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Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Posted by martieinct Z6 nrthn CT (My Page) on
Sat, Dec 30, 06 at 11:40

With the addition of Drema's last six weeks to the downs afflicting the Idylls, thought it would be a good thing to venture forth into the New Year in a hurry! Carry on....


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Good Grief!!! Why can't the carryover of events within the Idylls end with vacumn cleaners and flooded basements? ((((((())))))))) to everyone and the pets who must be missing their pals, too.

Drema: I didn't know you had a brother with the same diseases that mine has. As my DB's conservator I've needed to literally get into shouting matches with Doctors over his physical care. It's one of the reasons my parents Finally relented and asked that I be his Conservator of Person and Civil Matters. I think anyone would've been scared, but without having his meds it had to be pure Hell. Good for you to stand up and get him outta there!

Eden: Kudos to your Dad. I'm curious why two MRI's?? Are they looking at two different areas of concern? Don't let yourself get to the point where you need to HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, tired). Take care of yourself or you won't be much good to anyone else.

T: So Glad you didn't get sick. Feel for the rest of your family, though. We've been able to circumvent the sickness so far and feel very lucky.

Chelone: The one pet I truly still mourn was a Cockatiel we had for eight years. He was trained enough that I could carry him outside on my shoulder without clipped wings. He and our late dog Max would garden with me for hours. Rex looks just plain big to me, no matter what his heritage :-)

Rich's sudden passion for veggie gardening is, I think, primieval. His ancestors had farmland in Canada and he remembers a huge veggie garden at his grandparent's house in rural New Hampshire. When he met me, he didn't have much of an interest but I think it was more a "manly" thing rather than disinterest. Or, he may feel that's if you can't beat it, join it. At any rate, the siting for the garden is still under discussion, but it will be the biggest, baddest veggie garden in town by the looks of things. Really encouraging him to go organic and as a result, we'll be having a ton of rotted manure delivered sometime in March. Remind me then that it was my idea.

Got my T&M catalog yesterday and am enthralled. Let container planning begin!! Love Territorial, too, Kathy and Cook's is a mainstay, but must admit that most seeds will again come from Pinetree.

DSSIL and DSD will be arriving momentarily for brunch. Am thinking of Marie and am grateful that "our" kids are close enough to negate trips to the airport.

Best to All -

Martie


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

It's a bright and sunny day here today and warm too with a high of 48F. Jenni is feeling better and took Bella today so I'm going out and about. I'm going hit a few stores, Williams Sonoma, Borders, Target and who knows where else. I'm thinking about picking up a quesadilla maker. I'm usually not much for kitchen gadgets that only do one specific thing but I think this one might be useful for feeding Bella. I can hide veggies with a little melted cheese in nice little manageable triangles for her to munch on.

Why Cynthia, sounds like you had an exciting morning. Thank goodness it was just the disposal and not the house! I got such a smile reading about Monty and his crate potty. What a smart boy he is!

Drema, so sorry to hear about your brother but happy that he's getting better. It sounds like you've been through a nightmare. I hope 2007 is more peaceful and calm for you, in fact for us all. No, don't bring me squirrels, lol. I loved Tim but having a caged baby squirrel in my kitchen for a whole winter is an experience I'd rather not repeat.

Kathy, what a pretty rose bush. I loved your philosophy on giving a homeless animal an new home. That's how I feel too.

Cindy, have fun chatting with your friend over tea this afternoon.

Michelle, what city do you go into? Dinner out sounds nice.

Marie, hoping the family made it in safely and your all enjoying being together today. Don't forget to take lots of pictures.

The day is flying by, half over already. I slept in until 8:30 this morning, the smell of Brad brewing coffee woke me. That never happens. I think I need a day of R&R.

Eden


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Martie...

Hi Martie, I keep meaning to mention to you about a seed company that I order from sometimes. I haven't tried the veg. seeds but it looks like they have some interesting heirloom varieties and they have great prices.

In answer to your question, they're doing one MRI on her spine and one on her pelvic area.

Eden

Here is a link that might be useful: Diane's Seeds


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Drema, It's so good to see you posting. So sorry about your brother and truly hope that he continues to improve. Sounds like a very tough few months for you. Hope you get some downtime soon.

Happy that you have become a fan of Agave! I brought two small ones into the house and put them in sunroom for winter and one of the cats, Saul, thinks they're something to nibble on. Those doors are always closed in winter, but he sneaks in when I go in there to water and hides until I leave.

Martie, you might like to get a Chiltern's catalogue and JL Hudson just for the great read. I can't remember if they offer veggies, but both are just the best winter seed reading. I have (Tasmanian) hellebore seeds in the fridge from last winter that I need to pot up and put out. I usually have seed orders in by December but this year (and last) I'm trying to really cut back. Last year I started maybe a half dozen types of seed. So proud, as I usually order 100 different things and am over run by spring. It's just such good therapy. I don't have a veggie garden - not enough sun - so looking forward with a little envy to seeing your plans. Oh, and as I'm sure you know you can never have to many varieties of tomatoes! We had a tomato festival in the mid atlantic this year and I got some great new seeds to try.

Cindy, my hellebores are in bloom! I was out back yesterday finding the right spot for Mikey, and the orientals in sun there are blooming lightly, as well as the H.niger which do bloom early. Quite a winter we're having here.

I planted Mikey behind a group of blooming hellebores and was lucky the ground was good for digging. I went to Home Goods last night to find him a memorial stone and they didn't have them, so will keep checking. He's surrounded by the hellebores and hydrangeas, but for now the green obelisk below is marking his spot.

My camera is broken, but here's what the spot looks like in spring. Mikey is right in front of the obelisk on the left:-)And I'll be able to see the spot from the patio (behind black fence on left).

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Oh, that photo makes me want spring!

Back to the cellar. Cynthia


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Oh thank goodness for the new Idyll thread! Looking forward is my motto for the moment.
Thank you all for the good wishes. I'm doing pretty well. I'm not quite up to a post on the funeral and trip home but considering the fact that my family is the poster family for dysfunctional, it went as good as could be expected.

Jerri


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Sorry Eden-I forgot to add that I was glad to hear your dad was able to push the Dr. along with getting the info they had on your mom's scan. It's such an emotional thing in itself and to *have* to raise a stink to learn about a loved one seems so unfair. As always I keep your mom in my thoughts.

((Drema))I'm SO glad we've heard from you! and I'm so sad about the rough time you've had. I hope things turn around for your brother especially with him having the psychological issues in addition to physical ones. Hang on. I hope the best for your brother.

I added a late post to the earlier thread-maybe should I paste it here?

Off to tend MIL...

~Babs


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

not reading anything just thought I'd send a warning to spray down your keyboards, wash your hands often and don't breathe in (yeah, I know....good luck on that one). The nasty bug/virus hit here at 3 a.m.

see you when it is gone.


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Wow...tough times out there. I can't think of anything to say any better than martie and others have said it. I am following along with all the posts and wishing for some blue skies for everyone who is dealing with something right now.

Drema...I don't think we have met. I don't really know your whole situation with your brother, but it has to be very stressful and it is a wonder that you are still standing. I hope his health improves soon.

Marti, I love your acronym...HALT. I will have to remember that one. It is very good advice.

We have not had any infections here yet and are being very vigilant with precautions,, thanks for the reminder JUST T...I have been forgetting my keyboard. Although just last week I had a doctor's appointment and had to go into a large medical center and I wore a mask. I hate wearing it, but I would hate getting the flu worse.

cynthia what a pretty photo of your yard and a great idea to plant Mikey in with the hellbores. Do they actually have memorial stones for pets?

Hello Jerri. :-)


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Looking Forward out here in the west here too...I'm taking a break from what is developing into a very productive day-don't want to lose my momentum ...So far have done the grocery shopping, pruned numerous roses, pulled many a weed, cleaned the kitchen, started soaking black beans for chili to be made later today, and it's only noonish !

Drema , what challenges you have ... I hope things settle for you and that your brother continues to improve.

Cynthia your garden and Mikeys resting place look lovely and so inviting . Great story about Monty's "chamber pot" !

Eden, boy do I feel like a wimp now that you have characterised 48 degrees as warm !

T- hope it's just a 24 hour deal :-(

For those who asked , the rose in the pic I posted in the last thread is Jeanne Lajoie , which is a miniature climber-note the flower size is mini, not the plant ! I prune it to a fare-thee well about every other year, otherwise it will eat my house. That pic is her first flush in spring and then she blooms on an off throughout the season in smaller flushes. She lives on the arbor that my DH and I built that I had the worker dudes copy in my front yard.

Have a good rest of your day/evening everyone...

Kathy in Napa


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RE: Idyll #298 - Spring is Coming!!

Well the mail just came and my Cook's Garden catalog was there. All this talk of vegetable gardens and cynthia's pretty photo of her yard in the spring has me looking at the calendar to see how long before we can get out and garden again. Don't you all feel like even when nothing is going right, that being in the garden just makes everything seem better? I feel like Winter hasn't even started yet, so when we finally start getting bad weather, I am wondering, will the winter go by faster, or will it drag on into the spring again? To me....March is always possible to get out into the garden even if the weather does get wintry every once in awhile. There used to be a New England tradition to plant peas on Saint Patrick's Day. So I am aiming for that as the point where I can count on getting outside to garden again. That is only eleven weeks away!! :-)

Does anyone know of a countdown clock to Saint Patrick's Day? [g] I know that is maybe too specific, but maybe there is one to spring?

I also just had another idea. Since there are so many people struggling with loss and poor health etc. I wonder if we could all help find plants with the names of the people and pets that have been lost so they can be planted in memory of them? By the time spring came, we might have a pretty good list of plants for people to look for. Just a thought. :-)

Well...we had our first snow of the year today and as I am sitting looking out at the weather, I am looking at seed catalogs and photos of last year's garden. I DO LOVE snow though!! We have all of about 2 inches, just enough to make everything pretty. I will only love it until March 17th though. [g]

Martie...I found your husband's history of his family having a farm in Canada fascinating. No one in our family had a farm that I know of, but I did find out that I had two great great aunts that were very attached to their gardens. I was never interested in gardening until we were married and bought our first home. I had a friend who had an organic vegetable garden and maybe that brought to the surface something that was waiting to be discovered. I don't think it is too far fetched to think gardening could be in our genes. LOL Will be very interested to follow along with your husband's plans for his HUGE garden! I am sure it will be fun.

Speaking of veggie seeds....I bought all of my seeds for the veggie garden from FEDCO Seeds last year for the first time. Very good experience. After just getting the Burpee catalog the other day and looking at their prices, it looks like I am going to be ordering from FEDCO again. Cook's Garden is a nice catalog too, but my budget for seeds isn't going to go far there. Can't remember if I ordered from Territorial yet, but I might have their catalog around here somewhere. Fedco, has great quality and prices with good selection of veggie seeds and some flower seeds, plus potatoes etc. They offer untreated seeds for organic gardening too and they are very careful of the ecological implications of what they offer.

As an example...they have 'Purple Haze' carrots for any Jimmy Hendrix fans out there, for $1.60 for a packet. LOL
They also have that red variety of Brussel Sprouts called Falstaff. $1.60 for 4g of seed.
Purple Peacock organic Broccoli which they sell for $1.00 for .5gm of seed.

They also sell them in larger amounts.

If you remember, I mentioned I live on a small 1/4 acre plot. I know another Idyll mentioned also having a 1/4 acre property but who was that?

Well, we first had a veggie garden in 1980, but then in the late 1990s, we stopped growing there for various reasons and used containers for just tomatoes and herbs. One large reason was that the area that I used to grow veggies in was overgrown with a persistent perennial grass weed that I had tried almost everything to get rid of. In 2005 we were finally able to start to redo that whole area. We got rid of the weed over a whole season with mulching heavily with cardboard/bark mulch since trying to pull it out had made it worse. Our sons built us these cute little raised beds and in 2006 we were finally able to plant it again for the first time in too long. :-) It is really small as vegetable gardens go. Not like some of the large properties that a number of you have. But here are a few photos of when the new beds were finally in place and ready to go around June of last year, and the last photo is what the garden looked like in maybe the middle of August. Not quite where I want it yet, but it's getting there and a huge improvement over what it looked like before.

Winter sown jugs around it...

Still using some containers for veggies..and on the right is a pile of dirt still there while we were working on a new patio...

Part of a butterfly/beneficial insect border with whiskey barrels that we planted pole beans in last year....

The birds love sitting up there all year long... [g]

The garden in August.. LOL

Enjoy the rest of the day.

:-)
pm2

Here is a link that might be useful: FEDCO Seeds


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

I had a fun afternoon out shopping. It was such a beautiful sunny afternoon. My first stop was Goldner Walsh. There I found an agave and a pepperomia. I'm slowly building up a small collection of both. Then I stopped and grabbed a coney dog for lunch and next was Target for the quesadilla maker which I found on sale. On to Williams Sonoma where I picked up a half sheet pan and a new microplane grater. Then I stopped at Whole Foods for some cheese and eggs and couldn't resist adding a four berry pie. I got home again around 4:30. I didn't get a thing done around the house though but I'm willing to bet it will all still be here tomorrow waiting for me, lol.

Kathy, I guess the temperature is all relative. Usually at this time of year we're knee deep in snow, wind and high temps in the 20s or low 30s so close to 50F and no snow is like spring here!

Norma, I hope it's nothing serious with Wyatt. That's just the worst when little ones are sick. Can't wait to see your new guitar when you get it. It's so neat how you've gotten so interested in playing recently. And your right, my mom did feel better just knowing what's going on. It's when they keep you in the dark that it's the worst.

Deanne, boy I wish your cold would leave. You just don't sound yourself. I can tell you aren't feeling well at all. Get better soon!

T, OH NO! You did get it. What a great mom and grandma you were to voluntarily expose yourself like that. Get well wishes for you too!

Babs, I can see where you really NEED the Kitchenaid, lol. No REALLY! That's great that you got one. You will really use it. I've been thinking about getting one too since lately I've really been in a cooking/baking mood. How is Chris's mom doing? I'm so glad you've had more time to post lately and hope you can still squeeze us in a little when school starts back up.

Cynthia, what a pretty picture of your garden. That's a beautiful spot for Mikey. I'm afraid I'm another you influenced with your agaves. I have 6 or 7 different ones that I have on my kitchen window shelf these days.

Prairie, what a sweet idea to find memorial plants. I have a Abraham Darby rose planted in my garden that always reminds me of my kitty Abraham that I lost this last summer. I wonder what I could find for Tim? I really enjoyed seeing the pictures of your garden? Is that a squirrel inserted into the last pic?

Speaking of Abraham, I miss him everyday but I've been thinking of him a lot these last couple of days. If you all remember he was the battle scarred feral that I rescued back in '97. He'd been on the streets here for 2 or 3 years and that spring a couple of dogs got ahold of him and about tore him apart playing tug of war with him. My neighbor beat them off with a baseball bat and then layed the cat up under a bush thinking he was all but dead. He crawled away though and we would see him around, almost unable to walk and dragging his back legs, but he would never let anyone close. He began healing, but still walked with a bad limp and I would put out food and tell him if he'd just trust me I'd do my best to take care of him. One day in June he just came up to me and that was it. He moved in and was the smartest, most lovable cat you could imagine. He always looked at me with such gratitude and love in his eyes. I ran across this poem the other day and it reminded me so much of him. Since it's the end of the year of his passing I thought I'd post it here as a sort of tribute to him...

--THIS OLD CAT:
I'm getting on in years,
My coat is turning gray.
My eyes have lost their luster,
My hearing's just okay.

I spend my day dreaming
Of conquests in my past,
Lying near a sunny window
Waiting for its warm repast.

I remember our first visit,
I was coming to you free,
Hoping you would take me in
And keep me company.

I wasn't young or handsome,
Two years I'd roamed the street.
There were scars upon my face,
I hobbled on my feet.

I could sense your disappointment
As I left my prison cage.
Oh, I hoped you would accept me
And look beyond my age.

You took me out of pity,
I accepted without shame.
Then you grew to love me,
And I admit the same.

I have shared with you your laughter,
You have wet my fur with tears.
We've come to know each other
Throughout these many years.

Just one more hug this morning
Before you drive away,
And know I'll think about you
Throughout your busy day.

The time we've left together
Is a treasured time at that.
My heart is yours forever.
I Promise - This old cat.
- Author Unknown

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And I think most of you have seen this one before but I'll show it again, me and Abe...

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Eden


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

One of a litter of 8 foster puppies died this afternoon. I'm too numb to even cry any more. :-(

Jerri


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

I was just about to post a response to Eden's post about her cat, when I saw your post Jerri. I don't even know what to say. It just isn't fair that you have to have so much to deal with at one time. I hope you can get some rest and put it all away for awhile.

Eden...I had not heard the story of your Abraham and I really appreciated hearing it. How wonderful that you had each other and that she was saved from the life she was living. I can't believe how perfect the poem fits your story. Great photos too...he certainly looks like a survivor and very content with you. :-)

I did look today for a few plants that might have some part of some of the names of Idyll lost pets. I couldn't come up with every name, but this is what I found...

Viola 'Irish Molly'
Piperia michaelii
Rubus lawrencei Bailey
Bobea timonioides

That is as close as I could get. It is a start anyway. I will keep their names in mind as I am looking for plants and seeds for the spring.

Goodnight..

pm2


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

We received about 2" of snow yesterday, too. Helpmeet had some errands to run and was horrified to discover the driving conditions on Rte. 95 were dreadful. Apparently, failure to SLOW DOWN put many a soul in the ditch. Sometimes, I think the greasy 1-2" is worse than the12-15" "dumpers".

Drema, I'm thinking of you. I know just how hard it can be to deal the medical establishment, but to toss mental illness into the mix must make it excrutiating. I remember how "out of it" Mum was following her stroke. She was so paranoid she wouldn't let any of the doctors examine her. She called me every few hours to find out why she was there... it was awful. But at least she was able to communicate her fears to me... ; it must be just awful to wonder about your brother's fears and not be able to really KNOW. (((hug))).

I, too, am impressed by HALT. Because that's just exactly what happens. I call it "being invisible"... the routine goes on in front of you, but no one really "sees" or "hears" you and your concerns. Until you "get in their faces". I hate doing something like that, but sometimes you have to... it's the only way to break through the patriarchal, frequently condescending, demeanor of too many doctors. I'll never forget the urologist's expression when, tired of the polite answers to my questions, I stood up, put my hands on his desk, looked him right in the eyes, and said, "Look doc., I'm a busy woman. I have to take care of my mother and work full time. I don't have time for platitudes or any of the rest of the BS you've being layin' on me. Get to the point, willya?! Is my mother going to die soon? I'm a big girl, skip the BS and we'll along just fine; I have to make plans, OK?!" He was shocked, and then "gave it to me straight"; and after that, he and I got along famously. But having to go "toe to toe" with the establishments takes a chunk out of YOU. I'm keeping you in my thoughts, Drema, Babs., Martie, and anyone else facing this sort of situation. It sucks.

T., OHHH NOOO... . I have had a cold for a week now. And whenever I'm sick or the helpmeet is, my greatest fear is that Mum will catch it, too. When she had the "bug" last spring I though I was going to lose my mind. She's old and slow and I cleaned up more soiled underpants and bedding in 48 hours than I've ever had to in my adult life. Her doctor told me my regimen of handwashing was likely all that spared me a bout of it. I, too, eye the keyboard with suspicion... ;)

Larry was rather long-lived for a cockatiel. 20 years is considered very old for them. In general Psitticines are very long-lived (large hookbills routinely see 80-90 years old and must be provided for in the wills of their humans!). So many people fail to understand just how intelligent hookbills are. African Grey parrots routinely test out with the intelligence of a 2-3 yr. old CHILD; they grieve the deaths of their humans and cagemates often adopting featherplucking and weaving from foot to foot as a way to relieve stress. Their devotion to their humans is legendary and Larry was no exception. Larry was never clipped; with 4-5 cats it would have been foolhardy to do so, lol. He flew in the house every day until the last few... swooping, screaming and living life with a joy and gusto we had to admire, even when the noise was irritating. I could hear him calling to me when I'd get out of my car on a summer day... . I passed his empty house on my way to the woodpile last night and "bubbled over" again. I'll take it up to the attic when the Christmas stuff is put away. His window seems very naked, right now.

We have a memorial placque for Junie, and two statues mark the gravesites of Bobby Lee and Minnie. Chris and Sally were turned into the beds in the vegetable garden since they were cremated. The Llasa Apso is marked with a shrub, and the parakeets are in the garden... Larry is in a new planting, but he may well get a marker, too.

So... here's to the New Year.

Cynthia, your story of Monty's fastidiousness under confinement is wonderful. Animals never cease to amaze me. Given their druthers, they'd druther be clean.

Thinking of 'bug and how much fun she's having!


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Aha Jeanne Lajoie! I have one that has been in a pot for 3 years. No, not an ornamental pot where it can grow well, just the plastic pot it came in. I'm torturing it in that pot and should be reported to the ASPCR. But every year there a few things that never find a home and Jeanne is one of them. I had some trees removed in the back last year, and think there may be enough sun there to put her on the neighbor's fence. The ground isn't frozen yet, so perhaps I should do that today. Thanks for inspiring me Kathy :-)

Eden, I don't think I ever heard the full story of Abraham before. Very touching and that poem must have been written for him. Looks like he was 'your boy' and I know how much you must miss him.

PM2, your raised bed gardens look so neat, and the bean pole is fantastic! I love orderly gardens, but thwart myself every time I try to go in that direction. I'm trying to figure out the squirrel in the last photo too. Is it a photo inserted in the photo or is it a drive in movie screen? He he. It just looks so flat it can't be a flag, or is it?????

Jerri Jerri Jerri. Hang in there. Glad you're home with your herd now. And just 11 weeks until spring? Who said that? I know spring is earlier in Oklahoma too :-)

It was gorgeous day here yesterday. And I did some much overdue clean-up out back. In addtion to he hellebores blooming, the shocking orange quince is in full bloom, and the variegated daphne is covered with buds. Daylilys are up everywhere (sure to be struck when we get the cold) and daff foliage is up 4 inches in the sunny spots. A few scraggly looking roses are still in bloom too. Can't remember what else, but I had fun out there and some parts of the yard looked quite nice after I removed the riff raff. In bloom or not, I love hellebores, that foliage is lush year round and really keeps the gardens looking alive.

Martie, a ton of manure is gold. I had a work friend who lived out in the country in Maryland and he brought me a truckload for a few springs until his back went bad. Now we have manure or manure compost available at the swaps here and I fill a few grain bags and share it only with the roses. I miss the wealth of a full truckload!

Chelone, I enjoyed hearing about Larry.

Happy New Year's Eve morning everyone!

Cynthia, Still cleaning the cellar.


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Happy last day of the year! I'm just back from the grocery store and Bella's napping. My sister called this morning, she usually has Bella on Tuesdays, but wanted to know if I could take her this week because she's been struck by the nasty stomach bug. I do think constant hand washing is the key to not getting this stuff. It will be a quiet day around here today. Brad's working and won't be home until after midnight and I'll probably be asleep by then. I'll let you all in on a little secret. New Years Eve is probably my least favorite holiday and I'm most happy the years I don't have to go out and celebrate it. I did pick up ingredients to make Creme Brulee French Toast for New Years morning and there's a bottle of champagne for mimosas too.

Chelone, I know just about nothing about pet birds so I found what you said about Larry very interesting. Pets add so much to our lives, no matter what species they are. One of the reasons I feel so comfortable here on Idylls is that you all get that.

Cynthia, I'm glad there's someone else who grows plants for years in the original nursery pots. I have many waiting in the wings to be planted...someday.

Jerri, things will get better again! They have to, keep the faith!

My house is in need of a good straightening. Amazing how quickly clutter accumulates over a couple of days and I hate that! So to work with me!

Hope everyone can finish out the year on a positive note!

Eden



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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Happy Sunbright Afternoon!

(Jerri). Wish I knew more to do or say...

Cynthia: Your dog is too damn smart to be a dog. I know human men who wouldn't figure that out. LOL

Busy and productive morning: Food shopping, laundry, dusting (actually down and out cleaning), bathroom is sparkling and Kyle is enroute to Boston for a "real" party. Seems we are just a bit boring for the college crowd on a party holiday. Fine with me, as I'm with Eden on this one. We'll have Game Hens on the grill, will be grateful for all 2006 brought to us, and go to bed. How'd I ever do the 48 hours straight thing?? Ahhhh, the 70's...

PM - I'm really impressed with what you've done with your 1/4 acre. Sue has a small lot, as well, which is what makes her garden even more incredible.

Thanks for all the seed sources! Last year was the first in many, many that I'd wintersown so I'm just now getting back on the lists. FEDCO and Diane's have been added to the list to look. Think I'll end up with about 25 varieties of starts inside. Oh, and Cynthia -- Rich has seven varieties of tomatoes picked out. I suggested that perhaps they not all be beefsteak type -- mix it up with say, some canners and maybe some mini's??? That was met with: "Well, we'll just have to plan more tomatoe space." It's futile, I'm telling you!!

Our Stop and Shop is being totally revamped and as a result the floral department has been moved around several times. I always stop in to say "hi" and see if there are any good pity pile bargains. Imagine my surprise and delight this morning when the ladies pulled out an 18" high tree-shaped Rosemary, said "Merry Christmas" and stuck a $2.00 price tag on it! Waaaahooooo!

Eden: Isn't retail therapy great? Sounds like you bagged some bargains! Brilliant to make q's to get Bella to eat veggies!! (If you can't seem them, they're not there, right????)

Deanne: If you're really getting yourself to chill (hard to believe) chill away, my friend. Of all garden pals I've met cyberly, you have more energy than two or three combined :-)

Am thinking of the excitement hangovers all Idyll kids must be having, except of course Marie's DGS who must think that having this new set of grandparents is pretty darn cool.

On my way to Home Goods to look for towels. That's the premise, at least. Want to see what Christmas stuff just may still be on sale :-) (Poor, Rich.)

Best to all-

Martie


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Eden...that was a great shopping day. I am guessing you do a lot of cooking. We have been shopping at Whole Foods for many years. Here on the East Coast, they used to be called 'Bread and Circus' until they were bought out by Whole Foods. I still call them that all the time and my DH keeps reminding me of how long it has been changed to Whole Foods. I can't help it, I like their old name better..[g] Nice to be busy and get out of the house. :-)

I can't get over your story about what happened to Abraham. It was astonishing. I was so sad for poor Abraham and then so happy that he made it and you were able to take him in and he was safe. What a really touching story. I love all kinds of animals too. We've had many, just not in a long time. :-) We really wish we had pets. Not a month goes by that I don't hear 'I really want a dog!' from one of my grown children.

Are your agaves for indoors? Do you have a very sunny window for them? I imagine you put them outside in the summer. I am mulling over whether I want to create a collection of pots with sedums and sempervivums on the patio this summer and maybe an agave would fit right in. I imagine they like similar conditions to sedums? My only problem is wintering them over. I doubt they are hardy here and I don't have windows that are sunny enough I don't think. Plus I am running out of space in front of the windows. [g]

Eden....I'm glad for your Mom that having some concrete information is helping her to cope.

Norma...are you just learning the guitar for the first time? I hope Wyatt gets all the way over whatever it is soon. Thanks for the explanation of your screen name. It sounds like a pretty place to live. :-)

Babs...when you start using your mixer...take some photos! I would love to live vicariously. :-)

Deanne and T and Chelone....hope you feel better soon. :-)

Chelone..fascinating information about the Psitticines. I didn't realize they lived so long or became so attached to people and cagemates. Sounds like you gave Larry a really lovely free lifestyle. He was a lucky bird!


Cynthia....I have that tendency to like a neat garden too. At least it starts out that way. [g] I think I like the structure and the framework of it. I always found myself attracted to those old large kitchen gardens surrounded by a wall. So this is as close as I could get to one. The last photo has a photo of a squirrel eating a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup inserted into the middle of it. lol

More plants names for Tim, Larry [no larry so I went for Lawrence], Michael and Molly. Did I forget anyone? :-)

Phleum pratense L./ common name Timothy
Timmia megapolitana/ common name timmia moss
Geocarpon minimum Mackenzie/ common name tinytim

Cystopteris laurentiana Blasdell/ common name... St Lawrence bladderfern
Rubus paganus Bailey/ common name... St Lawrence dewberry

Piperia michaelii/ common name is... Michael's piperia
Aconitum carmichaelii/ common name ....Carmichael's monkshood

Kochia Roth/ common name.... Molly
Bassia americana/ common name...green Molly

Happy New Year's Eve!

:-)
pm2


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Ooops! I meant to ask...

What happened to marian, [looking for more orchid photos]

david...[looking for more bird photos]

honey...[did I tell you how funny your Santa's Adventure film was?]

woodyoak....[who had a photo of a gate arbor that was so pretty and a gorgeous Pennell clematis]

and Yeona...[who writes long posts like me. (g)]

Where are you all?

:-)


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Good Morning Everyone..
Yipee ! Got my camera yesterday, and in honor of PM's agave discussion here is my photo of one of my succulent "pizzas" , shamlessly copied from Thomas Hobbs

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Going to take down the tree today, so I'd best get started-
And PM, thanks for posting the photos of your garden.

later..
Kathy in Napa


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The First Grandson....

I have a few hours while DGS is off for a ride on a huge TRACTOR! The excitement here has been loud and wonderful.

Folks arrived LATE at the airport. Bedtime was 3:30AM because we had to meet Charlotte and the 3 kitties first of course. Spiderman was wide awake by 7AM, and needed to check under the tree. "I won't open any presents yet, I'll just check how many are for me!"

DD tries on her new jacket.

DGS opens "just a few" goodies.

Too busy for lunch, DGS inspects the swing in the barn, the pet rabbits, and more. He learns to saw wood with DS. (This new uncle is very special to him because he too has had heart problems.)

More company arrives with more gifts exchanged!
Matching pajamas!

An amazing brand new sleeping bag for the smallest one!

Time for dinner! Things a bit chaotic, but yummy! DSIL serves the stuffed salmon, baked in pastry.

But you know, even Spiderman can only stay awake so long...

BUT, after 15 minutes, all recharged, we open a special gift! DD's and DS's old train set is located from friends and brought back home. We set it up and play for a few hours with it.

After reading Stone Soup, DGS hits the sack at midnight.

Come morning, guess who is the first one up? Daddy has to play Count Down while DD makes crepes for breakfast.

Just a general comment. Even though hyper about all the events here, DGS is sweet as pie and ever so gentle with the pets! He's a ham and loves to sing and perform, be the CENTRE OF ATTENTION. We'll keep him.

Sorry, this one was all about me...and there'll no doubt be more another day.

I have caught up on my reading...oh my! I just want everyone to HAVE A REALLY AND TRULY HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Smiling for our 'bug and her family...

:)


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Now that's what Christmas is all about! What a wonderful family you have Marie. I think these pictures are just what we all needed to see. Thanks!

Eden


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Zzzz...

I'm particularly fond of Spiderman dozing off at the table... precious!


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Happy New Years Eve! Best Wishes for a healthy, happy, prosperous 2007 to everyone and your parents, children and pets! Ive been lurking but not had time to post. It was sad to read of the woes holidays have brought to pets and family or both in ((Jerris)) case! So many sad but touching stories I dont know what to say other than my sympathies to all who are in need of some! The sick pet plague has fortunately skipped us this holiday season but struck at DHs brother their 12 year old Airedale had a stroke a few days before Christmas. She has recovered a bit but it will be time to say farewell soon.

I got a chuckle from Cynthias clever Monty stories (Nice to see you again Cynthia) To add to the lighter notes on this thread, here is DH, who cant resist an opportunity for a funny picture. After he opened the fridge door and the jug of cranberry juice fell out when the bar holding things on the door shelves decided to give way:

Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com

However, he started to crack up when Misty very worriedly came over to see what had happened:

Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com

One of the reasons I havent posted much in the past while is that I have set off my tendonitis again so typing is painful. Inspired by GBs sweater project, I dragged out an unfinished sweater I had started for DH about 6 years ago! I gave up then because of tendonitis, so I tried to take it easy this time. But, since I was aiming to finish by Christmas, I overdid it. I didnt manage to finish by Christmas but might finish by next week some time. I can only manage 8-10 rows a day at the most. Very annoying! On Friday I did my part to help transmit the skill of knitting to another generation. A friends young daughter has decided she wants to learn. My friend and her mother helped her start a scarf but neither my friend nor her mother could remember how to cast off! So I showed them how when we dropped by on Friday.

Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com

My friend said today that her daughter has subsequently finished two more scarves for her dolls. She still needed help to cast off, but only because she was having trouble manipulating the needles - she told my friend how to do the casting off because Pam still couldnt do it on her own. (Pam said she had never got as far as casting off when she had tried to learn years ago)

It continues to be outrageously mild here for this time of year. PM2 goodness knows what state the Vyvyan Pennell clematis will be in for 2007! It always tries to leaf out in March and gets killed back by frost. It got killed by half this past spring. It is putting out new growth at the moment! So I expect it may be killed back to the ground or perhaps just plain killed when winter eventually shows up around here!

I'm back in hiring mode. One of my helpers e-mailed me on Boxing Day to say she wouldn't be back to work as she is getting married on Jan 7 and moving to Ottawa! I didn't even know she had a boyfriend, although I did wonder because she went to Ottawa a lot... I had asked if there was someone special there and she had said no, just friends. I had hoped that Barb might be able to work more days here but she can't, so I have to go through the process of finding someone new and teaching them ASL. It's going to be a long, boring January with only Barb here once a week.

GB, I just refreshed and saw all those pictures they definitely put a smile on my face. Everyone looks like they are really enjoying themselves!


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

The mild winter weather has left us. We now have several inches of snow and its quite blustery out. We have new neighbors down the road and have just returned from bringing a house-warming gift. Its a house that hasnt been lived in for a long time and they plan to do a lot of work to it. She would like to plant a few flowers around the place, I told her to come on over in the spring.

Eden, we go to Sioux Falls, SD. It is an hour and 15 min. drive. It is the closest decent sized city. Most of the major stores and lots of nice restaurants. The one we ate at is a local one that is very nice and great food. We had a few Christmas exchanges to make as well. We spent some time looking around the newly opened Lowes. I can get so many ideas in those stores. The picture of you and Abraham is very touching as is his story. I also really like the one where he is curled up sleeping.

Drema, great to hear from you. What a rough road youve been on. I hope your DB continues to improve.

Cynthia, your picture make me long for spring.

T, sorry to hear that the bug bit you. Get better quick.

PM2, I enjoyed the pictures of your garden.

Kathy, great "pizza"

It looks a good time is being had by all at bugs house.

Woody, your DH is quite a card.

No plans here this year other than a quiet evening. Have a happy New Year.

Michelle


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Good evening all....
Everything is copacetic here. Just the usual ups and downs of old age and chronic ailments.

It is obvious that all is going well (collectively) with the Idyllites. I am happy (for all the oldies) that Cynthia is back. Now you are more complete. Still some missing, espacially jain.

Marie, I love your pics and the account of your company. Very special! ( I love the "matched pajamas" !lol )
Your DGS is so blessed to have inherited such a loving family.

Woody! Your DH is a hoot! LOL

I an so sorry about all the pet loses. Eden, I spacially like your Abraham story, and the poem.

No pets lost here, but two BILs . My oldest half sister's 90 year old husband died a week or so ago. I was never close to either of them. Nolon's youngest sister's DH passed away Thursday night. He was extremely obese for years and his entire system failed. He was 66. We hope to go to his funeral tuesday. I say "hope" because there is snow in our forecast. It will be at Fayetteville, Arkansas. Their home is in Springdale, Ark. I will drive to her house and ride with family to the funeral, weather permitting.

Jerri, I am wondering if you are all well from the surgery you had? In was in July wasn't it?

Prairiemoon, no more new orchid blooms yet, but there will be plenty in a few more weeks...barring a disaster.

I like your Idyll title, Martie. I used to order lots of seeds from Pinetree...some from T&M...some from Hudsons...some from Parks...and on and on. I would send for every free catalog, and many that I had to pay for. I think I have recieved at least 40 differant catalogs in one year's time! Since I don't send for seeds or plants anymore, the catalogs have about quit coming. I would make out many many orders that never got sent...thank goodness! I sure didn't have the money to pay for it all, nor the energy to plant it all! It was fun dreaming though.

I haven't even contemplated doing any gardening this coming year. Any I do will be in containers again.

Sympathy for any who are ailing, or have loved ones suffering.
I hope Honey is okay...how long since she last posted? And how about Saucy ? And Yeona? And Brenda?
Norma, are you snowed in?

Chelone, I think of you and yours frequently. I hope you continue to retain the tenacity that you exibit. Thanks for wondering " where the hell" I am ! I appreciate it! LOL

Marian


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Happy New Years Eve.

I'm to tired to do much of a post tonite. We worked outside today. DH cut up a large old hickory tree that had fallen across one of our paths last summer. It took several smaller trees down too when it fell. I burned all the brushy limbs that were to small to cut up for fire wood. It had rained last night so it was a good time to burn without catching the woods on fire. It felt good to be out but I sure am out of shape from not doing much lately.

Bug thanks for sharing with us. The pictures tell a wonderful christmas story.

Woody your DH's joke had me wondering for a bit. That was a good one. LOL
To bad you are losing your helper. I hope you find a fun new one.
Looking forward to seeing the new sweater. I remember the other one you had made for him. How neat that you could help your small friend learn, she looks determined to figure it out.

Martie, I can't wait to see Richs vegie garden. LOL sounds like its going to require a lot of work though.

Count us in as being quite participants in New Years eve. We did our share of partying in the past though.

Love seeing the green of Cynthias yard and Pm2 s garden area. We have been lulled into a false sense of spring here lately and I'm not looking forward to the cold I know will come soon.

Eden, the poem certainly does fit Abrahams story. I am still missing Keebler too. I can just see those brown eyes looking at me.

Michelle, I imagine your new neighbor will be stunned to see your lovely gardens come spring. Hope you can become good friends.

Jerri, hang in there.

Babs, "Off to tend MIL...'? Is she not doing well? Or just the regular tending?

Oh poor T !

Kathy, did you get the new arbor painted? Sounds like you are getting a lot done.

Ok, I'm done in. I will snooze the new year in. Nite all. Norma

PS , Just refreshed and saw a welcome post from Marian. No snow here Marian just rain. Good to hear you and Nolan are ok. Sorry about the in-laws.
As I said, I am turning in, but hope you will be back again soon.


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

I had a sick baby here today. Bella started running a temperature this afternoon. Tylenol kept it under control but when Megan picked her up a little while ago it was over 102. I tried to reassure Meg that it wasn't abnormal for a child of Bella's age. This is the first time Bella's really been sick at all and Megan was a little panicked so David went over to spend the night so they weren't alone. He was googling "fever(12-24 months)" just before he left. I told them to call if they needed me. I'm just waiting for Brad to get home now but I'm fading fast...

Eden


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Happy New Year Idylls ! A few hours to go here before the year turns, and I'll be tucked in with the kitties sleeping at midnight...

Marian!! great to hear from you ...condolences for the family members you have lost. nothing wrong with gardening in containers ! You have to do what you can realistically handle and maintain.Even a few modest pots can give much pleasure.

Woody, loved the crime scene pics !

'bug, how fun to see your family celebrations- very festive !

Norma, no paint on the arbor yet.. I have three painting projects going at once ..home office, bathroom and arbor. The arbor is third in line and will take the least amount of time-but is hostage to the weather. If no rain this week I will prime it next Saturday.

Got my Christmas tree taken down today, along with The Fabulous Mantle Display. It took all day. Tommorow I will watch the Rose Parade as I have done every year since I can remember (once in person) and maybe get another
few roses pruned.

A New Years toast to all ! May your 07 be healthy and joyful..

Kathy in the Napa Valley


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Well, Happy New Year to my friends across the country. I used to date a guy who always referred to New Year's Eve as "amateur night", lol. I was tucked into bed with a book and a cat by 10PM.

Woody., your husband and the cranberry juiced cracked me right up! I have one rather like that, too. :) The sillier the joke the funnier it is. Drag that you have to hire new help... I hope your search is short and fruitful. The woman who bathes Mum is wonderfully patient and pleasant. I've gone out of my way to make this a pleasant place for her to work. She was shocked to get a Christmas bonus from me... what does THAT say about how people who assist the elderly are too often treated? Yikes.

How exciting that a long vacant home is going to be filled with life again, Michelle! And how nice that you brought them a housewarming gift... our neighbors did that for us, too. It's nice to know the people near you, and nice to be able to help out when it's needed. I wonder if your new neighbor will be bitten by the gardening bug? ;)

Good to see Marian's name again. And sorry to hear about the losses in your family... I'll be crossing my fingers that the weather cooperates for you. I love planting the windowboxes here and the two urns. My first success at gardening was windowboxes, stuffed with Cascade Petunias. I fussed over them religiously, deadheading, fertilizing and was rewarded with beautiful flowers until hard frost. I always enjoy the pictures of your houseplants, too.

Eden, do think there's anything sadder than a sick kid? They only know they don't feel well. Abraham's story is great. He was a lucky kitty-cat!

We're under leaden skies and there is a very steady, very cold rain falling. I tested the deck to see if it was freezing on contact, but I don't think it is. It's still pretty miserable, though... the cats have been curious about the door, but have recoiled in feline horror, lol.

Time for pancakes!


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Good morning and I can see I am the first one up to welcome in 2007. :-)

GBUG....really enjoyed seeing the photos of your family's Christmas. Thanks for sharing them. I also thought the one of your DGS falling asleep at the table was so sweet. The matching pajama photo...just made me smile. They looked like they were having so much fun. Great shots! Sounds like you all had a wonderful time and I am so happy for you. :-)

WOODY....Happy New Year to you and your family, too. :-) That's awful about your BIL's dog. Gosh I have never heard of such a rash of pet tragedies! I think this must be some kind of record. Well, I am hoping that 2007 will put a stop to this and hopefully start going the other way.

I have trouble with my arms sometimes too, woody. I have resorted to using ice packs at times and I think that has helped some. I was told to use heat before activity and ice after activity and that is what I do when I know I have overdone it. It doesn't cure anything, but it does seem to speed recovery along. Of course, I don't know if your tendonitis would benefit, but you might ask your doc next visit. I love the photo of you and your friend's daughter. She is so intent on learning her stitches. I remember that age and just dying for someone to teach me to knit etc. Glad you were able to do that. :-)

woody, this weather is crazy but I hope not so crazy that you lose that beautiful clematis. I tried for a number of years to grow clematis and kept losing them or worse, never getting them to grow at all. I gave up for awhile, but I gave in and bought one of those boxed clematis at BJs two years ago and I was amazed last spring when I got bloom on it. I was so happy! It has encouraged me to try another one. This time I am going to go to the nursery and pick out the largest one they have though, just to be on the safe side. :-)

We were in bed by 10pm last night. I agree with you Eden, New Year's Eve has always been my least favorite holiday. Of course, when you are very young, it seems like the best thing since sliced bread, since the adults leave you out of it. When I got into my teens/early 20s, did the usual party route and out celebrating. I just didn't enjoy it. It was so over the top. It often felt like there was a 'forced' excitement, almost like everyone was trying very hard to convince themselves they were having a great time..lol. I did enjoy the dressing up part though. [g] That was my experience at least. Since then, I prefer to stay at home. We had a nice dinner with one of our children watched football, toasted in the New Year early and it was very pleasant. I really do look forward to New Year's Day though. I just love a fresh start. :-)

I discovered something new on this list. At the end of Norma's last post, she mentioned refreshing and seeing Marian's post. Thhhaat's what I have to start doing. I keep responding to every post I see, then evidently it takes me so long to compose my post, that by the time I hit the submit message button, there is another post that I missed.

Last time, it was Martie's post that I missed. MARTIE...... it seems to me there are lots of energetic people on this list and you are one of them. Hope you enjoyed your game hens last night. Thanks for your kind comments on my photos. I do have to emphasize that I did the directing and planning, but my family did all the physical work, which I am very thankful for. And I have seen Sue's photos of her garden and I completely agree that it is incredible and immaculate to boot! You will note though, that unlike Sue, my photos can only show one part of my yard, because the rest is a work in progress. [g]

I can sympathize with your Rich...there are so many tomato seed varieties that I could plan to grow 20 different tomatoes for every year until I die and still not get to try them all..lol. Last year we tried 8 varieties, 7 of them in containers, one in the ground. Wow, what a difference between the one in the ground and those in containers. I do remember when I first started vegetable gardening, I wanted to do an experiment and find 'the best', 'my favorite' tomato ever. So I planted 20 different varieties and tried to keep records to decide which were the best. I did find one cherry that remained a favorite for a long time...Sweet Million. But, I think for me I am disappointed more often then not, therefore, the next year, I have to try another 10 tomatoes in that elusive search for 'the best one'. [g]

Last year, I did what you are suggesting Martie, we had the large tomatoes, a couple of cherries and some paste tomatoes. What I concluded was, that the large tomatoes just don't grow well for me. The neighbor's shade trees have grown up around our property and I have more shade than I started out with. The cherries did wonderful. One that was 'the hit' of the season, was the SunGold. A yellow/org cherry. My DH kept popping them in his mouth all summer and they rarely made it to the table..lol. I am planning to grow more than one plant next year. Sungold was also the healthiest and longest producing of everything we grew last year. I got that name off the Cornell website last year. It was voted the #1 tomato by gardeners who post to the site. Has your husband discovered that website yet? I will post the link below. He will LOVE it!

KATHY..... You got your camera! Which one did you end up with? Great shot of your succulent pizza. The Jewel Box Garden!! I just had that book out of the library and I LOVED It! The succulent containers were my favorite too and hey, I am planning on copying him next summer too...lol.

Glad you liked my photos....I still haven't seen many of your garden, or many others on the list. But I am sure they will be coming. :-) I got out to take some photos with my new camera yesterday and it's going to be awhile before I can figure out how to use it..lol. I don't have one I like enough to post. But aren't digital cameras amazing? Up until last Christmas, we were still using those awful disposable cameras. This is such a treat. Post some more photos when you can Kathy. :-)


You are ahead of me, Kathy...we traditionally take our tree down on New Year's Day. Last night I said to my DH, 'Now why did we do it that way?' I think we goofed there. It is a chore no one looks forward to and I think next year, we will do it the Saturday before New Year's and have it over with. [g]

MICHELLE.....We had a dusting of snow here too, but it is still fairly warm. Aren't you a nice neighbor bringing a house warming gift! I didn't think people still did that..lol. We have had the same neighbors for the whole 25 years we have lived here, so my experience is nil. Glad you enjoyed my photos..hope to see some of your garden too. :-) I got a chuckle out of your trip to Lowe's. I always had that same reaction to a hardware store of any kind.

Nice to see you posting too MARIAN...Very sorry to hear of your family's sad news. I hope it is a better year for them in 2007. I hope you will be able to garden at least in containers next spring. Maybe something near the back door or on a porch? Or even in your bedroom in front of a window. .I haven't heard that expression in a long time..'everything is copacetic'. [g] Hope you can post more often. :-)

NORMA.....sounds like a 'good' tired. :-) Glad you were able to have a nice productive day. Raining here today too..goodbye snow.

EDEN....I am not quite up to speed on your family. Megan is your daughter and Bella is her first child? Hope whatever it is, it will pass quickly. I remember well how frightening it was the first time my first child got sick. David is your husband? She is lucky she has you both. It gets to be less panicky pretty quickly..or at least it did with us. One of our boys was collicky and had a lot of ear infections. We kept our pediatrician in business. [g]

Okay, I am finished. Now to refresh....lol...Chelone beat me to the punch and was the first to post. It's just that I am so long winded. I started at 7:00am. Always enjoy your posts Chelone. Raining here too. Pancakes sound delicious! Banana/Chocolate chip are our favorite here. :-)

Well...wishing all of you the best year ever! What? It's possible. Happy 2007!

:-)
prairiemoon

Here is a link that might be useful: Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Happy 2007 from the tropical rainbelt of central CT. The extended forecast here looks more like April than January-40s and 50s F all week. Oh well, it beats the hell out of snow and every week of January that isn't bitter cold is one less week that it will ever be bitter cold. We went out to the same house party we go to every New Year's Eve and got home around quarter to one AM. It's fun-low key. For dinner we had various appetizers, honey ham and an turkey, lasagna and salad. Our crowd is getting older though and some have to be "encouraged" to stay up til midnight-including me...lol.

I am so sorry to read of all the pet and human losses here this week. One of the women who volunteers with our mini schnauzer rescue group died Christmas Eve from brain cancer. She had been battling it for over two years and was only 45. No time is good but how crummy to lose someone around the holidays.

PM, it's me who has a quarter acre lot and trust me, there are parts of my garden that are not fit for a camera lens. Every year I create works in progress somehow even when I say I can't imagine what else can be done. I do prefer things neat and orderly but find I have created more garden space than I can keep up with and often have to let parts go longer than I would like. Using more woody plants in combination with containers, annuals and tropicals has solved some of those problems. Now I just spend most of the season watering...lol. Thanks for sharing pictures of your garden. We love pictures here.

Woody, LOL. What a clown!

Marie, is your DGS sleeping in my bed? LOL Looks like party time at your house this week.

Today the Christmas decorations come down here too. As far as I'm concened the holidays are over. NEXT! Yesterday I went out for some retail therapy and it's too wet to work outside so I should have no diversions or excuses. If the rain doesn't stop by this afternoon I'll be walking in a gore tex suit with an umbrella but it won't be the first time. Tom wanted to join me on my walk yesterday and has done nothing but complain about all the things that hurt since. Just as well-I prefer to walk alone anyway. It's cheap therapy.

OK, time to poke myself with a stick and get moving.

Sue


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Happy Monday and Happy New Year !
Im drinking coffee and kind-of sort-of watching the rose parade . Its foggy out this morning so Ill wait to venture outdoors for more rose pruning.

PM , the book Thomas Hobbs wrote before "Jewel Box Garden" was "Shocking Beauty"
I bought both of these books and look at them over and over again. What great photos .. I ended up buying the Canon A540 , it was 199 at Office-Cheapo with a 40 buck mail in rebate and that sealed the deal for me. I had a gift cert. from Target so I went over there and bought a case and a memory card . Im right with you on the Sungolds. I grow one in a half wine barrel every year without fail. This year I only had an early girl in the ground. At this point I only have room for one tomato in the ground , and though I love brandywine its so late bearing that I wont grow it again till I have room for two. (2008 I hope !)

LOL Chelone- I can visualize the feline horror scene. All we have today is fog and my cats are still up on my bed. I cant imagine what they would think about freezing rain or snow.

Sue- you might be the one and only Idyll who stayed up till midnight ! Impressive stamina ..

Time to read the paper , and then do a few minor chores while I wait for the
temp to warm up outside .

Kathy in the Napa Valley


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Happy New Year Idylls

We're busy here still enjoying my sister's visit so I've barely had time to skim.

I did catch that there have been many Idyll pet losses - my thoughts going out to all who are grieving a much loved companion.

It's lovely to see so many posts and I'll look forward to coming back to read after our company have left.

Sue - we stayed up here - our evening started with a delicous lamb dinner once the little ones were asleep, followed by a movie, the hot tub, a lively game of Scattergories and then toasting in the New Year. I'm afraid it was 1.30PM before I got to sleep - I'm feeling it today! With family visiting we have so much fun together we have a hard time keeping track of time.

This afternoon I'm putting decorations away while Ruth and all the cousins enjoy an afternoon at the Children's Museum. I'm making some English sausage rolls for tea time when a friend is joining us, then winding everyone down for work and school tomorrow.

Mary


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Taking the tree down...Trying out the new camera. :-)






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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Greetings of the New Year! I'm gonna jump outta here and post a new thread that will be pretty photo heavy. For those who have dealup or DSL, here's a taste:

Looking from the kitchen eating area into the dining room:
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From four-year-old height it is a magic place:
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And, doesn't everyone have a view like this???:
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Martie


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Happy New Year to all in Idylland,

Doug and I went to MJs for a lovely dinner party and evening of good friends and company. We left before midnight but I did stay up to ring in the new year. Doug was snoozing in the recliner and I woke him up to wish him Happy New Year then sent him off to bed. Im still fighting off this lousy cold so Im afraid I wasnt the best company last night but I still enjoyed the evening anyway. Im hoping I can shake this off soon as Ive not been able to exercise and am feeling a bit like a slug at the moment. I dont even want to think about getting on the scale for a couple weeks. Between the holiday food and not being able to exercise Ive got a bad feeling that Im starting off the year with some extra pounds. Grrrrr..

We finished taking down all the Christmas decorations today and the house is back to normal so that is a good thing. We wound up putting up the old small 7 foot tree instead of the behemoth 9 footer. Santa brought me a new 2G card for my camera and 2 gigs of RAM for my laptop so I can process those huge picture files from the new Canon camera. What fun!

Im thoroughly enjoying everyones photos and posts. Looks like there were a lot of good holiday celebrations here.

Ive been spending a good deal of time with my bird photography lately and am getting a better feeling for the new equipment. Here are a couple recent photos from yesterday. Ive placed a natural perch made of an oak branch stuck into one of my large containers. This is near the bird feeders and placed so that I get a good out of focus background when shooting the birds. Its been trial and error but Ive finally gotten it placed so that it gives me the best backgrounds.

Anyway a Happy New Year to everyone and wishing you all the best for 2007!
Deanne


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Gorgeous pics, Deanne!!!

Inside decorations are down and celebrated with sugar cookies with real butter. Feel like I've landed in flavor central.

Nice, quiet day here. Both of us were zonked by 10p last night and didn't get up until really late. Drizzly and cold outside. The grass is greening. To weird.

HALT is not mine and I like to give credit where credit is due: The acronym is used in most 12 step programs. Many smart professionals have likened caring for a family member to living with an addicted person. You love them and hate them and can't kill'em so you gotta love'em. Clinically it's called co-dependency and it is incredibly easy to slip into without knowing it. I'll leave it there, but HALT comes in handy when all else fails :-) Glad it makes sense to those who may find moments to use it.

Sue - I'll take Steve Silk's word for "garden in progress" over yours anyday. LOL Hope you enjoyed your walk, and the Franklin Ave place is on the short list.

Marie: The pics say it all. Cheers!!!!!

Everybody else knows, I hope, that I'm thinking of them.

It took you long enough, Marian, to come for some ((())).

HAPPY NEW YEAR from all of us in the house. (Elves, too.)

Martie


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Just back from a snowy walk with Jaden and 2 cats, Georgia and Meanie. Through the grove that Rick just recently pruned the black walnut trees up so you can get through better. Last night was very windy and the visibility was poor. The temps are actually in the 30s today so it was quite a pleasant walk. I have to admit that the snow is much prettier than the yellowish/brown grass that we had.

We removed all the cabinet doors and hardware in the kitchen. I am going to paint the hardware with a antique bronze paint. The cabinets are 30 years old but are solid oak and actually a fairly nice style, but the handles are losing the finish. We looked for new ones, but I didnt see anything I really liked. So I am going to try this. There are 45 handles and not quite double that for hinges.

I would really like to get the Christmas decorations put away today too. We slept in and then made omelets. For Christmas we bought a 46" high def TV so we watched the Rose Bowl parade on that.

Martie, that is some village setup. Tell Ky that he did a great job.

Do I dare post photos after those fabu fabu bird photos of Deannes?

The winter garden:

Happy 2007!


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Happy New Years - I've been in a frenzy today of last minute "to-dos" before the reality of going back to work sets in. Managed to get tree & decs down but confess I still have the needles to vacuum, etc. So Im in a modest state of disarray (almost normal...). Managed to organize that utlity room & my pots have some nice new homes -- LOL, Martie the room will probably look like yours soon.

Jerri - I feel for you -- hopefull truly 2007 you can now look forward -- after the deaths & your surgery you still need some time to recoup - it takes longer than one imagines.

Well, my hellebores are not in bloom altho they're looking pretty good - and golly I heard that we've got another 2 weeks of this type of weather mostly likely - January will be gone without real cold.

PM2 -- love those shots of your veggie garden; wish I had room; I suspect my plot is very tiny compared to most Idyllers - but I still manage to cram a lot in; altho I love the organized look, I dont manage to accomplish it as plant greed overtakes me every year.

I will stay I've gotten excited over the Fairweather Gardens catalog; it seems they have most woodies on my wish list - now how to make it manageable! I've got small trees I'd love to have too (heard this all again) but just not sure I can commit to turning my beds into shade ones in 5 years!

GB - you had a marvey time it's quite apparent w/ the family - even if it was only 24 hours -- it was a jam packed 24 we can tell. Thanks for sharing.

Ok - back to laste minute vacuuming & contemplating the Reality of Tomorrow. Of course, while the Feds have closed in honor of Pres. Ford's funeral, my law firm HAS to be open (so much for observing federal holidays, sigh).... Well, hopefully I'll take my rested, relaxed mood to work & keep it for at least a day - Im going to try real hard on that = the first resolution for 2007 (along w/ back on the diet). So ends the days of sloth & gluttony of 2006, LOL.
But what a nice Monday it was for a change! Yeeha - 4 day work week. We have to try to find the positive where we can!!!!

And another positive - I like seeing these fantasy Winter Wonderland photos of someone else's yard -- Michelle, pretty, pretty -- but Im happy to have none here.

--Cindy


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Worked hard today in the garden. Before I knew it , it was 4pm and the sun starting to sink under the yardarm. Many roses pruned, three of them moved , and now I am enjoying a glass of cheap white wine .

Deanne, exquisite photos ! I felt like reaching out and petting those sweet little birds.

PM , I love that pine cone cabin ornament ! Is it homemade ?

So here is a view from my garden today..taken with my new camera.

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Night all !!
Kathy in the Napa Valley


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Well any and all pictures are welcome here.

Martie that is an impressive setup.

PM2, looks like you are getting the hang of that camera real fast. Pretty ornaments.

Deanne, your bird photos blow me away. I hope you are going to try to sell some of those. They deserve to be out there.

Michelle, I enjoy a good snow scene. Nice that you have a new area to walk.
Painting the hardware sounds like quite a project. Its the cleaning stuff before painting I dislike.
I bought handles and drawer pulls for my cabinets when we had them made and decided I liked them better without any, so I never used them. I looked at them awhile back and thought, what was I thinking. I don't even like them now so am glad I didn't put them on.
Now why would you name a cat Meanie? LOL

Mary, Its so nice you are having fun with the family. Any chance you have a picture to show us how much (is it Ivan and Iris?) have grown?

I started of with a bang this morning and thought I would get a lot done, but it wore off to quick. Having DH in the house parked in front of the tv is not very inducive to me working. LOL Somebody light a firecracker under me.
Later gang. Norma


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RE: Idyll #298 - Eden

Ah ha Kathy, a hellebore. So what are your temps running there. I haven't checked mine but I do have a couple of pansies blooming. We are supposed to get cold again here this week.

Eden, how is Bella? N


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Norma, got into the high 50's today, and the high 30's expected overnight. There is some rain predicted for later this week so nightime temps will go up-high 40's, low 50's.
I have some pansy blooms going too, but they look pretty bad overall ! All my hellebores are coming inro bloom and I will have more photots to share later this week.
Time for dinner !

Kathy in Napa


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

  • Posted by taryn S Ontario Z6B (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 1, 07 at 21:58

Happy New Year Idylls! Wishing you all health, happiness and abundance...

I'm hopelessly behind here and haven't read much of anything in several weeks. I hate dial-up--took 16 minutes to open this thread, but love all the pics. Above and beyond the holiday festivities I have been pulled in many directions lately and really needed to simplify, pull back, and regroup. Still contemplating which path to take on several matters, and need to get quiet enough to hear the answers I know are in there somewhere. And exhausted from all the excesses of the season, with yet another week to go before the boys go back to school. But I am "Looking Foward" to being here more, and to a brighter 2007.

Take care Idylls,

Taryn


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Monique, sorry I missed it!

  • Posted by taryn S Ontario Z6B (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 1, 07 at 22:23

Happy Belated Birthday Monique!


(bet you recognize this view!)

Hoping I didn't miss anyone elses BD. Was that Cynthia and the menagerie I just glimpsed? Hi and welcome to PM2. Well it's passed my bedtime after last night, but I'll have to come back tomorrow and see just what else I've missed around here. Like finding a lost Christmas present under the tree I still get to unwrap. :)

T


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Good 2007 morning!!!

Back to work for me, today, too. Three days sounded like a lot on Friday :-) Rich was supposed to have started a new contract today but got called for jury duty and didn't want to start demo and then need to split. The mantra: Don't let him get picked, don't let him get picked .....

Haven't heard one peep from anyone about resolutions and I think that's great. Why do we set ourselves up? One thing I plan but not resolve to do is learn Yoga for both my physical and mental health. But, if I don't, there will be 20 things I can't even imagine right not that would be just as beneficial that will happen whether I resolve or not.

Love all the bird and scenery and summer pics!! Smart, Deanne, to put something natural near the feeders for the shot. You've got such great vantage points!!

It has been determined that I need Helebores in the garden. Yes, they are on the list and the budget for the rototilling guy just went up, again. LOL and Kaching!!

Best to all as we start the New Year.

Martie


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Good morning everyone. I'm in a bit of a quandry this morning; I was supposed to go back to work today, but have NO idea what time I'm supposed to show up. I also have to get Mum to the lab. for some routine tests that require 10 hrs. of fasting beforehand. I am thoroughly annoyed that my hours have been changed (cut) and things are so disorganized (I'll get over that) and I'm frustrated that all I seem to do these days is dance to someone else's tune when I'm not taking care of someone else. Maybe another cuppa will get me over the bump. :) (I hear ya Taryn).

It was so nice to hear from Taryn. I've been wondering about "you and your's" and your first Christmas in your new digs. When you have more time to catch up a bit or write everyone will be there... trust me on this, I'm the voice of experience.

Deanne, your shots of what I THINK is a Junco? are marvelous. I'm just dazzled by the resolution and the detail of the feathers. As one who lived with a bird for many years, the structure of the them is familiar, but to those without that pleasure your shots are indeed an education. Just lovely. Any chance you have Cedar Waxwings (they're personal favorites and we've only rarely seen them here)? I hope the cold is on the wing, so to speak. Mine is nearly gone, after a full week... being sick is a drag.

Jeez, Kathy... our weather in Maine sounds much like your's! The ground still hasn't frozen here. We are to expect highs in the the high 40s and nighttime lows in the thirties. We haven't even had enough cold days in row to really put the Hydrangeas "to bed" for the winter. The two inches of snow we received the other day is completely gone and the local weather prognositicator sees no great change in the present pattern for another week. I'm with Sue, this ultimately means there will be one less week that can become truly bone-chilling, but still... this is creepy. On the upside, it means I can force Mum out the door for some exercise (over her protests, of course). I don't have any Hellebores here.

Michelle, you and I sound like 2 peas in a pod. I would be right in line to repaint aged hardware, too. And, like Norma, I'm not hugely fond of the requisite "prep. work", but always do it because it really DOES make a difference. I painted the cleats for the shades in our home in a brass finish, too... also the S hooks I used for the end of the cord. Are you going to used spray paint or a brush? and are you going to give a coat of "sealant", too? I love seening the shots of your grove and the surrounding land. So very different from my own area.

Don't feel bad, Norma; this was pretty much "slug central" yesterday, too. ;) I could have worked in the "the lab."... addressed the accumulated pile on my bureau, or some of Mum's old paperwork (Medicare from 2003-5); but no. Instead, I watched a few more episodes of "The Pallisers", the rain run down the window glass, "The Big Lebowski" (which is absolutely hysterical), and "Das Boot". The day before we watched "Saving Private Ryan". the latter two movies are very powerful... no glory in either, just a healthy dose of reality.

Martie, that village of your's is HUGE... it's Santa's subdivision, for heaven's sake, lol. I had visions of how quickly the cats would dismantle it were it in this house. Elves under chairs, baseboad heat, etc. What a wonderful tradition. Now, the truth... how many cartons does it take to put it all away? :)

The only catalogues we get here are Johnny's Selected Seeds and Vessey's. I haven't done much of anything in the gardens since Mum arrived here (9/03) and the intervening years have seen much growth/overgrowth and some die off. I get a bit of a boot out of looking at the things, but mostly I look by it or over it. My way of dealing with the fact that something I love has been relegated to the bottom of the list because time just isn't available. I tend to like order in gardens, too, personally. I'm trying to get a handle on an area out back that I'd like to plant with shrubs, but again... duty calls me away just when I seem to get rolling. :(

I'm loving the pictures of ornaments, you guys. The make me curious about the stories behind them.

OK, I have to get into the bathroom and then get Mum vertical and into the car over her protestations of hunger. And then I'll have to watch her like a hawk... there are pastries in the waiting area of the lab. (helpful) and she will move toward the tray with frightening agility. ;)

Later, kids.


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Good morning.... :-)

I hadn't heard about the day of mourning for President Ford until yesterday. What a nice surprise that my husband has the day off today. One more day and back to business tomorrow. [g] Sounds like everyone enjoyed the holiday. We had a quiet, enjoyable day and did manage to get the ornaments and decorations put away. We have only the tree to take out the door this morning. What does everyone do with their Christmas tree? Do you save it for the mulch value? I tried leaving it up in the yard near the feeder one year and I didn't see any birds landing on it at all and after a few weeks it was falling over.

SUE....We had about 2 inches of snow that all disappeared with rain yesterday here in MA. I imagine we have about the same weather forecast. I am with you on really enjoying these warm temperatures. I just hope we don't pay for it later in April and May.

I didn't think you had a quarter acre, Sue. Your yard looks so much larger than that. You mention having created too much garden space to keep up with. I can't tell yet if what we will end up with will be too much or not, but I hope not. I really focus on low maintenance as much as possible. I did create a long butterfly/perennial/annual border that I hope won't be huge amounts of work. With three more perennial beds around the property, I am thinking I may be at my limit already and I have a lot of border left to finish. I was planning on filling in with mixed plantings of shrubs and perennials etc....but I like what you said about using more woody plants. I think I will plan less perennials and more shrubs. I already have a lot of containers now, but I made the mistake of buying mostly plastic and clay that needs to come in each fall. The more containers I get, the more we have to drag in the house. I am now trying to buy containers that can stay out all winter. Especially in the larger sizes. Last year, I started wondering about how I could set up some watering system for the containers...but it just doesn't seem to be logistically possible. We had such good amounts of rain at the right time last year though, that it was the easiest summer in a long time.

KATHY...Zone 9...working in the garden..lol. I love that!
Thanks for the tip on the other Hobbs title...I will look for it. I do just love the abundance of photos in his books. A few plants that leaped off the page for me, were a Cornus controversa 'Variegata' that was gorgeous. the 'Black Prince' Echeveria that he had in a number of pots and a weeping blue cedar tree that was trained next to a Japanese style gate. I think I remember he is from California, correct?

I hope your camera turns out to be exactly what you need. I have yet to see my daughter's photos from the A540. She took photos over the holiday but hasn't uploaded them to the computer yet. Maybe today though. Looking forward to seeing LOTS of photos from your garden. I am finding I am taking only photos with the automatic settings right now. There are so many settings and menus it is a little intimidating, so I am glad it seems to take pretty good photos without knowing how to work it. [g] Really pretty hellebore! I can see you are having fun with the new camera. Keep them coming. :-)

I regret to say the pine cabin ornament is not homemade. I love that type of decoration. Homemade, woodsy...cabin in the woods feel. It is one of my favorites.

Another Sungold tomato grower. :-) A lot of people have been growing them long before I tried them last year. I am always late to the party..lol. So what is happening in 2008 that will allow you more tomato room?

CHELONE...Not having any cats, I am not sure what you are describing. Do your cats find bad weather disturbing in some way?

MARY...wow, sounds like you all really know how to have a good time! It sounded like a lot of fun. No one had the day off today?

MARTIE....I love your Dining Room. Looks so large and love that bank of windows. Do you ever grow plants in
front of them? Your photo of your pots area is MUCH neater than ours...lol. Thanks for the explanation of HALT. I was just thinking in terms of the wisdom of doing that in any crisis, but I can see it can have a broader meaning too.

DEANNE....Your bird photos are astonishingly good! I agree with Norma that I strongly hope that you are selling these to some bird publications. Birds and Bloom magazine maybe? They are so life like, clear, crisp, well composed. You have caught birds in poses that I usually don't see. Really really nice. What kind of equipment are you using? It looks like you have been taking photos for a long time. Your family must be very impressed with you. :-)

MICHELLE....I love that name Jaden. How can the cats go for walks with you? Do they just stay with you?
What a job you have taken on, doing over your cabinets! I don't envy you. LOVED your winter scene! Your trees look like Christmas outdoors. :-)

Hi, CINDY :-)....No Hellebores even thinking about blooming here either. Do you have a small property too? We took up about a 1/3 of our yard to make that vegetable area. I don't miss the grass. [g] I hadn't heard of Fairweather Gardens...I will have to look that one up too.

NORMA....Glad you liked the ornaments. I am fascinated with the detail the macro on the camera is able to pick up. These new cameras are so complicated though. Whatever happened to Brownies that you looked through this huge viewfinder and had one button to press..lol. I can't wait for spring to take some macros of flowers. Sounds like you needed a restful day Norma. Hope you have another day off today. Work will always be there waiting. :-)

Hi TARYN......Thanks for the welcome. Just LOVE that photo. Always a favorite combination for me are the golds and purples. If you get back here and have time, I would love to know the name of that evergreen and are the alliums, chirstopherii? Someone gave me allium christopherii seeds and I haven't tried them yet. Hope to see you soon. :-)

Have a great day everyone!

pm2


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Is there a way to post photos that you can take off later?

pm2


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Morning all,

Well Im still in the grips of this flipping upper respiratory thing. Grrrrr.. I kept waking up coughing last night. Im hoping Im past the worst of this. This is the first time Ive been sick this long in a couple years and its a drag and a half. Warm and windy today and they are predicting the temps to go into the 60s this week!!!! Amazing!

Taryn, great to hear from you and loved the pic from Moniques garden. Lovely

Thanks everyone, glad you liked the bird photographs. I really do enjoy my feathered vistors.

Chelone, yes, that is a Dark-eyed Junco. Ive only infrequently had Cedar Waxwings here and Ive never been able to get any good photographs of them unfortunately. They are a favorite of mine as well. ~~ Glad to hear you are on the mend.

PM2 Thanks! Im currently using a Canon Rebel Xti with a Canon 100/400 IS AF zoom lens.

Norma, If you can think of a way for me to market the pics Id love to hear it! LOL

Martie, Ive only started growing hellebores in the last several years and they are a joy in the spring. Did you see the photos of Sues Ivory Prince from last spring? It was breathtaking.

Kathy, sounds like our weather here is going to be about the same as what you have there now. Strange! Im still looking forward to photos of your pansy display when they get going.

Michelle, lovely winter garden scene. It looks like March here with no snow cover at all.

OK Im off to do something productive with this day. Have a good day everyone,.
Deanne


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

DEANNE....I have heard a couple of other people say they love the Rebel, too. I am very impressed with the quality of the photos. I suspect that your particular skills and talent are more the reason than the camera though. :-) I think they really are professional quality and I would send out some feelers to Birds 'n Blooms for one. Must be some other publications that would be thrilled to have your work.

CHELONE....I keep missing your posts just after I post. [g] That is a long time that you have been caring for your Mom. Did I hear you say you have someone who comes in to help a little? Is there any possiblity of getting someone in for a little more time to allow you a little breathing space? I think I read you have a brother. Does he live a distance from you? I wonder if he could come and spend a weekend to give you a break?

It sounds like you are the kind of person who would stick up for themselves when needed, so I would suspect you have already attempted to get some more help. It is such a lot of work to have to care for someone 24/7 and I just don't think people understand how much more tolerable it would be if they just helped out a little more and a little more consistently. Let's hope 2007 will bring you a little more help. I think you are doing a remarkable job and handling it much better than I could. :-)

I understand having to sideline things. Our backborder went without pruning or care for 20 years we lived here before we could do anything to it. By the time we got to it, we had to rip the whole thing out and start again. I must have been producing graph paper sketches and measuring and making plant lists for about 8 years before I got to do one thing. :-( It was such a joy to finally make a start and put away the pencils and paper and get out the shovels. It's very hard to always be waiting to do what you want. I hope things will change for you soon.

As for the ornaments. Of those I posted most were just some of my favorite pretty ornaments. The Boston Ducklings ornament represents the Ugly Ducklings children's book that we used to read to our kids and there is a sculpture of them in the Boston Public Gardens where the story takes place that we took them to when they were little. I am sure you know that story Chelone, since the author is from Maine..Robert McCloskey, who also did 'Blueberries for Sal' among others, which takes place in Maine. We read all his books when the kids were little, since my family came from Maine and I visited there a lot when I was growing up. The representation of a pine cone ornament is new and really pretty in person. It is very large and although out of proportion to the others on the tree, I couldn't resist taking it home because of the detail. The surface is made from all these little tiny beads some gold and some are different shiny colors, maybe of glass?

We do have some homemade ornaments that are pretty old and some that were favorites of people who are no longer with us that are special to us. We have a dog bone ornament with the name of our last dog who passed away and the year. Maybe next year we can all share some of our favorite special ornaments. :-)

pm2


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

All this talk of hellebores made me go out and check on mine I think I owe Monique a birthday card, so heres to a Happy, almost flowering (?!), January Birthday!

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This extraordinarily mild weather is forecast to continue for at least another week, so those buds will likely be open in a few more days. Flowers in January eerie


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Taking a wee break for lunch - I have to smile - we're all so bound and determined to rush Winter along arent we? Woodie, you now have me an official hellebore watcher as well -- I'll be out w/a flashlight tonite checking on any possible "buds" on my hellebores, LOL!! I moan about global warming, but I don't mind no snow & warm temps in winter -- the silly inconsistency of my wishes!(I'll be cursing the weeds & insects in that also result in a few months, right?)

Deanne - I forgot to mention again how much I adore your bird photos - Im pretty much an ignoramus on them; so I'm enjoying the education you and Chelone are giving me w/ real names & close-ups of these fellows. I have a lot of birds in my surrounds, but I purposely have no birdfeeders close by (for a number of reasons) - so this is a real treat & education. Keep 'em coming!!!

Well, I've managed to retain a bit of my good humor & optimism for the office altho it's been challenged already that gave me a headache by 10 a.m. - but w/ some "vitamin I" (aka ibuprophen) and deep breathing, Im back on "go easy".

Hoping Bella's & T's germs are not contagious here.... & hoping good health to the rest who are not feeling so well w/ colds, etc.

Missed your hellebores, Kathy -- you're teasing too re winter! Send us photos of the roses when they start back up so we can all drool.

Cindy


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

I did get Mum to the lab. for the bloodtests. It hasn't been a "good day". She is having a "slow" day today. Instead of repeating myself 3 times I've had to do it 5 or 6 to get the simplest tasks accomplished. She is entitled to "bad days", too, but when the first thing out of her mouth is, "I can't... ", "I don't...", or "I won't" I quickly tap my reserves of patience. I lost my temper with her this morning and really yelled. Then I "disappeared", cooled down and realized that I've HAD ENOUGH. For months now, I've been asking patiently for the applications to be submitted for LTC and have asked for respite. My requests have fallen on deaf ears and I left a terse message for my brother to call me this evening. There is a woman who comes in to help her bathe, but aside from that, I do it all. I feel as though I am invisible, without a voice. It will 4 years in June of this year... and I need to finish this chapter in my life. For over 2 yrs. I've not been able to go out at night, leave for more than 3-4 hrs. at a stretch without hiring someone to stay with her. I never wanted children; and the past 3 1/2 yrs. have been my personal nightmare; a "choice" between doing what's right and proper and being able to live life and enjoy it because I've worked hard and have achieved a level of security and independence by making very tough choices early on.

I loved "Make Way For Ducklings" and recognized the picture instantly. We began a tradition of purchasing one or two ornaments for the tree whenever we'd take a trip. It's fun to see them accumulate. I enjoyed 'bug's "Deck the Halls" thread very much. This is the year we get a nice tree "topper", I think. And 2007 must be the year we're able to "travel" again; if it isn't I don't know if there will be any joy left in me by this time next year.

I went to the shop this morning (after my fit of pique) and we exchanged our Christmas gifts and had lunch together. My co-workers have been wonderful to me; fully aware that I'm hanging on by a thread. I confessed that my gift selections were sort of "uninspired", and we all laughed about having the same feeling this year. But, as it turned out, my choices were well received. Who'da thunk 12 cotton napkins, a gravy seperator, spatula, covered butter dish, dog book, and cement garden frog would bring so much cheer?! I made a gold velveteen pouch for the frog, having no suitable box for him... the pouch was as appreciated as the statuary, lol. :)

Well... I have to get the dog out for his "forced march" before the remaining sun sinks below the horizon. And then deal with my brother. It's gonna be a great night. :/


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

The pictures are awesome! From GB's down home Xmas (that little boy is adorable with the flushed face and closed eyes), to Woody's kitchen murder (It cracked me up), Michelle's Currier and Ives does Iowa, and Deanne's better than real life birds! Do I see a flea? Enjoyed PM2s ornament extravaganza, and Martie when were you taking pictures in my cellar?!

Dannie, my newest doglet is off to take her pet therapy test tonight. She is my manic depressive but will be a wonderful therapy dog if she doesn't freak out during the test. I think she's ready. She was returned (after two years) in July for 24/7 anxiety, fear of everything, and has come a long long way under the guidance of 'loosen up and be a slutdog' Katie-kins and 'real dogs sniff everything' Monty-man. Two months to teach her sit which was a close tie with bringing up Katie :-)Not a natural posture for greys.

Wish us luck.... If she flunks, we'll try again if it isn't too taxing on her. She's still my funny girl and every new experience makes her more resilient. Right?

Nervous mom Cynthia


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Pullin' for Dannie (and Cynthia, ;) )! I know you've mentioned this before, but I didn't know "sit" was tough for greys. Why? is it a conformational thing? Is "Down" easier for them? One thing I have learned at the altar of Wrecks is that you have to keep trying even when met with stiff opposition or inattention. Once they "get it" and know how pleased you are by what they've done, they'll move heaven and earth to do it again. Unless they smell something more interesting... :)

I took the huge dog for a golf course ramble this afternoon. In spite of feeling really low about things in general, I was bouyed within 3 minutes. It's REALLY hard to remain glum when watching a 100 lb. dog cavort madly, sniffing and peeing on everything. He is such a goof-ball. I forgot to put the treats in my pocket, but had a tennis ball and the leash. I burned the steam outta him with the tennis ball and then we alternated distance commands with on-leash work. Once again, the 3 things dogs need flashed across my brain: Exercise, Discipline, Affection. He was pooped when we returned home (so was I!). We CRUISE. I walk "fast" anyway (always have), but keep the pace over all the rises, dips and I keep Rex moving, too. The only time I stop moving is when I call him back to me for the complete "sit in front of me" finish to a command. When we returned to the house he had a long "beverage" and received a well-earned biscuit. He's totally sacked out now. :)


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Just a quick hello. Chelone, I think you and I are in the same boat today. Bella's fever's gone, but she's obviously still not feeling herself. She's fussy and crying about every little thing. Kinda like your mum? Consequently I can't seem to get a thing done. Just thought I'd drop in and commiserate with you. Caring for an elderly person is much harder that a toddler though I know. Good for you for lighting a fire under your db.

Cynthia, good luck being sent to your girl for passing her test, though even if she doesn't I know you'll love her just as much or even more.

Hi Taryn, great to hear from you but we need a much lllooonnngggeeerrr post from you...please?

I have to go cater to Miss Fussypants now, lol. Maybe I'll be able to get back here tomorrow and stay awhile????

Eden


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

My comiserations Chelone. I'm glad you had a moments reprieve walking Rex.

Eden, would Bella be cutting her two year molars or something?

Well now I must go out and look at my hellebores tomorrow.

Taryn, sorry to hear you still have things to work out. I will be pulling for you. We do miss your posts here.

Miss Dannie must be done with her test by now?

Ok, I finally have one more thing marked off My list. I went and used the gift certificates for the manicure and pedicure that I received for mothers day. Just couldn't bring myself to do it during garden season. Dh said he has never seen me with painted toes. I told him to take a good look because he probably never would see it again. LOL. It was ok, but not something I would spend my own money on. LOL I'll just screw up the nails in a day or so anyway.

I really must get some plants taken care of tomorrow. Why is it so much more fun outdoors?

Nothing new here, so I won't bore you all. Norma


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Just checking in to let you all know that we made it to the BIL's funeral today. I drove out right at daybreak. All was white with frost. It was a 67 mile drive. I commandeered one of the younger women to drive us on to the funeral. It was so nice to be a passenger for a change!
I had never seen a funeral like his. It was a memorial service, with his ashes in an urn, on a table, with pictures and flowers surrounding it. Afterwards they took the urn to the cemetary and placed it in a predug hole. A few words were said...the widow tossed a handful of dirt in...and 3 grandsons finished filling in the hole. It was all according to the BIL's wishes.
We were back home before 3PM, in time for my afternoon rest. All in all, it was a good day....the weather was perfect.

Chelone, I am so sorry for your heartaches. This SIL had spent several years caring for her DH. She was worn down to a nub! The poor gal is tiny anyway, and had lost so much weight she now weighs less than 90 lbs. I hope the strain is not costing you your health.

Taryn, it is good hearing from you. I am sorry about your dial up problems. Is there absolutely no way of getting a better hookup?

Eden, I am sorry about Bella's sickness. I would have a really hard time coping with a sick child. It seems like the small children go from one sick spell to another now-a-days, and it is espacially bad for those who are exposed ...like in a day care.

Pm2, If your pics are in Picture Trail, or a similar site, all you need to do to get them off the forum is to move them from the album that they are in.

Marian


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RE: Idyll #298 - Marian

Marian, Good to hear you had a safe trip for the funeral.
I am getting terible about wanting to be back home and settled in by early evening anymore. Guess I have turned in to an old stick in the mud. I think it is more about being comfortable in my own surrondings though. N


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

It was slow at the restaurant tonight so Megan got to leave early and picked up Bella about 7pm. So I have a chance to do laundry and water those plants that need it most. These days if you're a plant and you want water you'd better be drooping big time, lol.

New problem here, Brad had a physical last week and the Dr called today and said his cholesterol levels weren't good and he wants to put him on medication. He's really been watching what he eats since early Aug and has lost 25 lbs and he's always worked out and plays lots of racquetball. His dad died of heart disease so the Dr. says it's hereditary. Well, when I called Brad this afternoon and told him the Dr. had called in the prescription and wanted to see him in a month he said he's not taking it. I know it has side affects but I think he must need it. I told him he'd better call the Dr. and talk to him about it so we'll see what happens....

Norma, I don't know, it possibly could be Bella's teeth. Whatever it is I hope it passes soon. How's Wyatt feeling and have they figured out what's wrong yet?

Marian, glad you made it to the funeral and back again safely.

Prairie, you asked about my family. Brad's my husband. We have 3 children. Jennifer's 27, Megan's 26 and David's 20. David's the the only one still at home, except Brad of course, lol. Isabella belongs to Megan and she'll be 2 in Feb. Megan's a single mom so we all try to help out with Bella and I watch her 3 or 4 days a week while Megan's at work. You also asked about my agaves. I'm keeping mine on an east facing window shelf over the winter and had most of them outside last summer. They seem to be doing fine so far.

I'm going to fold a load of laundry and then get to bed early tonight. Since Christmas I can't seem to get enough sleep. I've been going to bed early and getting up late and am still worn out by 7pm.

Have a good evening everyone.

Eden


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RE: Idyll #298 - - -

Norma, not only was it good to be safely home in time for my nap, it was comforting to find that Trubby and Tommy had not destroyed the interior of the house while we were gone! lol . We left them inside, and I am beginning to think they really like the peace and quiet when we are gone. :-)
Welcome to the "old stick in the mud" group. (I am another who was in bed well before midnight on New Year's Eve. )


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Dannie passed!

Cheddar cheese for all! I thought about breaking out the caviar and smoked salmon from a humongous gift basket I got, but figured they'd get thirsty and ask for the champagne next.

She passed! My little scaredy girl is brave and confident now. She has a certificate that says she is special, but I knew it all along. :-)

Eden, could you wrap the pills in cream cheese balls and give him one a day. Or hide them in quesadillas?! Start making oatmeal muffins, oatmeal gruel, oatmeal snacks, put oatmeal in the vegetarian meatloaf, and in his coffee. He may just need a little time to be logical about the meds. I know how he feels. But if he wants to see his grandchildren grow up...?


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Cynthia, I have missed your humor! Congratulations to Dannie and to you too! I can only imagine how much you've worked with her to get her to this place. I think you deserve a certificate that says you're special too! I think you're right, Brad will think it over and realize taking the meds is the way to go. And it's oatmeal for breakfast every morning. My mom told me that same thing.

Eden


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Good Evening Idylls...Back to work today. Kind of a rode awakening after all the jocularity of the holidays. It was dark when I got home, otherwise I would have rushed out and taken more Hellebore pics ! This one I took yesterday will have to do. It's Helleborus foetidus. I love this one because it is so upright and the flowers hold on for a long time. I will take another pic in a few weeks as it is just starting to bud up, and also has new growth from the base.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

PM, Thomas Hobbs lives in Vancouver BC. There is a winery garden here in Oakville that he designed and I have forgotten which winery ! I need to find out to go visit this summer.

Boy Deanne, my pansy display looks like absolute crapola right now ! We had that spell of frosts and it put them into suspended animation. Some day it will be worth taking photos of-long about mid Feb I think !

Chelone, your stamina is admirable. And it is important to be able to detach for awhile as you did with you doggie walk (or sprint as the case may be) . We all find ways to cope. I truly hope you are able to get the ball rolling on the LTC thing.

Eden, bummer about the colesterol thing for your DH. I never know what to think about this stuff-DR's always seem to want to prescribe something, and you always wonder if there is a lifestyle thing or diet thing that can be done-though it sounds like Brad has already made some changes ? I just hate the idea of getting stuck taking a pill every day , indefinately !

Marian, glad to hear you had a pleasant day for BIL's memorial. When my DH passed away we had no service at all, but an open house --sort of a wake in a sense, except there was no funeral. My DD made several photo collages that we hung around the dining room, and we felt really good about the whole thing after it was over. We knew DH would have approved !

Norma-love that painted toe story !! I did two pedicures last summer , but don't bother to do manicures because my hands are a mess during gardening season . Don't painted toes make you feel a bit glamorous ??

Cindy -rose pics wll be coming in April...! I always keep track of which one blooms first, usually it's been Charlotte Armstrong, but last year it was Archduke Charles .I am a hopeless addict and you guys will probably get sick of all my pics and ranting and raving about roses over the summer.

Time for dinner and the newspaper .."see" you all tommorow.

Kathy in the Napa Valley


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Tonights project was taking down the Christmas decorations. Not nearly as fun as putting them up.

Deanne, hope you feel better soon.

Chelone, I thought of you when I started the cabinet hardware project because I am using the hammered metal paint. I soaked them in TSP (cleaner & deglosser) and then scrubbed them. Then they were primed, painted and 2 coats of sealer. I also washed all the cabinets with Murphys Oil soap and then polished with cabinet polish. The downside to it all was the sliver of oak that I got under my fingernail while washing. I told DH what you all say here that housework is hazardous. LOL
Sorry that you are so down.

Eden, sorry to hear about the high cholesterol. My mom was told she needed medication. She decided to change her diet for 6 months to see if she could go with out medication. She drastically dropped hers. My dad is another story. Green tea is supposed to be beneficial and my mom swears Benacol helps her. (Thats the cholesterol lower margarine)
I hope Miss Fussypants feels better soon. Its so hard when they cant tell you whats wrong.

Taryn, great that you have come out of hiding. Is there no high speed internet available at the new place? Thanks for the beautiful, bright picture.

Kathy, lovley hellebore. The new camera seems to work great.

No hellebores in my garden, but Ivory Prince is on the wish list.

No working in the garden here, but I did pick up a great new urn at Sams the other day.

Pm2, your pine cabin ornament reminds me of some birdhouse ornaments that I picked up at the $ store this year. I got 3 and each is different, made with pinecones and birchbark and a little red bird.
As for the cats, I cant get away for a walk without them. Theres usually 3. They just follow along. I sometimes feel like the Pied Piper.

Cindy, I needed some "vitamin I" today at work because of one very annoying customer. LOL

Cynthia, what great news for Dannie. They are so lucky to have you.

Norma, never had painted toes??? I have only had one pedicure, but do paint my own all during sandal weather.

I must go as I need to finish the packing away, water plants and generally clean the place up. We need to go to the funeral home tomorrow night and the next night we have a meeting here and I would really like the cabinet doors back on by then as my cupboards are anything but neat.

Michelle


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Is it really Wednesday? A three day work week for DH..yay!
DD came home with a cold yesterday. I hope it is not going to be the 3 week kind some of you have been talking about. Our tree made it out of the house yesterday and the living room is back to normal. It was a very pretty day here yesterday, sunny and bright and mild. A little breezy. Today I have to get down to business and start making decisions about seed to order. Anyone have one special seed that they are particularly excited to order?

I was hoping someone could recommend a good photo website? I need to start putting some on a site to make it easier to manage and I tried Photobucket once and didn't like them. Any other good experiences with others?

Also want to go out and check my Hellebores today. [g] Loved all the Hellebore photos.

CHELONE....I am very happy for you that you have your animals and that obviously bring so much joy to your life. Your walk with Rex yesterday sounded so energizing. Hope you were able to have a good talk with your DB.

Hope Bella is starting to feel better EDEN. Glad you got a break last night. I love your children's names...so pretty. It sounds like you are all very close and supportive of each other. Eden...you mention Brad's doc wanting him to be on meds. Cholesterol lowering meds? Some of those are pretty hard on the liver. I would be very reluctant to take them myself. I know it is scary especially when there is a history of heart disease, but sometimes the choices force you to change one problem for another. Before he does anything, I highly recommend a book by Eric Braverman M.D. called The Amazing Way to Reverse Heart Disease Naturally. I recently had high blood pressure issues and I have been following these recommendations for 3 weeks and have seen my pressure come down already and have been feeling better. Cholesterol issues are covered too. He goes over the medication question and has case histories. He worked with people on medications to get off of them and they were able to. Dr Braverman is not an obscure doctor, but has had programs on PBS. I put a link to the book below.

Oh, how exciting about your agaves on an East window. If they survive an East window, then I am sure I could keep one over the winter. I am surprised they don't need more light than that. Adding agave to the list. Thanks Eden!

NORMA...skip the manicure and pedicure the next time and go for the massage! :-) I have to pay some attention to my plants this morning too. Some got moved around to accomodate Christmas and need to go back. Now that you mention it, I do find it more of a chore indoors than out. Why is that? [g]

MARIAN...Glad you are back home and the funeral is behind you. Very sad, but it sounds like in some ways it might be a relief for all of them. Thanks for that info about moving photos in and out of Picture Trail. :-)

I was wondering how DANNIE did on her test...Congratulations CYNTHIA! That is a really big accomplishment. I would find it very intidmidating to try to address an issue as difficult as the degree of anxiety Dannie was having. That's a lot of commitment and love you are showering on your dogs. Love to hear it. :-)

KATHY....I am sure you will figure out the winery and if you go...I am glad you now have a camera to take along.
Your husband's open house sounds very nice, Kathy. Sometimes traditions need a little updating. :-)
I also love my toes painted. I find myself smiling at my feet. I know, it doesn't take much to entertain me. lol I don't do it very often, so it is a treat. I can guarantee you I will love every photo and gush and rave of your roses in April and beyond! I love them too and don't have enough sun to grow very many of them. Now if you could just 'upload' the fragrance..AAAHHH! You don't have to worry, if anyone is going to be a PITB about photos...it will be me. lol

MICHELLE....that is so cute about your cats following you! Someone should take a picture of that. It would make a good one for the wall. I LOVE the sound of your birdhouse ornaments! Next year, I hope you will post photos. I love birchbark the best!

I think we should all start a chant...

TARYN..High Speed...TARYN....High Speed. [g]

Looks like I am the first one up this morning...have a great day!

pm2

Here is a link that might be useful: The Amazing Way To Reverse Heart Disease Naturally


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Good orange morning. Sun is just peaking over the trees ...

Quick wave today. Car maintenance can't wait any longer and the only time they had was 8am. No prob, here.

Congrats, Dannie!! (Have to admit that when I first saw the news I hadn't read the intro. Passed what, I thought??? Did she swallow something???????)

Marian - Glad you got to be a passenger. I know the feeling. LOL

Chelone - Feel what you're feeling and hope that the talk with your brother proved your point.

Yesterday went to Probate Court with annual reports on DB and things will be changing for the Easier!!! It's good when the Court Clerk is a gardener ..... :-)

More later. Hope this orange glow finds you all!!

Martie


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Morning all,

Well Im still coughing a lung all night long with this bronchitis and Ill be beyond happy when this is over with. I HATE being sick. Im desperate to get to the gym but know Ill just prolong the cough and cold if I go and exercise. Grumble hmmmpppffff.. Ok Im done whining.

Cynthia, so happy that your Dannie has come so far and passed her test and I forgot to tell you how much I loved the potty in the crate story. These animals are much smarter than we give them credit for at times.

Eden, so why is Brad against taking medication for the cholesterol issue? Youve got to do what youve got to do and he needs to deal with it. If he wants to lower the levels naturally he will probably have to do more aerobic exercise than racquetball and even with weight loss sometimes it takes being really careful about fat intake (down with anything saturated and up with Omega 3s) it can help a lot. I know Doug has lowered his levels by 75 points in the last five years!!!! ~~~ Hope Bella is feeling better soon. Be glad you arent around me this week as Im probably as cranky as she is. LOL

Chelone, I cant even imagine dealing with your situation. It must be horribly difficult. Do keep at your DB and get this resolved soon. In the meantime is there any way your DB can take care of her for a few weeks again so you can have a break?

Kathy, amazing how far along your H. foetidus is. Beautiful! I went to check and it turns out that my hellebores are budding up as well and Im going to have to get them mounded up with some mulch or Ill lose them if we ever get any real winter weather. Mid 50s again today. Incredible. We just had the warmest December on record and Jan is shaping up to do the same.

OK must run, have a great day
Deanne


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Deanne, I am assuming that you have been to the DR?

I had quite a scare this a.m. on the way to work. I met a semi and a large chunk of ice came off the roof of his trailer. It hit my windshield and basically shattered it right on the drivers side. Luckily no one was behind me and I was able to pull over safely. There was glass everywhere, all the way back to the back window. I was covered in glass, even in my mouth and hair. Fortunatly it wasn't worse and I must have squinted my eyes upon impact and didn't get any in my eyes. It also broke the drivers side mirror. I sat on the side of the road a nervous mess and would you believe that not one person stopped to check if I was ok. There were construction workers not but a block or so away and they just ignored me too. I talked to Rick and he calmed me down. I checked the outside of the car and then drove home (I was only a few miles from home) I got the pickup and went to work. Anyway, I'm ok.

Later
Michelle


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

My word! Michelle! What an awful experience! Thank God you are not all cut up! I can hardly comprehend no one coming to see about you. I really don't think people would be like that here.

Deanne, I am so sorry you are having a hard time shaking that bronchitis. It is going around here, but so far we have escaped it. I hope you are taking lots of vitamin C.

Marian


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

"I sat on the side of the road a nervous mess and would you believe that not one person stopped to check if I was ok. There were construction workers not but a block or so away and they just ignored me too."

In Iowa!!!???? Michelle, I would expect this in Maryland. (Well,actually in Maryland someone would come over to check you but just to see if you were dead so that they could steal your purse.)

You must have really had your wits about you not to have spun off into an even worse accident. Don't get me started on those killer ice blocks that develop when people don't bother to clean the tops of their cars and trucks. Wow. That must have been just awful. I am so sorry and hope you are calmer now.


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

My congratulations for Dannie! Cynthia, you must be so pleased. It takes such a lot of work to bring confidence levels up... Katie must be rubbin' off on her, Monty, too.

Michelle, what a scarey thing to have happen to you. But what's worse is that not a soul stopped to see if they could help you... what a sad commentary on people and their concern for their fellow man. I would have stopped... . I really liked the hammered finish paint I used on the kerbside freebie... I'll be the hardware will look great when it's done; what color did you use? Bummer about the oak under the fingernail. OUCH... I've done that with staples at work, and also with woody/dried plant material.

I'm in the final stages of the cold and commiserate with Deanne. Pretty sick of sleeping propped up on several pillows, are we?! ;) Hang in there, it WILL pass.

I discovered last night (after my brother failed to call me at all) that Mum had managed to lose one of her hearing aids. I hunted high and low in her room, checked the inside of my car, the direveway, the hallway, the dining area... everywhere. I couldn't find it, neither could the helpmeet. I left a note for the woman that comes in to help her bathe that we were "firing on one cylinder". I went to work and called the audiologist for an appointment for a fitting for a new one, and learned it would cost $1100. I arrived home to discover that the "bath lady" FOUND IT! evidently it was under the bed, near one of the legs, she HEARD it buzzing. I don't know what sort of nice thing to do for her as a token of my great esteem and appreciation.

Work was a nightmare. Incomplete information, I thought I was doing the right thing (my questions were talked over repeatedly), but turned out I wasn't. I simply put my hands in the air and said, "I can't do this anymore. I asked you about this very point yesterday and you didn't listen. I can't do a good job for you and do it easily with incomplete information and 'stream of consciouness' instructions. I can't please you or anyone, let alone myself anymore. If you need to replace me, go ahead.". And I came home.

I made lunch for Mum and then took Rex out for a couple of hours. At least the sun was warm and now I'm tuckered out. I even managed to persuade Mum to go outdoors for a full half hour.

How long before I can rationalize going to bed?


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Michelle, That must have been so scary! Thank goodness you're ok.

Deanne, I keep forgetting to tell you how much I enjoyed the most recent bird shots. I just love being able to see all the details, especially their little feet. I've been showing them to everybody that stops by here. Maybe it's time to see the Dr. since your cold seems to still be hanging on. My mom and sister both had to get antibiotics this week for theirs.

It's been sunny here all day. Still no snow. We got all of the outside Christmas decorations down and put away this morning, except the roping. I hate taking that down and usually leave it for a few more weeks or else the house looks so bare. Bella's much more herself today. She's been playing and happy as can be so I she must be feeling better. I'm glad that's over!

Eden


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Wow Michelle...you were so LUCKY! Amazing that you were not hurt. Your husband must be so upset. You must have excellent reflexes and nerves. I don't think I could have shut my eyes to avoid the flying glass, and pulled the car over to the side. I can just imagine the scare from the sound of it and the shock of it actually coming through the windshield into the car.

It is very sad to hear that no one came to check on you. When you have to conclude that no one is out there willing to watch your back at all...even in a situation where there was no danger to them in trying to help. Good thing you had your cell phone and were ok to drive.

I hope you have recovered some from the experience. A large glass of wine with dinner seems in order.

:-)
pm2


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Hiya- Gloomy damp weather has arrived in Northern Calif-a bit of that really annoying drizzly rain, cold and grey (cold of course being relative to the climate zone ! )

Cynthia, congrats on Dannies graduation- how patient you must be ! Lucky for her !

PM , I do use Photobucket, and you might want to go back and give it another try, they have dome some upgrades on the site in the last 6 to 8 weeks and it has improved its functionality and ease of use. I use the freebie version .

So Deanne, have you tried whiskey ??? :-) Another possibility would be to fly to Palm Springs and lay in the desert sun for about three days to dry that stuff up. Hope you are feeling better soon ! At least you aren't laid low during gardening season-what a drag that would be..

Michellehow scary ! But what about the driver of the semi?? I'm surprised he didn't stop- maybe he was too far ahead of you realize what happened. We don't have trucks with chunks of ice on top in these parts.

Chelone- maybe your home situation is spilling over into your worklife . Carrying frustrations along to work certainly would magnify the problems there and make them intolerable. I sense your resiliency, but everyone has a breaking point . There are lots of demands on your resources right now , I hope your co-workers, bosses etc can cut you a little slack. If one of my employees was juggling the challenges you are I would certainly try to be as supportive as possible.
Best wishes too you, good vibes, listen to some good music and consider your options..and hooray for the bath lady !

'kay , I'm going to dine on some leftovers and read the paper...

Kathy in the Napa Valley


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Not much to say here tonight except Thank goodness Michelle is ok and the bath lady found the hearing aid.

Take care everyone. Norma


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Evening, everyone. We had a nice trip to visit friends for New Years, but wham! it's back to work, take down the tree, clean up, et cetera, et cetera!

I have scanned enough to see that it was a rough end of year for many pets and a few people. My sympathy to all who lost a pet recently, and if I try to do it by name I'll leave someone out!

Michelle, how scary! I'm glad you are allright. I've always wondered if those hunks of ice could create damage and now I know the answer.

prairiemoon, you asked some questions several days ago about my property. I haven't forgotten and will tell more when I have more functioning brain power.

It's time for bed, so I will sign off with a quick wave to all. Deanne, rest up and get better.

V.


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Oh Michelle, I'm so glad you weren't hurt!!!

Congratulations to Dannie!

Welcome Home to V!!!

Deanne, hope you feel better soon!

It was nice to see Taryn pop in for a quick hello. :oD

Chelone, it sounds like perhaps you and your mother should make a trek to your brother's home. I'm sure your mother and brother would enjoy spending some quality time together since it has been awhile since they've had that luxury. It would also give you an opportunity for some relaxing respite time which you sound like you would enjoy. I hope you'll consider my suggestion, soon.

I saw Woody's hubby had an accident! It scared me at first and I thought "Why would she post a photo of him so badly injured" but then I saw (oh yeah, saw...uh huh) that it was just juice and I smiled. Wicked sense of humor those two have! ;o) I do hope you are able to find someone to take Teresa's place (am I correct that it was Teresa who left to marry?). Perhaps you'll find someone who suits you and your needs so much more than you ever dreamt. I hope so! :o)

Well...that is all I remember and there was probably something (or multiple things) that I've missed and I'll feel horrible later for skipping over them......my apologies if I am missing something important....not intentional but I'm finding it difficult to come here and keep up for some reason.

I do miss the Idylls though...

Hello to all!

T.


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Thanks for all the concern - you all are the best.

Kathy, I was actually meeting the truck and the ice slide off the front or the side, I'm not really sure. You may not have ice there, but the freaky thing is something similar happened to my ex, but it was a gravel truck that he met and a huge chunk fell off and actually went right thru the windshield. I'm sure the driver didn't even know it happened.

T, are you feeling better?

pm2, I too am a Photobucket user and it works fine for me.

Chelone, I agree that maybe it is time for Mum to visit your DB again. Maybe it will light a fire under him and if nothing else you will get a much deserved break.

view from my seat:

All the white stuff is fine glass.

Nite
Michelle


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Good morning :-)

So glad your Mom's hearing aid was found, CHELONE. What a day/week you have had. I thought since I am the new kid on the block and don't kow all the history with your Mom and DB that I would leave the suggestions to others. I think T and Michelle are on to something.....maybe it is time for your Mom to visit your brother. Regardless of how long the visit lasts, at least he will better understand where you are at with it. Just the one brother, I assume.

Hope everyone is feeling better today...EDEN, glad Bella is more herself. Deanne and Chelone...hope those colds are finally clearing up. On the positive side, just think of the resistance you are building up. Keeping that immune system firing on all cylinders. [g]

Thanks KATHY and MICHELLE for the Photobucket recommendations. I'll give it another try.

KATHY... I love your cold 'remedies'..lol. Wow, talk about thinking outside the box. Those are two things I would never think of as a cure for a cold, but I bet both of them would work. Or brandy ...that was also an old time remedy for everything wasn't it? [g] Next time I get a cold, I am going to remember that. Does anyone ever get sick during gardening season? I thought that was a rule...no colds during gardening season. :-)

V......No hurry. Get caught up. At least it is a short week.

MICHELLE...thank God for safety glass. I hope you are feeling better this morning. I imagine now you will be without your car for a few days? Glad you are ok.

T...At least from my end of things, don't worry about missing something. I completely understand..and expect people to miss things and not be able to read everything from everyone.

Not much going on here. Weather forecast is for 58 degrees tomorrow. Tuesday...a cold spell...40s in the day, 30s at night. The day was gorgeous yesterday, 50 degrees on my back porch. Checked out the Hellebores..nothing. I did take a few photos.....Enjoy the day!

:-)


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Wow! A lot of not-so-great things happening, but Good Morning anyway!!

Chelone: I third the suggestion of a visit to DB's house, with Mum's things packed for a week, a list of medication instructions, phone numbers for all doctors, and really good music for the drive home. Enough is enough. Agree with Kathy that when home begins to effect work, it's time to forget niceties and any "guilt" feelings and get on with what must be done. Do Sue, Monique, Deanne, PM2, Wendy, me and any New England lurkers need to come up there and help you get Mum into the car?

Wow, again, Michelle. Hope the lack of help was because no one realized what happened. There have been times when I didn't really need help and very strange people stopped, but in this case it just seems mean.

Thanks for the pics, PM2. Are you in eastern Massachusetts?

Glad Bella is feeling better and am hoping the same for all sick Idylls, Idyllkids, and everyone else who has been dealing with this nasty. Can you hear me knocking on wood??

Nursery owners and marketers are starting to come out of hiding and I'm having a blast learning about the latest and greatest offerings for 2007. So, here's my thought ... With the new "naming" of plants being so prolific, and the prices skyrocketing, and the well-intentioned but "boutique" gardeners driving the market, will all the good old standards disappear? According to the owners, no way.

Interesting facts found and perhaps those in the biz could weigh in: The "new and exciting" stuff makes up about 20% of sales. The tried and true make up about 60%, and the rest is annuals, garden decor, other materials, and books. Interesting!!

Bouncing all over the place today and though I don't need to watch for flying ice, will certainly take a cautionary stance. Don't want bad car things to be the Idyll epidemic of the day!!!

Best to everyone!

Martie


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

It has been nearly 5 months since I've had a break. But Mum can't go to DB's as he has undertaken to gut his living room and work on insulation and drywall. The house is "too cold for our mother", "I can't care for her; I have too much going on right now and it would be impossible...", "There is only one of me...". I see it all very plainly now. I have been played for a fool, used by my only sibling. Never once has he ever volunteered to take her for awhile, and never once has a word or praise of gratitude crossed his lips. So I gave the helpmeet permission to call him and intervene. I've never done that before, but right now I need a champion.

In times of stress and trouble I've always been able to fall back on my skill as a way to feel good about myself when it seemed that everything else was wrong in my world. But I can't spin straw into gold; I can't "build" things without a complete work order and clear expectations from my boss. General "concepts" or "visions" leave too much area for misinterpretation or "judgement calls". I'm fine with making the latter, too (after 25 yrs. I actually DO have a clue!), but I'm tired of trying to ask questions to clarify murky areas only to be cut off repeatedly or told, "I can't talk about this now, I have to go to an appointment!".

I come from a production background (once supervised 10 women behind commercial sewing equipment, and was responsible for keeping the work flowing and making sure it was done properly). It is not in my nature to waste time on projects. I make sure all the materials are on hand, the instructions are clear, and all questions have been answered before starting something. Jackassing around, ripping out work, and having to put something aside because important information is lacking drives me nuts. This has been an on-going issue, but right now I have ZERO patience for it and can't even stand back to see the "funny" in it.

Like everyone else I have to work. And I LIKE my work and my boss very much. But I loathe doing things "the hard way" and then having to REDO them because the questions I tried repeatedly to ask were drowned out by the "stream of consciousness" method of critical information dissemination. It's THAT that eviscerates my ability to draw strength and satisfaction from my work. I can't allow that anymore. Soo... I'll stay home and figure something out. Maybe drapery and slipcover work is closer than I thought it was. Dunno. I'm not going to starve nor am I going to be reduced to a Brownie in the Troop, waiting for the Troop Leader to return to tell me what should be done next on the project. I'm too skilled, competent, and consciencious for that.

Good to hear the maladies are moving on. I like the thought of using whiskey, Kathy. So, tell me, at 2 yrs. what is the status of teeth in kids (I have NO idea).

I think today I will work outdoors for a bit with the helpmeet. I may simply FOCUS on the remaining bulbs (yes...) and deal with them. I could cut down some more spent foliage, too. The sun and warm air would feel good, I'd have a sense of accomplishment, and there will be that much less come springtime.

More than you probably needed to know, but I've been on the rooftop watching the tsunami of life erode the underpinnings for a long time now.

Tell me some funny things, OK?


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Chelone,I crack up every time I read this :

Here is a link that might be useful: Humor


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RE: Idyll #298 - humor

Or maybe this is more to your liking?

Here is a link that might be useful: humor


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Chelone - I so sympathize re your Mom situation and the work issues (I very often have similar types issues believe it or not in a law firm background). It drives me crazy when people waste your experience and professionalism w/ condescension or the inference that Your time and hard work are not worth enough of Their time to think correctly or find out the info necessary. It's basically saying "you dont count" -- so I sooo get that. Im sure the home situation is coloring the professional one though -- I find my reserves of stamina for the b.s. in the workplace are equally proportionate to the amount of dysfunction in my personal life! Definitely need to find a place to drop Mum off - LTC or wherever you've decided if brother wont step up to the plate.

Michelle -- I can't believe you went to work after that horrifying experience. You're a trooper -- while Im saddened that no one stopped to see if you're okay, people still do astonish me -- Did everyone hear about the NYC guy who threw himself on top of a sick commuter who'd fallen to the subway rails -- they managed to land in a ditch on the tracks & the train passed safely over them --- there the guy was standing w/ his 2 kids waiting for a train & decided to risk his life for a stranger -- so kindness & heroism is alive altho you weren't the welcome recipient at that time - maybe no one really noticed what happened & did not realize you were in the car?

PM2 - thanks for the photos to brighten our day! It's mild again - to be near 60 degrees today. The local paper (Wash Post) as a garden article today about how we can really push the zone thing more here (but also what plants come up losers) -- 'course we'll probably get some arctic temps & freezing in 3 weeks, right?

O.k. - off to fight the demons at the office today. I keep my self positive by thinking of looking at garden catalogs & lists during lunch.

I do like the idea of everyone going to Palm Springs or somewhere to recoup from germs, bugs, or winter malaise! That would really perk winter up!

--Cindy


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

I suppose the East Coast Idyllers will be digging out their bikinis today. Although, we are supposed to hit 45 today, so no complaints here.

Cindy, the guy from NYC was on TV this a.m. with his 2 little girls. Thats an amazing story.

The thing that bugs me about no one stopping in our rural area is that I had a flat tire a couple of years ago in this same area and many locals went by and no one offered to help and by checking the county on my plates, they could tell I was a local as well. I can remember when a gentleman wouldnt drive by a woman fixing a flat.

Im thinking that maybe Chelone should pass her DBs phone # on to the Idylls and we can all give him a call ;o) Glad to hear that the lost is found.

PM2, thanks for the fresh foliage pictures. As for the car we do have a spare since we live in the country and both have jobs in opposite directions.

Marian, thanks for the morning laugh.

We stayed up late last night and put all the cabinet doors and handles back on. Im pleased with the result. We removed the back plate from behind the handles and it gives them a much more up to date look.

Michelle


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

I dunno. But can we name the next idyll 'Michelle is ok and the bath woman found the hearing aid." ? That's Normas line and it made me crack up :-)

Pictures of the cabinets would be inspiring Michelle.

PM2 - you have lupine up!!!!

Hi Martie (Just because I just never seem to have anything to say to Martie, but I love her AM orange orb posts.)

Chelone, Chelone, Chelone.


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Well, I for one am now inflicted with severely looking Forward -- Ive spent the day fantasizing about plant orders and spazzing over where to find a great big Cercis Covey for a fantastic low price..... I imagine if I order now it will arrive in time for snow ..... dont know about bikinis here (shudder to think of myself in one) but definitely feeling the false sense of Spring Busting Out All Over. Someone take away my credit cards please..... Im sure the Winter Slump will hit me tomorrow.

--Cindy


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

MARTIE...yes, I am in Eastern Massachusetts zone 6 according to the new map. I have not had a fall/winter in this location quite like this one. These pics would not be possible until at the very least early March or later in any other year. The lupine has never actually died. Those may be new leaves though, I can't remember. It was another gorgeous sunny afternoon and spent some time practicing with the new camera. More pics below...surprised by a few things when I looked closer...

Look forward to hearing more about the new offerings for 2007..is your own list growing? I seem to be doing the following....discovering and growing old standards, using as many natives as possible and searching out the newest cultivars for my favorite plants. Especially anything that offers more disease resistance. But new and gorgeous too, like all the new Echinaceas, I am just loving.

You sound a little better this morning CHELONE. Like you have had a chance to think it through and have a direction to try to go in. Hope to hear something great soon. Hope you got outside, it was so remarkable out there today! :-)

MARIAN....my sides are still hurting from that 'How To Give A Cat A Bath' link...really enjoyed it, thanks!

CINDY, I had not heard about the NYC guy ...wow, what a person will do in a split second is amazing. Very encouraging..thanks. While I was outside today, I kept trying to tell myself not to get used to this. [g]

MICHELLE..'East Coast girls are hip, I really dig those styles they wear...' Hasn't been a bikini in my closet in a LONG time. LOL I suppose putting the cabinets back together last night was therapy. [g] Hope you get your car back soon. :-)

CYNTHIA...I thought that was a very funny line also. :-) Yes, lupine that I hope doesn't die over the next two months of who knows what weather!

Please let me know if I am posting too many pics...






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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward 2

I do worry over the pics...it just occurred to me that I could do what Martie did with her North Pole photos, to make the long thread easier for people to load. Next time I will do that and make a separate thread. :-)


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

In between tending Bella I've been working on trimming and cleaning up my light garden plants all day. They're a sorry looking bunch if I do say so myself. If I can just keep them hanging on until spring... Deanne, how about some pictures of your winter beauties for some inspiration? I'd love to see some well-tended overwintering tropicals, especially after looking at my sad specimens all day.

I've been getting all of the catalogs but so far I don't have one single plan for ordering anything, seeds or plants. I don't even think I'm starting any seeds except the usual annuals I do every year. Bet you guys never thought you'd hear ME say that??? I'm having a hard enough time taking care of what I've already got this year.

Dinner time...Eden


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Last evening with DD and family. No time for lengthy post now, but maybe a few photos to comfort the weary or sick.

Thinking of all with your UPS & DOWNS.
'bug


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Bug , those pictures make me smile. I always love a good kid/dog picture too.

Eden, I'm still in "water just enough to get by" mode with my plants. They definitely need more serious attention.

pm2, its good to see something is green or blooming anytime.

It was a gray drizzly day here, but temps are still above normal. I spent the afternoon playing guitar with three other ladies. I still can't keep up all the time but it is a good learning experience.

Marian , I hadn't checked your links yet, but now seems a good time to do so.

Hope everyone had a decent day. Norma


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Marie, great pictures. I can see you've made lots of great memories this last week. How does Charlotte like having a boy of her very own?

Prairiemoon, there can never be too many pictures here for me! I enjoyed looking at them very much!

Norma, I'm impressed that you're playing in a group already. Didn't you just pick up the guitar a few weeks ago? I wish I could hear you play!

It's raining pretty good here this evening. I wasn't even aware that it was supposed to rain. The warm weather continues, 50s today. I've got one more table of plants to work on tomorrow. I brought in wayyyyyy to many this year. The euphorbias are doing the best. I have diamond frost and burgundy wine and they must really thrive on neglect. They're definitely drought tolerant, lol.

Time for bed. I have Bella all day tomorrow and she's spending the night and staying all day Saturday too. I'm going to need as much rest as I can get!

Eden


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Thursday Hellos..
Lordie Marian, that cat bath thing was hysterical ! Hoped it cheered Chelone up a bit !

PM, very,very nice pics ! You had asked a couple days ago about what we do with our Christmas trees- here in Napa County the boy scouts have a tree pick up service as a fundraiser. You give them three bucks and they pick up your tree and take it to the yard waste recycling center where they are ground up and used as compost.They have been doing this for several years , and it's certainly worth the three dollars to not have to cut it up and stuff it im my yard waste bin-especially in rose pruning season when the bin is chock full every week.

Martie, trade magazines I read still say that impatiens are the number one selling color plant ,nationwide. Petunias are second . I usually go to a trade show in Portland in August where the new plant intoductions are displayed-Proven Winners etc, and gives one a heads up on what the growers will be introducing in the spring here on the west coast. I had a conflict with another show in Chicago and went to that one instead ....anyway, you are right-impatiens and the like fall under the "tried and true" catagory. Serious gardeners are not in the majority. Color sells, and it needs to be showing color to sell. Having said that, the garden center I am associated with has many customers who are professional landscapers, garden designers, winery or estate garden managers, and these people appreciate variety, plus they know plants. It's really interesting as well to see how the interior and fashion design industries effect the nursery busines..i.e. the revival of orange.

Michelle, that is one scary pic of your car !

Okay , enough rambling. Hi to everyone...

Kathy in Napa


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Evening all,

Well Im still coughing and but not horribly sick, it just keeps me up at night (not to mention poor Doug) but anyway, today seems like its getting better and Im going to try to get to the gym tomorrow for a light workout.

Chelone, I cant believe your DB is not willing to help out. Maybe its time for you to start looking into facilities for your Mom. If your DB isnt going to take care of things I guess you are going to have to deal with it. Time and past time for change.

Michelle, thats pretty scary. Glad to hear you are OK. Thats awful that no one stopped to help.

PM2 great pics! Can you even believe this weather?

Kathy, no whisky for me when I have a cold the alcohol depresses my immune system and makes me sicker. Bummer! The Palm Springs baking in the sun thing sounds pretty good to me right now.

Eden, Ill try to snap a few pics of the plants soon. Ive got one of those Fuchsia Shadowdancer Peggy blooming now and the Abutilon Bella hybrids are also blooming their heads off.

Norma, too cool that you are throwing yourself into the guitar. What fun!!!

Ive been taking scads of bird photographs and have gotten some pretty things in the last couple weeks. Did I mention I got a portable blind for Christmas? The neighbors REALLY think Im cracked now. Im spending my days outside in a duck blind in my back yard. ROTFLOL!!!

Thanks for all the get well wishes everyone. Hopefully Ill be back to 100% really soon.

Have a good evening,
Deanne


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

Finishing what I started ..

Tomorrow I will put on a bikini just for fun. I don't care what I look like. I will put it on in January and laugh with my cyber-friends. For those few minutes life will be happy and good and carefree.

Chelone: Send the number by email and I'll call. I can see it now "web garden group cited for harrassment." Hey, it'd be worth it to give you some Peace. (((()))) If you do draperies, maybe we can talk. You'll see from the house pics that fabric up hasn't happened yet .....

Glad everyone else seems to be on the upswing. Today am heading North in jeans to see some very cool clients. Vegetarian lunch is being anticipated. Yum.

Kathy, quickly: Thanks for the biz insight. Reading, I found myself nodding my head "yes." Kind of comforting, isn't it??? That the old can be new again????

Hi, Cynthia!!!!

Marian: Just what we all needed. Thanks!!!!!

Upright and smiling,

Martie


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RE: Idyll #298 - Looking Forward

6:30AM: They're gone. :-(
Back to bed with lots of memories.

DD & SIL

You've got a way to keep me on your side
You give me cause for love that I can't hide
For you I know I'd even try to turn the tide
Because you're mine, I walk the line


Later 'gators!
'bug


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