the main part of his interests!

Marian


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

I am sorry to hear that anyone taking a sabbatical from the Idylls is doing so from feelings of rejection. I can only agree with Mary that each and every participant here is as supportive as can be, given that we are dealing with cyber friendships for the most part. We all know that misunderstandings occur even on a face to face basis, but that on the web things are yet more complicated. We cannot expect the Idylls to fulfill us in every aspect of our lives...and we shouldn't! We can be thoughtful and kind and even make informed suggestions, but we cannot be everything to all. Certainly there are large parts of my life that I am not willing to deal with on the web, that I feel I should enjoy/handle/vent on my own. Those parts that I do share though are very special and I do appreciate the feedback and humor from others when they have the opportunity to give. I agree with Deanne that 'tis the season of SAD and that holiday times can be particularly difficult for the emotionally fragile. Also, it is not just about receiving here, but sharing and giving. I so love to read about our diverse lives here. Thank you EVERY ONE!

Yesterday was filled with Christmas shopping and tedious errands too. Today, a bit more of same, perhaps some caging of clematis and shrubs, weather permitting.

I've got to fly...
'bug


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RE: Idyll #294: -----

Chelone, yes there are wild boars in nearby areas. They seem to prefer the lowlands. So far none on top of this mountain that I've heard of. Lord forbid that they get here! We have enough 'diggers' with armadillos, skunks, raccoons, chipmunks, etc. etc.
( I love your dog stories.) :-)


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Just a quick good morning from me. Between the party prep, work and regular life stuff I have little time right now. Today is my first physical in over 10 years. Wish me luck. Tomorrow is my second opinion appointment with the new GYN. Someone pulled some serious strings to get that appointment moved from February 6th so I shuffled other things to make it happen. Yesterday I had to bring Zoe to the vet unexpectedly because she had a cyst or something that burst and created a nasty looking wound that she was licking and making worse. Everything is fine-she's on antibiotics and a steroidal spray, but that was another two hours of running around that I didn't have time for. Even though it was the vet she seemed happy to be out and about and attracted lots of attention in the waiting room...lol.

Deanne, get well soon so you can party. Some respiratory thing has been sweeping through the office but nothing stomach related. Let's hope it stays that way. Yuck!

Chelone, love the decked out halls.

Sorry some of you are feeling down again. I have no words of wisdom other than what has already been said by others more wise than me. Keep busy I guess.

On that note, I'm history.

Sue


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Once again, probably an all about me post. Sheesh. Crazy here. Thanks one and all for your thots of encouragement on Mom and Bullet.

First Bullet. Hes just nibbling again. Im going to try hand feeding again.

Now Mom. The Drs. think Moms time loss, confusion and unsteadiness is from the severe concussion. They expect shell be like this for 3 or 4 weeks.

Just as I was leaving for an appt. yesterday am, I got a call from Mom. Shed dropped something, got on her knees and couldnt get up. So I flew out there again. I couldnt get her up myself, so had to get her neighbor to help me. DD came over to take Moms cat to the vet for an injured paw while I got Mom settled in and got her something to eat. She cant carry food to the table using her cane or walker.

OK, heres the rant. I spoke w/my DS and DB about setting up a schedule and taking turns getting Mom some dinner until shes steady enough to do for herself. They and their kids (who Moms helped and paid for their college), are either "overwhelmed with life, or just too busy. Both have blinders on about how feeble Mom has become. Grrrrr. So DD and I will be rotating duties.

Woody, thanks for the personal experience with the medical alert system. Its exactly what Mom should have. So far, she refuses to consider it. If I buy it w/o her consent, shell just dig in her heels and put it in a drawer.

Chelone, Martie, thanks for your words of wisdom about nurses, caregivers, etc. I was caught flatfooted by that 20-something nurse. Youre both so right. They havent a clue. The real problem is that Mom is so mentally sharp, its the body thats failing. The flip side is, we want her to be independent as long as she can be. I just dont want her in danger b/c shes being stubborn. She also has this attitude that her kids and grandkids "owe" her. She did for us so now its our turn to be at her beck and call. I swear, Ill never do that to my DD.

Now for the other excitement around here. Just before I got the call about Mom on Friday nite, I got a strange phone call. The woman said, "Mrs. M?" I said "Yes". "Im XX from XX childrens charity and youve been selected to receive a free Honeywell Home Security System. Do you have a security system?" I said, "Yes" and she quickly hung up. This call really bothered me. We do have a security system but weve been lax in setting it. Not anymore.

After some thot about the call and 2 other incidents that day 2 strangers coming to my door w/a bible (casing the joint?); another neighbor being concerned about a van cruising the neighborhood I phoned the police. When I told them about what happened, they said I was smart to report it tis the season. Altho there is only one way in and out of our end of the sub and the police station is at the end, burglars arent smart. The police are patrolling more now and they suggested that I alert my neighbors, which I did.

Im off to Moms to help her shower and wash her hair and then UPS and misc. errands. Hi to all. TTYL,

Honey


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Hope this will lighten everyone's day:

Last night received a call from my neighbor. Her kids were using the computer so she couldn't Google "dibble." It seems that this appeared on the 11yo's Christmas List and she wondered if I knew if it were off-color or something that would be appropriate? As a parent of a boy had I ever heard of someone wanting one of these unknown things? Bit the inside of my cheek and assured her that gardening tools are appropriate for kids who are going to have a garden project in Spring. Both of us LOL, for sure!!!

Martie


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

((((Honey)))), It is okay that your post is about your concerns. That is one of the things we are here for...helping others through rough spots.
Your poor mom. In a way I can identify with her independence, but I have told my family that I choose to go to an assisted living or nursing home, instead of to a relatives, when/if the time comes that I can no longer care for myself. Her falling and not being able to get up is very scary and needs addressed. No matter how stuborn she is, she needs to recognize the danger it puts her in, and the hardship it is working on you. I'm sorry your DS and DB, are turning a blind eye to the problem.

The phone call is strange. The visitors with a bible may and may not be ( were they together?). Strange vehicles in an isolated neighborhood can be questionable. ( I have been known to drive into such a neighborhood...usually by mistake.)

And to add to your worries...Bullet's loss of interest in food. I hope that can be resolved soon.

Marian


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

No wild boars here, but I did see the story on them. Did you see where they are serving it in high end restaurants? Its billed as low fat and organic.

Did anyone see the story about immigration coming into the Swift packing plants? The Worthington, MN one is near us. In fact DH got caught in the middle of it. He was delivering there and said he had never seen anything like it. Hundreds of officers and lots of buses. I guess they feel that some of these people have stolen identities to get jobs. I read this a.m. that many children came home from school to find their parents gone. One of the local churches went to homes looking for children that were home alone.

I was a bad plant mom and several of the cuttings bit the dust because of my lack of watering them. Deanne, thats the key to weeding them out. LOL

Eden, I know what you mean about the excitement of a child. Kenzie loves the Christmas tree.

Deanne, I hope you are feeling better.

Sue, you havent had a physical in 10 years??? Girl its time you do.

Honey, how smart of you to get wise to possible would be thieves. I dont know if you read about the burgulary in our neighborhood. It gave me the creeps.

Martie, what a good influence you are on your neighborhood kids. A dibble, huh?

Michelle


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Michelle, at least 10 years. But I'm happy to report that I'm as healthy as a horse. My bloodwork is so clean the doctor was laughing. The pharmas won't be making any money off me anytime soon. I've got low BP, low cholesterol, low heart rate, low low everything. Maybe I'm dead...lol. I did have to get a Rubella vaccination because my titer was negative for that and I have a borderline low thyroid that will be rechecked in 4 months. How nice to find doctors that are actually human. This one even laughs at my jokes.

Honey, you mom sounds like a tough cookie. Let's see...do I know anyone related to her like that? lol My mom is in having a heart cath and stent today. She's optimistic though because she refused to cancel her week long cruise that leaves on Saturday. Perhaps it's true that apples don't roll far from trees.

Sue


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

I missed the part about the boar meat being low fat and organic! but most "game" is quite lean. And I'll be it's delicious when prepared well. I'd order some of it if I saw it on a menu. Funnily enough, I was a very picky eater when I was a kid, now I'll try anything. Mum and Dad NEVER made me eat anything... meal time was not going to turn into a battle; I either ate, went "hungry" or made myself a peanutbutter sandwich. Are Kenzie or Bella fussy about what they'll consume?

I believe we will be putting the Christmas tree up tonight. I ought to pull the "swivel straight plus" down from the attic; the decorations are in the bedroom, ready to go. I wonder if Kenzie and Bella are more dangerous to a tree than cats... thoughts?

Bummer that Deanne was feeling "green around the gills". Nothing worse!

Honey, you have my sympathies! Mum was JUST like that for years after Dad died. It was as though she had "something to prove", and in proving whatever it was she thought she was proving, she needlessly set herself up for countless dangers. Like cooking on sterno for 3 solid days in a home without electricity in the big ice storm that socked New England some years ago... peeing in bucket and chucking it out the door... melting snow to clean up. She absolutely pitched a fit when John and I arrived and told her she was coming to stay with us... it was my late Aunt who finally talked some sense into her. She told her how fortunate she was to have kids who cared enough about her to be worried, and she told her stop being selfish and think about the concern and worry that consumed my brother and I. She relented, and over dinner that evening she commented on how nice the soak in the tub had been. The helpmeet teased her about her "Donner Party" mentality for years afterwards.

I also understand your frustration with lack of sibling support at such an important time. I know a lot about that... if his feet aren't held before the fire, my brother offers little. I loathe calling and asking for a break; don't feel I ought to HAVE to. It took me a long time to understand that he is basically a weenie and Mum's condition freaks him right out. Well... GET OVER IT, it is what it is. So deal with it and move on; I'm still kickin' after nearly 4 years of it, 30 days ain't gonna kill ya. All I can tell you is, don't let them get away with it... call 'em on it now because failure to do so will only add more chores to your list. And they need to help out, too. Hang in there; and don't be afraid to play the "guilt" card with your mother (she uses it on you, turnabout is fairplay)... let her know how much you worry about her welfare and that you may not always be able to rush right over. That having a "back up" plan would provide HER with more safety, and YOU with peace of mind... . It's a delicate time, I know. ;)

I am horrified at the idea of children returning from school to find their parents gone. Yikes. Seems odd to me that there would be no provision for such an occurance, but one would have thought the CIA and the FBI would have been able to sniff out foreigners who wanted to fly planes, but not LAND them, too. Nothing should surprise me, but it still does. ;)

What do women who are dissatisified with the status quo do to change their perspectives when they suffer from RAS (retail aversion syndrome)? Why they clean deeply and then they REARRANGE the furniture, of course. I dragged the Kirby out, converted it to a blower and blew the dust outta the baseboard heat. I vacuumed thoroughly. I rearranged the sitting/TV area. I threw out the cheapie rack that held the CDs and went to the storage place and dug out two pretty bookcases that had been in my late Aunt's apartment. I cleaned them up, and now the DVDs and CDs have homes. I rather like the arrangement, and the helpmeet sure was shocked when he came home for lunch! The cats and the dog have been in an uproar over it all, too. I trimmed the geraniums back partially and watered/fertilized them, too.

Now I'm going to loll around on the couch and watch a lush, period drama from Masterpiece Theatre... "The Pallisers". Thankfully, I have no bon-bons.

Should I go to work tomorrow or "blow it off" again? I just might!


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Chelone, here's my take on it:
When in highschool I decided one day that I'd be sick and skip going for a while. Mother said she'd have to call the doctor. I was so fed up with school and obligations and papers and presentations and assignments piled on each other, that I told Mom to go right ahead and call the doc. So Dr Hatch arrived and checked me out. After discovering that I was fine, she asked to talk to Mom in the other room. I listened attentively anyhow. ;-) Dr Hatch was an amazing woman. She told Mom that school was not everything, that I was obviously in need of "me" time, that I would decide for myself when I was ready to return. This was a fearsome revelation for my mother, a university professor who felt education was THE most important thing in life. And lo and behold, it took waaaay longer for me to return to school than she imagined. In fact it was weeks. But I did return and the world did not end. So I take Dr Hatch's side on this one. Go back when you are able to face it.

I've finished the Christmas presents today! Phew!!!! Next will be wrapping and cleaning and cooking. Fine...I think I can deal with it. In fact I am pleased in finding a few meaningful gifts.

Honey, the complications with your family and your Mom are painful indeed. Shoot me when I reach that stage please. I do not want my kids to have to deal with garbage. I want you and yours to have a beautiful Christmas together along with Bullet. Quiet and sweet. I hope that can indeed happen!

Michelle, no wild boars here either. I can just imagine Kenzie and Bella this year anticipating Christmas. I hope we all get to see lots of photos of them! :-)

But it is not only the little tykes...David and Annie photos would be appreciated too, along with Taryn's boys, Saucy's charmers and maybe even Janie's two as well??? She promised to return at one point. There must be others I am missing too. Blush!

Sue, I am glad that you are a healthy horse. :-) I hope your Mom is too. Deanne, get well quickly and don't overdo things. Well....you can take a few bird pictures for us, but not more than that, OK?

I must run off and plan dinner. I wonder if spaghetti would be OK...More knitting to accomplish still after dinner.

'bug


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Wow! Got home almost before dark today trying to scratch out the last of my vacation time before it's lost. Can't believe we have the driveway lights set for 4pm. Only 8 days to go before it turns around.

Reading about everyone's parents makes me ever more grateful for mine. My Mom and Dad are happy, coherent, healthy, independent except for really heavy lifting and high branch pruning, and are still a blast to have around. My mother has made it clear that when she is no longer any or all of the above, we are to put her on an ice flow and send her out to sea. She read somewhere that Arctic natives have been doing this for centuries and likes the idea. I don't want to be the one to argue with her. Since I take care of my DB, my DM is up to my DS :-)

Ahhhh, cyberfriendships. It is so easy to hit "Send" because you can't bite your tongue. I've said things I've truly regreted and haven't known how to apologize. BUT -- that's what this group is about. We're plant people and no matter what else, we're plant people.

The story of the dibble continued. Of course, my neighbor couldn't leave it alone and when I got home mentioned that a dibble's shape had many possibilities for interpretation, but she was glad to get him one, anyway.

All of my coleus cuttings are toast. Some rooted, some didn't, and all when put into starter mix rotted away despite not having too much water. Think I'll stick with the hard stemmed stuff. LOL

Got my Bluestone catalog today and am heading for a bubble bath with highlighter. Life doesn't get much better.

Later, folks!!

Martie


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Hi everyone

Hellos all round, but a special hug for (((Honey))) and all she is going through.

A few quick photos of the past week's projects.

First - Christmas scene in a teacup (photographic detail not too good but I think you'll get the general idea.


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The Longhouse started life as a cardboard box of a favorite Girl Scout Cookie. Here is David hard at work.

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and completed (note the smoke coming out of the hole in the detachable roof)

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researching and making the interior was the most fun

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Mary


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Very, very cool Mary. Tell David he did an excellent job! I love all of the little details. It took me back to reading Indian in the Cupboard with my David. And your teacup! That is just the sweetest thing. Your friend will love it. What a special gift! It makes me want to start creating miniature scenes myself. Thanks for sharing pictures of your projects. What a creative family you are!

I'll try to get back later tonight after Bella's gone off to the land of Winken, Blinken and Nod. If not, tomorrow for sure. But now it's time to get her dinner...

Eden


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Yeona I went back and read your last post prior to the one where you say you feel rejected. I wonder if I accidentally contributed to you feeling that way. I see that you suggested the emergency call button thingy in that post; I missed that reference in my fast skimming but did notice Honeys reference to it. If my detailed response to Honey perhaps made you feel rejected by the absence of a response when you suggested it, my apologies to you. I frequently just skim and miss lots of things so, if I give offense by omission, its never deliberate!

Some thoughts from the latest fast skim.

Deanne Ive not been getting any e-mails from GW either so its interesting to note that you have the same problem. I use a different e-mail address on GW than I do normally. I sent myself an e-mail just to make sure that the address was functioning. It appears to be working so, in conjunction with my inability to log on unless I use DHs computer, I assume GW just doesnt like me!

Marian and someone else - I bought a pair of flannel lined pants from LL Bean this fall and love them! I just ordered their lined jeans last weekend so Im waiting for those to arrive.

Sue Im glad to hear you check out as healthy! DH and all his family has your attitude towards going to a doctor. His mom hasnt been in probably 20 years or more but thats going to have to change soon. Its a situation they are all still avoiding.

And Ive already forgotten what else I was going to comment on and fast scroll through the thread didnt resurrect any thoughts.;-(

We spent yesterday tracking down the Cabot stain for the shed trim. No one has the color chart for the stain for the shed not even the store where I saw it first, although the guy wasnt looking too hard! The store in the next town had the stain base but not the color chart. (Nobody orders that stuff around here, so we threw it all in the garbage!) I ended up e-mailing the company. They responded saying that Ocean Gray is a custom color from Cabot and only used on the shingle panels. They are sending me a shingle so I can see what it really looks like. Since I needed to start priming and staining the window frames, I went with white. The frames now have two coats of primer and tomorrow theyll get the first coat of stain. I was originally planning on using a pale gray but not having a good idea of exactly what ocean gray looks like, I figure white is a safer option.


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Well, Im doing my best to contain myself. This am I phoned Mom to let her know I was coming out to help her wash her hair, etc., as we discussed. She thot that was a great idea. Its an hour round-trip for me to her house. When I got there, she was bathed and hair was washed. She said she really didnt need me b/c she had her cleaning gal help her. It was definitely a "so there" moment. I didnt take the bait but I churned inside and remained civil despite wanting to wring her neck. I cant tell you how furious I was. I understand it, but it just wasnt nice.

Im fortunate in that I have 2 friends that have or are going thru similar with failing parents. Ill never forget when our one friend let loose w/us about her Mom. Both my BF and I were so relieved. It lifted quite a burden off us b/c youre not supposed to feel that way about your Mom. And its awful at times to be so angry and hurt by your parent, whom youre supposed to love unconditionally. It is very hard to deal with especially when they become nasty.

Chelone, I can't tell you how often I've thot of you and all you go thru with your Mom. And you remain chearful, upbeat and sane! My hat is off to you, girl. Nuff said.

Martie, many of my coleus cuttings didnt make it either L. Thanks for saying that. I was feeling quite inept among the divas here. Ive got2 Amarylis growing under lights, too, and one has fallen over. Guess I dont have "the touch" for indoor plants. Le sigh, as Da would say.

Boo hoo, I didnt get my Bluestone yet. Hmm. Wonder where it is. Perhaps my mailman has to read it first just like he does w/the Enquirer, lol.

I second the motion for lots of Bella and Kenzie pix, as well as Mary, Taryns and Saucys bunch.

Oh Mary, I love the teacup! How clever! And Wow. The Longhouse is incredible!!! And what a cutie David has turned into. The girls will be knocking down your door, very, very soon.

Thanks, so much, Marian for your kind words. Youre such a sweetie. I m grateful everyone here puts up with my ranting now and again. You all are a great bunch. Thanks, so much.

Well, the timer for our pork tenderloin just went off. Guess its dinner. Hi to all. Hope your day was better than mine.


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Woody and Yeona, if that is what is causing Yeona's feeling of rejection, I want to say that that has happened to me several times. I have said something on some particular subject, then someone a little later says something very similar. The later post gets flowery responses, and mine gets nothing. I admit, it does make me feel as though what I said was either not read, or that I am not interesting...okay...not liked as well, as the later poster. I am hoping it is just an oversight on the part of those who have done it. I may be guilty of having done it myself.
My 2 earlier posts today seem to have come under the above category.... :-(


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RE: Idyll #294:- - - -

Honey, I do know exactly what you are saying about your mom and the hair washing. I don't know how many times my DH has pulled that on me. I will hunt my head off for something he says he needs, only to find it and be told.." I don't need what you found...I found mine." And I feel the same way about how a wife is to feel about her DH, as you feel about how you should feel about your mother. ( Does that make sense?)
How I would love to be told "I appreciate all you do." ! I don't recall ever having been told that by my DH.


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Oh, Marian. I'm so sorry that your DH doesn't seem to appreciate all that you are and do for him. Hmmmmm, perhaps you need to go visit Tim for a week or two. Absense and all, as they say.

Seriously tho, long ago, I learned that I had to appreciate myself and give myself kudos b/c my parents were emotionally incapable. Despite what they said and how they acted, it wasn't me that was undeserving, it was they who were incapable of seeing, feeling and responding. And it didn't matter how much I sought it or wanted it, it just wasn't or can't be there.

A wise therapist explained it this way: If you go to the hardware store and ask for eggs, they'll tell you they don't have any. It doesn't matter how often you go back to the hardware store, they won't have the eggs you need.

Another thot. I think I appreciate DH and he me b/c we both had awful first mariages and know how truly bad it can be. I've often thot we might take each other for granted if we did't have that comparison. Perhaps some of the above fits your situation. I hope it helps. Just know that we all do appreciate you and all your contributions here!


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RE: Idyll #294:

Honey, your second paragraph fits my situation exactly!
Thank you for understanding.
This forum was once almost a life saver because of the kindness and interest that I found here.
I truely believe my honesty in expressing myself and my beliefs has turned many against me. I can understand that. I HAVE stepped on some people's opposite beliefs. It IS hard to be attracted to someone who opposes your lifestyle. But then...I like all of you , despite the differances........


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Hello to all, a quick note today, so that my chores do not remain undone- I came home to a completed front yard project(hardscaping wise) and it turned out great-I'm very pleased with the job and can't wait to start the fun part which is of course buying and planting ! I already have several plants stashed in readiness. Unfortunatly it's been raining off and on for a few days so the ground is wet. I need a week of dry weather before I can plant anything. Mud prevails. Started making grocery lists for all upcoming holiday events, and did a bit of gift wrapping. Now I have to do some laundry or I'm going to have to wear my PJ's to work tommorow ! Sleep well all..
Kathy in Napa


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

I'm back again, giving serious test to Mary's comment about absent idyllers being welcomed back. I'm so happy that this group is always here waiting for me.

Marian, I second your comment about liking all of the people here despite many differences. If you and I lived in the same town, chances are great we would never get to know each other. But I enjoy your different perspective and your stories from your life, even if you do think it's not very exciting.

Perspective is a funny thing. I had dinner with a group of women last week, and one of them is one of the best-known dairy farmers in the state. She has done tons of work in support of ag in our state, not to mention those 260 dairy cows that need to be milked every once in a while. But she looked at me and another woman who works in the perennial business and told us we had such wonderful jobs that helped make people happy. Hmm, feed the world or make people happy? Isn't it funny how "the grass is always greener"?

Honey, I liked the therapist's comment about eggs in the hardware store.

Martie, I was talking plants with a customer the other day and she mentioned an herb that she can only get at Logee's - had I ever heard of Logee's? Well, of course, because Martie has raved about it! So have you grown Greek columnar basil? And are you still pushing dibbles in your neighborhood? LOL!

Shh! I have four coleus cuttings that are out and out thriving! Funny thing is that I filled three pots with potting soil, stuck the cuttings and then put them all together on my kitchen counter. Two pots (same coleus) did great and the other pot (different variety) shriveled and died. But the two pots are still doing well.

This evening, I switched hats and would have done Clik and Clak proud as I diagnosed a car problem over the phone. DD's car has sprung a leak in the cooling system. The complication is that she is supposed to drive home Friday night. DH thinks she should put in some StopLeak and come on home, but I think that there are too many miles of nothing between here and there. There are several exits on the interstate that don't even have gas stations within a couple of miles, and I don't want to worry about her getting stranded. So she will take the car in tomorrow and see how fast it can be fixed. She can get other transportation home, but then she wouldn't have a car to drive over break. Well, that wouldn't be the end of the world!

Honey, smart move to call the police. In our old neighborhood, a couple of guys were going door to door ringing bells, and when someone answered they had a goofy reason why they were at the door. Finally someone called the police, and these two were caught trying to break in to a home where no one answered. We were on vacation at the time, and came home to find our sliding patio door slightly off kilter. It was the kind that you could lift off the track from the outside, but we had put screws in the track to prevent that. Those screws did their job!

Mary, the teacup and longhouse are simply awesome!

Glad to hear we will be discussing Michael Pollan's book. I'm looking forward to revisiting it and discussing it with this crew. I'm in the middle of his latest book, "The Omnivore's Dilemna", right now.

Chelone, you talked about becoming a more adventuresome eater. I have always hated olives. Just 11 days ago in Napa, I had this little epiphany and discovered I love little balck olives. Like, I ate every single one I could get my hands on! Anyone hiding any olives around here?

Okay, time to let the West Coast crew take over as I head to bed with a warm dog and a good book.

V.


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

West Coast checking in here- can't resist commenting on V's olive epihany--I LOVE olives. Sometimes I head over to our local really cool non-chain grocery store and hit thier olive bar at lunchtime. I buy a little tub of the Sicilan garlic olives and go back to my office and eat the whole thing. My kids will still have nothing to do with olives , but DS has in the last year discovered the joys of mushrooms.Good thing too, because I use them alot.
V, did your DH enjoy the rest of his time here ?
It's really almost my bedtime...see you all tommorow..
Kathy in the Napa Valley


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RE: Idyll #294: Christmas is coming

Im just home from a very elegant Christmas party with my Bible study ladies.

I just cant believe the weather that we are having here. Its supposed to be in the 50s for at least the next couple of days.

I dont think that Ive killed any of the coleus, but a few pelargoniums and a couple irisene didnt make it.

Mary, tell David that I am so impressed with the Longhouse and your teacup is fabulous. Did you and David make the figurines out of clay? The detail is just wonderful.

Chelone, Kenzie will eat about anything. In fact the last time she was here, she wanted cereal and all I had was wheat and flax cereal. She didnt seem to mind at all. As for the Christmas tree, they have it set up in the family room on the lower level and there is a baby gate at the top of the stairs. She was showing me some of the ornaments when I was there last. She especially liked one that had a cat on it.

Kathy, when do we get to see pictures?

Night
Michelle


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