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Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Posted by triple_creek z5 (My Page) on
Thu, Dec 20, 07 at 17:19

Eden, what a great shot of Bud and Bella. Thats right up there with the twins in the tent. Bud probably doesn't mind at all. I imagine Bella weighs next to nothing. Does she read outloud to him? The other day when I was at the library there was a little guy sitting on the floor with a book and reading outloud in his own way by visualizing. It was so cute.

((((Cindy))), welcome back, and enjoy your holiday with DD, and some quite time.

Chelone the window treatments are very fitting. Love the new boots and overall pictures of the compound.

Bug , in case I miss your departure, have a great trip and give Reed hugs from all his pseudo (sp?) grandmas and aunties here.
How many puppies?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Martie, that has to be really tough after all the help youve given your brother. Hugs to you. Im intrigued by the snow fort, it sounds like quite the project.

Bella and Bud is just too precious!

"Walter the Farting Dog" my DD would love it (Kenzie too), in fact I think a fart machine would be right up her alley as well.

Deanne, hopefully you shake your cold before all the festivities begin. Zicam resides in my purse so I can start it at the first sign of a cold. We dont have quite as much snow, but the gardens do have a nice blanket, so there is a positive note in it.

Eden, I think taking pictures of the creepy guy in our gardens would be a great idea.

Norma, Wyatt is going to be a girl magnet! What a cutie. Your Christmas picture is so interesting. Toys really havent changed all that much after all.

V, poor Chatty Cathy! Interesting that so many of us had the same doll.

Chelone, your house looks fabulous! I love the pictures with the snow falling. I agree with you on the proper tools. Some can make cooking downright fun.

Birthday parties were girls only around here, there were games, inexpensive gifts and lunch was always taverns, chips and birthday cake/ice cream.

I had the cutest message on my machine last night. "I went potty, Im a big girl, I went potty all day! Bye"

Michelle


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Naturally, I never got around to speaking to Martie! consider me a well-intended social klutz. You must have been devastated by your brother's performance at the second place. I know how much you love him and how hard you've worked to help your family gain a bit of control over his illness. I really don't know what to say to make you feel better, but I'll offer this: you have taken care of business for as long as I've known you and I know it hasn't been easy. You have said some things to me about riding the waves and rolling with the punches that have been spot on. You mustn't beat yourself up over this; it was unfortunate but also a signal that someone else needs to take over for you now. The "institutionalization" of someone you love is tough to watch, and it seems the slide is inexorable. You did a great job. Kyle will be home soon, too! :)

And just when I finally "refreshed" I see that Cindy has surfaced, too. Yay! I was getting worried about you. Please tell us about your Dad's surgery; he's OK, and gaining mobility daily, albeit painfully? If/when you feel up to it the rest of the story will find its way out. I'm glad to learn the room-mate has moved out. Next step is the personal property; I'm with 'bug, the sooner the better. And change the locks! I know what you mean about not feeling "Christmas-y"; I was feeling that way, too until I FORCED myself to get a few decorations up. I bought some fun ornaments the day Mum died and it helped to have them when the tree went up. I wish I was closer to you because I would make you some silly decoration to hang on your door/thereabouts. I hope some time with your DD and SIL in cozyland recharges you a bit. You deserve it. I think Saucy is spot on. It's OK that it's "all about you"! (And Martie).

The driveway is completely cleared now. Evidently Rex slipped off to his best friend's house. The snow is so deep the path through the trees is impassable, so the helpmeet walked up the road calling for him. Around the corner he came, full blast, about 20yds. in front of the town plow. He is now, "YOUR dog". :) And the guy driving the plow was laughing.

Denise, the cats are now in "winter mode". This involves the perpetual pursuit of the sun across the room. It involves going out on the deck and down the switchbacks to the woodpile under the Filon shed roof about 25 times/day. I often crack the slider to the deck when the stove is going so they may come and go as they please when I'm home. It's a nice way to keep fresh air in the house, too. I mine the catbox 3-4 times/daily; first thing in the morning, upon return from work, and before retiring for bed. On the weekends or when the weather is bad I add a "sifting". They race and run around the house a couple of times/day, too. Interestingly, the bouts of play either follow a visit to the box or foretell one. Hmmmm.... They play hockey with plastic bottlecaps and peel out on the upholstered furniture. Pretty cute. Rex often gives chase which is really pretty comical, too.

Cookie recipes sound wonderful. But I'm more interested in some sort of soup or stew type thing, more beans, rice, vegetables than meat. I actually used to bake quite well and do have a few favorite recipes I can pull off if needs be. Hence my suggestions for a collection of kitchen "tools". ;) I'm blowing my cover, methinks.


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First Photo

Martie, I wanted this to be your brother's card this year....


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

This note arrived later:
"The pups all have wool collars on, each one is a different colour so we can tell them apart.
There are two the same colour as Mom (grey) and the rest are darker.
There are seven little ones 3 boys and four girls.
They are all fine."


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

ooooooooohhhhh! puppies! how abso-abso daHling! They are just too cute - I want to cuddle one!!!

'bug will be having a wonderful Christmas with TWMBB (the world's most beautiful baby) and the promise of a puppy.

So many wonderful photos. I'm not sure where my old photos are, and I'm miserable at the whole scanner thing. My favorite old holiday photo was from when I was 2 years old and had pneumonia for Christmas. I'm dressed in a red robe, sitting in a red upholstered kiddie rocker, looking like the most pathetic waif in the world. I have no recollection of being so miserably sick so I can chuckle at the picture.

Chelone, it was the same brother that I just lost that threw my doll out of the car. My only sibling. We got along like typical siblings - fought like cats and dogs most of the time.

Martie, so sorry to hear about your problems with your brother. You've fought for him for so long and it's heartbreaking to see it end this way. Hugs and strength to you!

Cindy, glad to hear from you. I hope some of the bad stuff is behind you and that you have a great holiday with your DD and her spouse.

Each day it gets quieter and quieter at the office. You'd think we were about to shut down for a week - oh, yeah, we are! I'm just a teeny bit smug that I've finally gotten myself a little better organized this week and have gotten on top of a couple of things that sat too long. I will take my week off with no feelings of guilt! Tomorrow we close at noon for our lunch, and then that's it until next year.

DD shut the door to the garage this evening and an incredible crash followed - the globe on the light fixture in the laundry room decided to crash to the floor in a jillion pieces. Um, yeah, I was planning to get a new light fixture four days before Christmas...

I feel like this is a slightly disjointed post, but the kitchen needs to be cleaned up and the bed needs to become occupied. I'm desperately trying to NOT catch Deanne's cold through the keyboard. I think I'll call it quits for now!

V.


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holipups!

The real question is: can you count seven in the photo?

(I think I can)


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Buenos Noches , Idyll folk ! We are expecting temps in the 20s the next few nights so I have moved plants about and turned the thermostat up to 66. DD tells me that we may expect a white Christmas in Portland- if so it will be my first ! She and her sig other will arrive in Portland a few hours before me and DS to pick the Dungeness crab -Dungeness crab is a family tradition now with us at Christmas time. Winter is crab season here along the North Pacific coast. I could eat that stuff all day.

Martie, I echo what was already said by all. Sometimes we are just powerless and have to let go and concentrate on our own lives . I hope that you can feel good about your efforts in your brothers behalf, and philosophical about his setbacks. Extra good vibes to you , and may your family heal you as you gather over the next few days.

Cindy !! I knew youd turn up sooner or later . You need to go out and waste 20 bucks on a really nice Christmas bouquet for yourself to enjoy Or maybe something really spring-like. I did that when I realized that I was not going to get around to putting up a tree or anything else this year . Treat yourself Cindy ..you deserve it ! Its great to hear from you and I send you some laid-back west coast relaxation vibes, and the promise of spring one more day and weve turned the corner .

bug, that pic of the new BBs how sweet !

Im viewing Chelones shoes with interest ; I have been purchasing shoes over the last few weeks that will be more appropriate for my journey north. But what the hell are Yaktrax??? It sounds very Nordic. And such lovely pics of the compound in its snowy cloak-

Eden, my kids, now in their 20s had that same book that Bella is reading to Bud. Some things dont change !

OK, gotta go have some dinner , big waves to all unmentioned

Kathy in Napa


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Very Happy Holidaze

V, I count 8. Did you count the white one?


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Awwwhh.... don't we just get to see the sweetest pictures here?


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

I'm definitely in "Christmas mode" here, you guys. I slept until 5 (I'm slackin' Monique) and didn't have the shot of adrenalin that typically follows the realization that I've overslept. I'm taking my time this morning.

Kathy my new boots are definitely overkill for you, probably for me, too (-40 degrees), but the others were not comfortable, at all. They're by Columbia and I'm certain they make a boot more suited to more moderate areas. Yaktrax are grippers you pull on over the soles to provide traction on ice. They look like a series of fine springs held together by rubber, so you can pull them over the soles easily and remove them easily when heading indoors. EVERYONE who lives in an area prone to icing should have a couple pair of them (keep on in the car). I broke my wrist after falling on ice. It's either Michelle or Norma who has a pair here, I recall reading that with envy. ;)

I've never had Dungeness crab. I'll bet it's delicious. I like lobster, too, but picking out the meat isn't all that entertaining for me. Also, the helpmeet will not cook them. I know, I know... funny, that all I have to do is walk down to the dock and ask the guys for a "couple of bugs" and never do. Enjoy your's Denise!

So there are 7 of the little curs in that pile? yeah, right. Little squirmers. I hate dogs, puppies even more.

V., I did not realize your brother was your only sibling. It's nice that you shared that memory with us. It's important to share things like that, esp. when your family is small. Have you selected an ornament to hang on your tree in memory of him?

Also wanted to let Ei. know that I missed HER pictures, as well. If you can remember and feel like it, would you put 'em up and give me a "head's up"?

OK, time for a "warm up" and some breakfast and then off to finish the tattered mooring cover on my bench. It should be a pretty drive through our freshly "cloaked" area (like that description).


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Good morning

Cindy - it's so great to hear from you!! My heart really goes out to you for all you have been through this year. Hooray on the exit of house guest though!! I hope you can take a little time for yourself and recharge over the holidays.

GB - love the puppy pic now I know what it is. Either my monitor needs adjusting or my eyes are going as the only distinct shape I could make out was the white one LOL!

I'm up early to clean the fridge out before work - always a good thing before company comes over (in this house anyway). Then I'm taking Deanne's excellent advice about which spots to hit and dimming the lights. To help things along I bought a cheery red rug, candle and hand towels for the powder room and will be serving a delicious but quitw alcoholic punch.

Here is what I'm making for the buffet table: glazed ham, smoked turkey breast, turkey pot pie, butternut squash risotto, broccoli salad, green salad. A friend is bringing a veggie lasagne and other appetizers. For dessert I'm making Pavlovas and my friend's family have a bakery ordered cake.

I'm getting a lot of milage out of one turkey, brining and smoking the breast, boiling the rest for stock which will go into the risotto and using the dark meat for the pie.

Oh well, rather than procastinate I'm off the the inner reaches of the fridge. Wish me luck.

Mary


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

TGIF!

Mary your party sounds wonderful. How far is the drive? LOL. I took this year off from having mine and although I don't miss all the work and expense, I miss having the actual party and seeing all my friends.

Martie, so sorry you had such a rough time with your brother and Cindy with her sister. I admire all of you who over the years have selflessly cared for difficult family members. It's something I would not be able to do.

Puppies! Congratulations Marie & family! It's been a while since I've heard the pitter patter of little paws around here. Zoe is going to be 10 next month. Where does time go?

Great picture of Bella and Bud.

Here's my contribution to the holiday photos.

Notice the matching jammies. lol I'm guessing it's 1964 because my brother Tim is missing and Greg (far left) looks to be about two. Jeff is in the middle and it looks like someone gave yours truly a perm.

OK, I know there's more I need to say but I've got to run and face another busy day.

Sue


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As usual, Im salivating at 8:30 in the a.m. for an Idyll dinner event - yum, Mary!!!

Thanks for all the good thoughts, Idyllers - as you say, Saucy, there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel & I am hopeful of pulling into now -- and Im also sorry that I neglected to welcome a few new lurkers who have arisen to the top - welcome -- lots of fun and ups and downs here!

Ha, Chelone - I wish I were closer to you guys for lots of reasons -- I love those pics of your Salon -- and am glad I did NOT get that amount of snow in this region.

O, 'bug -- what an adorable Xmas shot of pups! V is spot on -- Im not sure I can count noses (or legs) to get the correct number - but boy, those are cuties and I'd love one under my "tree" -- I may just do what has been suggested & go get a big bouquet or plant -- altho I have enuf agaves I could probably decorate a couple of those guys, LOL....

Would you believe I actually know what Yaxtrax are, Chelone? In fact, I own them - but I can tell you they present problems if one commutes w/ them on -- it makes for a funny stride when you hit the metro platforms (tiled) and escalators - I used them last year but found it a challenge when I got to those areas.

Im having a "tech" Xmas -- I bought a flat screen tv for my bedroom in preparation for being "fios'd" by Verizon tomorrow -- in order to save $30 a month & bundle all my phone,tv and cable service, I had to go buy a new tv (and re-locate some newer phones)[yes, I know you accountants are shuddering at the math on that one] -- is that a good excuse or what? I hope there are no tech repercussions on this; I have a little trepidation about it, as I seem to be getting worse in solving these kinds of issues for myself, but hopefully they'll be just a phone call away.

I think those of us who have lost family members this year are probably a wee bit nostalgic and that is normal, right? The shifting of times, inevitable as it is, is unsettling, to put it lightly.

I am wishing best wishes and good thoughts & vibes for 'bug & Kathy and anyone else who's getting ready to travel for the season -- it looked to me this a.m. like everyone is on their way to the airports now -- the road traffic was incredibly light.

Okay, 8 more hours & Im outta of this crazy house office; hopefully it was more "friday" yesterday -- it was pretty ghastly & almost made me reconsider showing up today....

I may have to visit the local nursery or florist for a big treat - I like that idea.

Idyll on.

--Cindy


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Good morning in Idylland

Well I think there are about 24 inches of snow cover here and Im wondering what that is going to do with an inch or so of rain on top? Im seeing collapsed roofs and ice dams and on and on. I shoveled my paths out to the compost heap and bird feeders again yesterday and then Doug shoveled a path from the patio over to the other paths for the kitties. We really are cracked. LOL I still have this dratted cold but it still hasnt worsened so Im hoping Ill be feeling better soon. I really need to get the wrapping done and am planning on getting started on that today sometime.

Cindy! So glad youre back and that you are now a single person again. Yes indeed, I agree with all here whove said to get that stuff out of your house pronto. Sorry for all the family garbage thats settled on your shoulders lately. Hugs, been there and done that and one needs to develop a garbage shield. I"ve got one in place that works, somewhat, from time to time.. And when it doesnt I have to shed a few angry tears then laugh at myself for still letting that stuff bother me. Definitely treat yourself to a lovely floral arrangement What did you get for a TV?

Sue great pic! Love the matching jammies.

Mary, Im with Sue, sounds like its going to be a fantastic party! What a menu! Love the idea of new holiday dcor for the powder room. Brilliant!

Chelone, Im definitely up for a visit if you guys can pick up a few bugs for the pot!!!! I just love lobstah and I have no problem cooking them. Your pics of the house look marvelous. Those new boots look fabu! Ive got a great pair of pack boots I bought years ago when I was driving the team for sleigh rides. Theyre twenty-five years old and still in great shape. ~~ LOL about the kitty antics indoors when they are housebound. Mine are pretty funny too except when Rahjii goes after the tree and tree skirt.

Kathy Dungeness crab for Christmas sounds wonderful to me! When are you leaving for Portland? I just received a seminar request for 09 in that area and thought I might pursue it if we could make plans to meet up while I was there. That would be so fun.

Cute, cute, cute puppies Bug, I wonder which one will be yours?

Michelle, LOL about the potty message.


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Caught up on reading, wishing I was going to Mary's, hoping for a floral photo from Cindy, loved Michelle's potty message too! Deanne, "garbage shield" is a term we should use more often here...excellent phrase! More useful even than deodorant.

Off to pack. Partying out tonight. Later folks, I hope!
'bug


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Forget the bouquet; Im going hunting for the kevlar Garbage Shield and Armor Today, LOL!! When I find it I'll have my internet elves send ya'll a set. I bet it's useful at offices too!

--Cindy


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Good Morning Idylls...I'm off to do the grocery shopping, but just wanted to peek in and tell Cindy how good it is to hear from her. I'm sorry you're having a rough time with family right now and hope that things will look brighter with a little break. Also happy to hear that freedom rings in regards to your room mate. Okay, I have to ask...what is "fios'd"?

The puppies are adorable...as is Sue's picture! :-) Love the matching pajamas.

Deanne, hope things end up being milder than you anticipate. We had lots of snow too, but much has melted, due to the warmer temps. We are suppose to have rain and/or snow this week-end.

Mary...your buffet table sounds wonderful yummy. I'm sure your guests will have a great time...you are a great host...love the idea of using a red rug...I bet it will be very cheery at your home. BTW, what is Pavalova?

LOL Michelle...what a joy it must be to hear a young one's excited voice; yes? Even if it *is* about the potty. Congratulations to Kenzie...what a big girl! :-)

Sorry to hear of such tragic endings for dear Chatty Cathy...but perhaps it was her predetermined fate...LOL! I had my dear CC for about 7 years. Then mom asked if I wouldn't pass it along to one of my little cousins since I didn't play with Cathy anymore? I was not thrilled about the idea, but you know how moms can be...they're very good at guilt (lol) and at playing to our sympathetic side. So, I gave LeAnne my Chatty Cathy. Imagine my disqust when just a few weeks later I went over to babysit her and found *my* Chatty Cathy sporting a baldy haircut and pen writing all over her face. Poor Chatty Cathy.

Chelone, *I* had thought that maybe all the pictures were keeping some from posting, so I took mine off. If you really want to see them, I'll post them again, but you didn't miss much actually...LOL!

TTYL! Ei


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My flurry of holiday preparations are going to mostly center around packing and putting the house in order so as not to come home to a mess after a few days away. I also have to prepare an area for Doobie and Ted where their food will be safe from rain , ants and might provide a bit of warmth. They will not be pleased to be confined to the outdoors while we are gone .

Chelone, thanks for the explanation of the Yaktrax . I imagine your indigenous crabs are every bit as tasty as our Dungeness. Ive had some mighty fine crab cakes in Baltimore .

Im viewing Marys menu with awe, including her quite alcoholic punch !

Sue, you may all have matching jammies, but I see you are the only one able to perform the frog sit . And would that be blue shag carpet you are all sitting on ? The height of fashion in 1964 !

Cindy, did you get that flower arrangement yet ? Maybe the kevlar garbage shield can double as a vase when not deflecting c**pola. I am fortunate that I am flying out of Sacramento and not SFO. Sac is a small airport and never too bad even at its busiest. I always use it if I can . I scheduled our flight for mid-morning Sunday, so there will be no traffic and hopefully the security lines wont be too bad.
I keep waiting for my TV to die which is the only excuse I would have for getting a new one since I hardly ever watch it unless its baseball season. But wouldnt I love to have a cool Hi-def unit for the ballgames ! Not this year. My TV is so old that it is a piece of furniture (RCA) which I dislike intensely. I would far prefer for it to be out of sight when not in use.

Deanne, very cool if you were up in the PNW in 09. Ill be acclimated by then, but I already have a mental list of several gardens and nurseries you would love ! Best weather is summer and fall, spring is beautiful if it isnt raining !

Ei, so hatefulfor that LeAnne to write on Chatty Cs face ! All those lovely freckles gone to hades.

OK, Im going to eat some food and watch a moviesee yall on the morrow

Kathy in Napa


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Kyle is home!!! Hasn't stopped talking except to sleep, and particularly appreciates clean towels.

Thanks for the 'pic 'bug!! I'll pass it along.

YeHaaa Cindy!

Thanks for further comments and support. It's been a lot easier withdrawing than I thought it would be. Surely the right thing to do.

Heck, it'll be a $25 bouquet :-)

On my way out to fortify the kitchen cabinet contents for Ky, and to find a few more gifts (I'm never done!!). Still only 10 for dinner. Anyone wanna come to CT?

Later, friends,

Martie


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So Mary, how was the party?

Kathy, I used to "frog sit" for many years. It probably wasn't an ideal position for developing bones. Kicking around somewhere are some pictures of me at about age six or seven where I look, and was referred to as "knock kneed". All seems well now though and if I tried to sit like that today I'd probably end up needing ACL surgery.

I don't remember Chatty Cathy all that well. My mom would probably tell you I had one but truth be told I preferred my brother's Tonka trucks.

Today or tomorrow I plan to go out and do a little last minute Christmas shopping. What better way to immerse yourself in holiday spirit than to jump into that maniacal frey? lol Normally I'm really impatient and hate lines but have found if I put myself in the right frame of mind I actually enjoy the expeience. Last night I placed a Peapod order for delivery tomorrow morning so the grocery store is one stop I won't have to make. I've got three batches of whoopie pies to make-one for our work luncheon on Monday, one for a friend's Christmas Eve open house and one for Deanne's on Christmas Day. Maybe I'll try doubling one of the batches and see what happens.

Where's Deanne? At this minute we have a hawk sitting on the fence next to the patio. All the other birds have made themselves scarce. Small and gray, horizontal black stripes on the tail. I'm guessing it's young...just hopped up onto the copper trellis. Another reason to get out the bird book.

OK, time for breakfast and a shower.

Later,

Sue


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Propelled by the impending rain and warm temperatures due in tomorrow I spent 45 quality minutes removing snow from the deck. I removed abut 1/2 of Sunday's dump on Monday morning. And abandonned the project. I removed Thursday's accumulation today and polished of the remaining 1/2 from the first one, too. Good news is that it's done. Bad news is that the rain on Sunday managed to soak down and there is a nice inch/inch and a half of ICE on the deck surface. I'm contemplating using some CaCl to hasten the melt, but am waiting for the helpmeet's opinion before doing so. The cats are THRILLED to have a 12'x18' viewing platform. They're so cute.

Sheetrockers are finishing hanging the stuff today. I'm not sure when the "mudders" are due to arrive, but I don't really care. It would have ben nice to have it all done by now, so I could get rolling on the priming/sanding/painting, but KNOW WHAT? At this point, there is no point in getting my knickers in a twist over it. What will be, will be and it will all be done in good time.

Sue, that shot of you is absolutely adorable! it's even easy for me to see the "you" I know. I am really wishing all our family shots weren't entombed in Mum's snowbound home. Were you a Chatty Kathy girl, too? or were you into Chrissy or Barbie?

Mary, I sure wish you lived down the street... like others, I was drooling at the menu for your buffet. Yum-yum, eat 'em up! The 'fridge. "cast offs" are in a bag on the deck waiting for the helpmeet to add them to the compost pile. Isn't it amazing that a 'fridge. can become such a frightening black hole for organic matter? Rex showed great interest in the discarded items, maybe I should have strewn them across the deck for his greater consideration or, at the very least, some rolling... ?

It's such fun to read of everyone's preparations and the mounting excitement of seeing remote family members. I LOVED the Twelve Days of Christmas ornaments. And Mary's dragonfly and origami box were downright inspirational. Martie's snowfort sounds like the fun meter will be pegged for some time to come.

Marian, you will appreciate this nugget: the helpmeet returned yesterday with the news that a turkey had been killed overnight. He found the carcass, minus the head and entrails, by one of outbuildings. He investigated the "crime scene" and discovered a series of prints in the snow. He was surprised they were so small, more the size of kitty prints than dog prints. So, we're unsure if they belonged to a fox (about the correct size) or maybe a Fisher. Maybe Saucy and Sarah will be able to shed some light on the subject. What surprised him, though, was the size and WEIGHT of a wild turkey. He allowed as how the carcass weighed nearly 20 lbs., even "gutted out". He tossed it into the woods to feed others... made more sense than tossing it into a dumpster and inviting "rooting", lol. How's that for a "redneck" approach to sanitation? :)


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I have a busy day ahead. Most important task... holiday food grocery shopping. I also need to look for a few holiday trays of some sort. I think I'll hit the dollar store or JoAnns for those. Since Brad's off over the holidays I've assigned him the task of gift wrapping. My mom and dad will be down this afternoon so I need to think of something to throw together for dinner. Add Bella to the mix too. Tomorrow and Monday will be mostly spent in the kitchen.

Mary, have fun at your party tonight!

Sue, I'm making your broccoli casserole and whoppie pies for Christmas dinner.

Martie, glad to hear Kyle made it home safe and sound.

Cindy, good to hear from you. Enjoy your Christmas with your dd and sil. Glad to get the good news that the house guest is GONE!

Isn't Marie heading out today?

The only Chatty Cathy I had was my sister Kathy, 20 months younger than me.

Gotta get going. Have a good day!

Eden


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Total decadence day here for me - unusual early post and all.

Count me in as a Chatty Cathy girl - loved her and kept great care -- surprise surprise, the younger sister gave her a haircut and stabbed her... truth. all my dolls got re-designed by her...I think I have one Barbie (one of the originals) that escaped her hospital and that I still have.

Yes yes -- Kathy -- you should know, I bought 4 huge holiday bouquets from Trader Joes last nite (along w/ a lager) and plan to "decorate" today. They are most beautious and I am enjoying the lily smell already (even if not pine scent) - and it was probably still cheaper than I would have spent on a tree!

Eileen -- "fios'd" is my sillism for getting the bundle of Verizon Fios (fiber optic system) for cable tv, internet and phone package -- they are installing in my neighborhood (along w/ offer of free LCD TV or $200 Best Buy gift card) -- of course, my early 8 a.m. appt now has turned into maybe them showing up at 11:00 so they say... that's okay, im hunkering in today. I used this excuse to buy a larger LCD Toshiba/DVD combo for my bedroom (Deanne as you inquired)and plan to move the small 12" I had in there to the kitchen -- they have to install a hook up there; been in this house almost 20 yrs and so originally only could afford 2 hook-ups at the time. This is more decadence on my part, but I decided it's something I will enjoy -- w/ this fios set up, you also get a lot of availability of stereo stations, etc., and can broadcast thru these other connections over your TV if you can. All in all, I think I'll find ways to use it all. Even w/o surround sound, LOL.

They're having ads for 24 hr stores being open in this area to meet their sales expectations w/ new sales items - Sue, you should be able to enjoy going even if it's to Macy's at 3 a.m.? Not sure Im up for that, but let us know how crowded the stores are - I didnt find them very crowded when I went on Weds. nite after work.

Even in my area, Chelone, we've had foxes, deer, raccoon recently -- the raccoon have been overturning the garbage pails; I have a neighbor who's got some sort of cage (hava heart type?) that's been sitting by his front steps for the last week -- Chloe almost walked into it when I was walking her the other nite! I have no idea what he's trying to "catch" - kind of weird w/ it sitting in a townhouse front yard!

Enjoy the day!

Cindy


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Hey, Chelone, your turkey story reminded me...The other day I heard a noisy vehicle going up the hill. I looked out in time to see a neighbor, through the 'eye road', in his truck, pulling a stock trailer. But immediately I saw an object starting to cross our driveway this side of Nolon's wood piles.( The Cornelian Cherry blocks the view before that area ). It was a hen turkey, and she was followed by 9 more. Then a few seconds later two toms crossed. TWELVE turkeys! How exciting. I couldn't share it with Nolon since he was 'indisposed',lol, ( in the bathroom).I did tell him about it when he came back to the livingroom. They were headed for our pond. I sure wish I could have taken some pics, but they were too far away even if I'd had my camera.
I am amused that the hens went first...:-).
Maybe the toms were standing watch, and telling them it was okay??

I am so enjoying all the reminising on my last thread. I hope more join us there.

Marie, I have finally got back to puzzle-putting-together. I started on the GD's Hummingbird one a couple of days ago. It IS a challenge! It has the names and locations of each hummingbird, and names of each moth/etc. that is pictured. Naturally the print is very small, but readable. There are lots of flowers, but they are not named. It looks like an all winter's job..depending on how much time I spend on it each day...but may pick up as I get into the mode again...:-).

Otherwise, things are going along as usual, with no 'seasonal' changes. I AM envying those who can go visit relatives in far off places, and happy for them. Wish I could...

Marian


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Day length

Hmmmm, has nobody noticed? Today is the shortest day of the year! Yey !


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Cindy, we have the cable and internet and I've been meaning to call and get the bundle package with the phone too. Pictures of your bouquets please? If you have time.

I've been too busy to notice if it's daylight or dark the last few days. That is great news though Marian! Now we can start the countdown to Spring? Can't come soon enough for me.

Just got a call from my parents. They're in Tawas and will be here around 2:30. Much sooner than I expected. Guess I'll be doing my grocery shopping at midnight tonight.

The snow's really melting today and we're forecast rain for tonight. Maybe that will wash the rest away!

Eden


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

I DID notice, Marian. To quote a "family-ism", "The back of Winter has been broken!".

That was one of Aunt Fan's famous statements. She was the queen of "malaprops", and we regularly use several of them.

One of the things I love most about the "holiday season" is that you can observe the religious aspect of it or you can focus on the solstice and the natural shifting of the pattern of daylight. I really DO think the season has much to offer everyone. I'm for "inclusion", afterall!

Isn't it exciting to know the days begin getting longer from today on?! Make me want to strip and dance naked around the tree... ;)


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Wow! Good news abounds here. Chelone is parking in a garage and missing the fun of scraping and shoveling, Cindy is guest free, Bouvier pups have arrived on earth, Kyle is home, Mary's having a party for us and Sue isn't sick! What did I miss?

I can add that Katie had her staples removed on Wednesday and has been cleared for a 5 minute walkie each day. Well, it's something and a little ahead of schedule. She doesn't do solitary confinement well.

Can someone command me to get my butt in gear? I tossed in one load of laundry, vacuumed two rooms and then wandered...and ended up here drinking cold coffee. The vacuum sits downstairs waiting for movement. I am not dressed yet. I did my errands last night assuming today would be crazed and confused in the parking lots and shops.

I clicked on an Eddie Bauer email by mistake, landed on their site and indeed it is a good sale, not just the usual hype of itcy gold or orange sweaters in size 2 petite. My preferred jeans were marked down to 19.99, and googling for coupons, I found another 15% off and free shipping. Code is COOKDEC07 if you want some deals. 16.99 for tall jeans that fit is excellent price!

It's warm here, 41F, and no snow. Sorry New Englanders :(

I have next week off, maybe that's why I'm in reverse this morning. Company shut-downs are the best vacations. Less worry about what the elves are doing while you're out of pocket.

Later, Cynthia


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Happy Solistice Day Idylls ! Now that it is officially winter do we feel better about the snow, rain, ice fog etc ? Its 54 in my house right now and Ive had the heat on for almost an hour. Its 30 outside . I have to venture out into the fray today , mostly to pick up a couple of travel essentials and to make sure there is some semblance of food in the house when I return on Thursday. Other wise its laundry and packing.

Hoping Marys party preps went well, good for Cindy and her floral displays, chuckled at Chelone and Marians turkey tales , and thinking Marie must be on her journey ..and now I refresh and there is Cynthia announcing Katies un-stapling..Yay ! And cleared for a walk of sorts to boot.

OK, Im going to move around a bit till this house warms up. Think Ill go upstairs for awhile.

Kathy in Napa


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Hair is cut now, time to make lunch. Then clean the cat box, then empty the fridge, then the dump. Ho Ho Ho!

Can't wait for midnight when we meet up with TWMBB!(oh yes, and the rest of the family!)

Reed with Sophie the giraffe~

Happy Soltice to all and I hope to check back and catch up here over the next 10 days.


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Hi everyone

I'm on a schedule here - clean till 2.30 PM, cook till 5PM, shower, change, last minute food prep till 6 PM, sit with glass of wine (or punch) relaxing till guests arrive at 6.30 PM. Once I get to 2.30 I'll start having fun. I enjoyed my usual market run first thing and turkey is smoking away. Kids are helping out and DH about to go onto vacuum duty. I just need to round up someone to clean the guinea pig cage.

LOVE to cook, HATE to clean. Just wish I enjoyed both. But time spent with good friends enjoying a festive meal is worth every minute of preparation. Thanks for your good wishes everyone.

Mary


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Ah. A good schedule Mary. I'll schedule coffee with Bailey's and whipped cream for right about now. Fitting reward for making a run to Petsmart for Cat scratcher boxes. It was a twofer since when vacuuming I noticed Audrey has decided the dining room rug is a good spot to file her nails, and Dannie needed a special outing. My fault on the DR rug, as we were down to two scratchie boxes and both were in need of replacement. I bought 4 double wides. I don't think they're as expensive at TJ's but didn't want to deal with that much traffic. Oh well, Dannie got our moneys worth in petting and scritches and oohs and ahs.

Is Winter Solstice the 21st or the 22nd? Well it's here for sure! Looks like it's getting dark already :)

Hi Reed, you are looking alert and ready for Santa and Nana Marie!

I concocted a cranberry/orange bread and waiting for oven to heat up. That's all the cooking happening here.


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Cynthia where were you yesterday morning with that additional Eddie Bauer savings code? I stumbled onto the sale, checked the sweater I had my eye on and jumped on it at 41% off.

Mary for some reason I thought your party was last night. Enjoy!

Got the Christmas shopping mostly done with no aggravation whatsoever. I was able to park and browse at my leisure. The crowds were out but it didn't seem any worse than a regular Saturday to me. I still have a couple of items to pick up so will need to venture out again tomorrow.

Ooops, I've just been informed that dinner is ready. Tonight it's NY strips, mashed butternut squash and salad.

Marie, enjoy your trip!

Later,

Sue


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Im pooped! Ricks kids and grendkids came over today. I made broiled sandwiches, english muffin with grated cheddar cheese, grated mozzarella cheese, olives both black and green, bacon, roma tomatoes and mushrooms. Rusk buns with dried beef/cheese spread and lots of Hors 'd oeuvres.

The gifts were a hit with the kids. Ricks DD said that her kids say we give the best gifts. We do try to find things that we know they will like. It gets more challenging with his oldest grandson being 17. They do give pretty detailed wish lists.

We did the candle game, which is enjoyed by all. Everyone guesses how long a cheap candle will burn. The winners get a small gift. We have a kids, mens and womens prize. This has been a tradition in my family since I was a small child.

Reed looks like hes excited that Nana Marie is coming for Christmas.

Im off to check Eddie Bauer.

Michelle


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

I'm just home from a 7 hour party with Nick's family - and that was one of three for the season....and I'm not kidding when I say they make these shindigs 7 hours on the dot....arrived at one, out at 8.

I know daughters-in-laws who would buckle under the pressure, but I do it with an appetizer ready and waiting :)

I have to say I'm really exausted, though.

Just had to catch up with reading, but quickly want to say congrats to unzipped Katie, and tell Reed that Royal Blue is his color, and he's giving my babies a run for their money :)

LOL, Chelone, I love the vision of you dancing naked around the tree....what will the neighbors think? I hope it's a Japanese Maple :)

Marian, I plan to visit the other thread soon with some pictures, too!

Saucy


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

The day is winding down here and I thought Id check in one last time before Im off to Oregon. My BILs computer is annoyingly slow but I will make an effort to visit while Im up there. Got one more load of laundry in the dryer and am almost packed. Boarding passes are printed , house is in order. DS is opening for a band at a solstice festival in Sebastopol tonight so he will probably be napping during most of our journey tomorrow- as long as he and his luggage are in the car at 8am all will be well !

Think its time bug posted some grumpy photos of that baby lest we think he is perfect ! I looked up Edmonton on a map tonight because I was not sure which province it was in embarrassed to say-I have always been pretty proud of my geography knowledge. We will be almost close to each other this Christmas by western standards , but shell be way colder (I hope)

Its been so fun viewing all the photos on both the Idylls and Marians thread. I wish I could participate but Ive packed all the old pics and mementos up already.

Time to get some dinner going and finish all my 11th hour chores .. best wishes to all

Kathy in Napa


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Alert... Coldwater Creek site is 50% off EVERYTHING on the site (Including all the stuff in the outlet) - code at checkout is WEBSALE.

Deanne


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Happy Sunday! Am I the first one up??

These days have been most wonderful, with shopping for the really fun stuff and picking out flowers and putting finishing touches on decorations. It still surprises me to turn around and see Ky :-)

Hope all travelers arrive at their intended destinations.

Heard about the mid-continent storm and hope all is well with everyone involved.

I want to know where Sue went yesterday that was "Normal" LOL. Amusing onseself in line with whatever kids are around make the waiting seem shorter.

Wish I fit into Coldwater Creek and Eddie Bauer. Seems to me like you need to be Taaaaaaaaall, which I'm not. Petite Sophisticate's online now, though, and I was #27 when signing up for emails.

Bright red cardinal just landed smack dab in the middle of the bittersweet. Where's Deanne!!!!

Wish I could be there for all the littles' celebrations. It seems odd to now have anyone younger than 20 in the family. Did "borrow" my 17-month old neighbor yesterday for a few minutes so his mom and dad could get a rather large playhouse into their home. Realized quite quickly how non-childproof my house has become :-)

Cooking today includes reducing some cider down to syrup for apple candy, and making the cake for the Christmas Eve Yule Log. Dinner will be simple: roast beef, potatoes, onions, carrots, chicken divan casserole, rolls. Desserts will be the main thing with cheescake, brownies, apple pie, roast walnuts, candy. "Fasting" today for sure.!

Congrats Katie and Cynthia!

More later,

Martie


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Merry Two Days Before Christmas, Just back from a final grocery run. My mom and dad were here all afternoon yesterday and stayed for dinner so I thought I'd be smart and go grocery shopping after I put Bella to bed at 8pm. No crowds, but they were out of a few things that I had to go back for this morning. Still not crowded though. Like Sue I've found crowds to be at a minimum in the stores this holiday season.

Martie, just wait until Kyle has a little one some day. They definitely put the magic in Christmas. You'll see!

Go Katie! What great news! Cynthia enjoy your vacation time off. Hope that means you'll have lots of time to spend here on Idylls!

Marie should be cuddling Reed by now. Kathy should be on her way and I'm sure Mary's party was a big success.

Gotta run. If anyone's looking for me the next couple of days I'll be in the kitchen.

Eden


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Hi all. Today is the extent of our holiday gathering. We have a divorce situation so DH nephew's son can only come over tonight. As you know I've not really felt like celebrating so I want to make the most of this.
In that vein, I'm adding a couple of gifts to Alex's (6 yr) stocking.
Walter the dog will be farting away at my oh so prudish MILs house tonight. With a little help from the fart - o - matic from Spencers gifts. I've been in that store probably 3 times in my whole life but sometimes they have just the item you need when no one else will. LOL
This will be the first year I havn't dreaded this night like the plague. I'm off to cause a little mischief. I'll try to get pix! Ho Ho Ho!

Jerri


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

You go, Jerri! Ah, the corrupting influence of the idylls. Warm holiday wishes to all and safe journeys to the traveling idylls. Those with the little ones have the solemn responsibility of taking lots of photos to share. We're baking on both coasts, with Mitch in NYC calling if I'm in the house, emailing and instant messaging when I'm working at the puter in the office, looking for cookie instructions, to bring lots to my mom's clan in Mass. The full moon last night was glorious, and we used Chelone's toast over a bottle of merlot, raising glasses to the broken back of winter, or something to that effect. Spent all this morning shifting pots, raking, sweeping outdoors, planted my SIL's succulent basket yesterday -- in short, avoiding the house and playing outdoors. Today the Eurovan we bought on Ebay arrived from Michigan (yes, really). We've been trying to talk DH into a Eurovan for years and for some reason this was the year he was ready to listen.

Be safe and warm, idylls.


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Check out the link to see some holiday cheer from my dogs.

Happy Holidays!

Here is a link that might be useful: A couple of terrier elves


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

That reminds me, someone has a birthday coming up right afer Xmas!

I ran out for a bit this morning, and driving back had a craving for penuche. Not the sweet, knife up your nostril penuche, but the kind that tastes golden and is a little dry with walnuts in it. My grandmother used to make the best penuche. I think my sister is working or I'd be calling her to see if she had the recipe. Every other recipe I've ever tried was just too sweet, and I love sweets but not pain.

Safe trip Kathy! And anyone else in the traveling mode. I'm so happy to be home. It's actually warmer outside today (57F) than in the house and the outside of the windows were all fogged this morning. Opened the kitchen door to change the air in here. I was going to do more raking, but now it's pouring rain.

Several of my neighbors have been letting the Baltimore paper do stories on their homes. I declined thank you! Maybe in summer when I can point them to the gardens? We do have a great bunch of old houses here, and we're all 'old house people' so everyone's friendly and in the same state of constant improvements. Here's one of the photos from the article, I'm going over tonight for a birthday get together.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mencken played here-Neighbor's house


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

So far crossed off the list: choc and peanut butter fudge, 7 layer magic bars and shortbread. Peanut butter cup cookies are in the oven and I'm taking a break. Brad just finished wrapping all the presents. He's just about to uncrate Butterscotch.

Jerri, my fart machine came in the mail yesterday and Brad's been having too much fun with it. We'll take it to our Christmas celebration too.

Denise, PLAYING OUTDOORS??? I'm so jealous. We did hit 50F yesterday. It's back down in the 30s today and very windy.

Monique, The link's not working for me and I want to see!

Eden


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Eden, I had to try the link I posted 3x in order for it to work. It is a popular website this time of year. Just keep trying and eventually it might kick in. As my hubby says, it is free so it probably is down a lot of the time LOL

I have to say that I truly enjoy reading the Idylls everyday during lunch at work. I just don't have time to contribute, especially since I don't want to leave anyone out in my responses. So, I end up not writing in at all. I feel bad about that :o(

It's 53 degrees outside right now and hubby is trying to shovel the melting ice away from the base of the driveway. I'm trying to clean the house in preparation of my mom's arrival. We're picking her up tomorrow so she can spend a couple days with us.


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Taking a little break while the fudge sauce for the peppermint ice cream dessert cools and the angel food cake for the Raspberry Almond Angel Roll bakes. I still need to make 2 appetizers. I think a walk should be in order with all the sweets I've consumed, but it isn't very appealing with a high of 18 and wind. The house is nearly back in order after last night.

From last night, Rick and Morgan the youngest grandchild:

Michelle


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

If my second boy had been a girl, that would've been her name, Morgan, what a rosy-cheeked darlin'. I was just saying the Eurovan will be great for grandchildren and received some funny looks back from DH and DS as they left for the inaugural shopping trip to bring back gruyere cheese for my infamous Potates Gruyere. I did view the terrier elves, but I want to see whole-dog photos too, even if they're not dancing. Eden, you crack me up, I've gotta watch what I write. I won't lie to you, the weather here is gorgeous, which is why there's so many people here, cars, pollution, etc. This winter dryness is awful, and I'm ready to send in an order for Caswell-Massey almond oil. Cynthia, your link put my puter into a tailspin for some reason, but I love that stuff so I'll try it later. Googled penuch, so I learned a new sweet, which I really need like a hole in the head, thanks! We're in a historical neighborhood here with these old bungalows, which keeps the 'hood lively with gossip on compliance/noncompliance...I've taken a few years off from that duty, lol.


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

I just tried it again and the link worked. Very cute, those dancing elf dogs of yours Monique :) I remembered you saying before that you always read Idylls at lunch. I for one don't care a bit if you can't comment back but I'd sure love it if you could pop in once in a while and let us know how you, Les and the pups are doing. I miss you!

Denise, I haven't had a chance to look up the Eurovan, but I will. Here in the great north the interior of the house gets really dry from the furnace running so much. We have to use humidifiers in the winter.

Cynthia, what a beautiful home in the article. And I think cottage style decor is my favorite. I like cozy! I know what you're saying about being in a state of constant improvements. Us too! But that's the fun of it I think. Ask Brad and he might say different though. Have fun tonight!

Michelle, what a cute little baby girl Morgan is. She's what we call a "chunk of butter". Nice to see Ric too. Those desserts sound fantastic!

I'm about baked out for today. Think it's time to call it a day and put my feet up. We've been watching Curb Your Enthusiasm episodes on dvd. Any one else watch it?

Eden


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Hi everyone

The party went well last night and it was a really fun evening. My friend arrived sporting a shirt that read "50 is the new 30" and we proceeded to laugh the evening away. Our guests ranged in age from 11 to 89 and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. The teens all hit it off and after eating together beside the fire organized themselves to play Scattergories and Charades.

I just love all these smiling faces
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We older folk chatted, mingled, ate and imbibed till after 11.30PM. I fell into bed completely exhausted and woke up today with that great feeling of not having to rush out to do anything pressing.

Instead I had a friend over for lunch where we enjoyed leftovers and I spent the afternoon pottering about making gingerbread people. Annie, David and a friend worked on gingerbread houses and my previously spotless is looking back to normal.

Here are some of the fruits of my labors:
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I thought gingerbread people should be able dress for the beach if they wanted:

Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com

I won't show you the back view as the lady was in a thong and you saw rather a lot of her butt. (Nor will I mention the topless lady - I'll have to be careful about whose gift box she goes into!).

Ei - Pavlova is a dessert named after the ballet dancer made with a meringue shell filled with whipped cream and fruit. I share a fondness for them along with the English cook book writer Nigella Lawson. Whenever I have made them they are a huge hit as they were last night.

Eden - DH was given the entire series of Curb Your Enthusiasm last year on DVD from a client. We have had many a laugh.

Michelle- what a lovely photo.

Hi Jerri!

Monique - nice to hear from you. I'll check back to catch the doggies.

Martie - I hear you on having a harder time finding a fit at Coldwater though I love some of their clothing. I have managed to score a couple of nice jackets at their outlet though.

Tomorrow I hope to finish my holiday letters so they are at least post-marked before Christmas. Cooking is easy for the next few days as we are invited to nighbors for dinner tomorrow night and a friend's house Christmas day. I have presents to wrap and stockings to stuff but I love doing both of those.

Waving to those I missed - have a good night everyone

Mary


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Hi everyone.

Mary, the smiles say it all. I think the "bathing beauties" are great, too. But am sad to have missed the topless one and the one sporting butt floss, is that a terry cloth bikini? LOL. (Gorgeous rug in front of the fireplace... the "tribals" are my favorites). Where's Clousseau... keepin' and eye on the trash and an unattended buffet table?

I have one or two small errands to run today, bakery, bank, gas station, maybe the liquor store. I have 3 loads of laundry to take care of (on the second one now) and some incidental cleaning.

Michelle, that's a great shot of Rick and the baby.

I love house tours, too. There are so many lovely, historic homes in my area that Christmas tours can be a real treat. I've been to Ellicott City; one of my dearest childhood friends lives in the general vicinity. Lovely area.

Hello to all, I have to get busy with the chore list now. I suspect it'll be quiet around here for a couple of days but thinking of you in your homes, surrounded by family and pets, will make me smile.

Monique... another voice that would like to hear more from you... so you "miss" someone? BIG DEAL, who has time to waste wondering if it was "intentional" anyway? (still trying to bring up terriers... to no avail).


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Good morning everyone,

How fun to open up the thread this AM and see that lovely group of smiling faces! Thanks Mary. And I love the gingerbread cookies. Marvelous.

We had a bit of damage from the heavy snow and ice and have a cracked piece of siding on the back of the house that will have to be repaired when the weather warms. We also had some water make its way into the house on the ceiling of the kitchen from an ice dam on the dining room roof. That has never been a problem since we put the addition on in 2000 so that took us by surprise. We were outside last night shoveling off the dining room roof and getting that ice off the corner where the water had come in. Fortunately our bathroom window is above that spot on the roof so we were able to do the shoveling from there. I also heated water on the stove and poured it onto the big chunk of ice and melted it off. Im really glad I caught that staining on the kitchen ceiling before the rain started last night.

There has been enough melting outside for the kitties to be out and about as usual. Thank heavens, they were driving us nuts with going in and out fifty times a day and bouncing off the walls in the house when they were indoors. Doug and I spent the day yesterday doing some shopping and finishing up our Christmas cards. Better late than never I guess.

Today Ive got to finish wrapping the presents and do a bit of baking and take a few layers of crud off the house. We are going to MJs for dinner this evening and will have a few people over for dinner tomorrow.

Cynthia that home is absolutely gorgeous! I love the colors! All that cream with burgundy accents. Its so elegant looking.

Hope Kathy and Bug have arrived safely at their destinations.

Michelle, that photo is absolutely precious.

Denise, OK so rub it in! You played outdoors yesterday. How marvelous. I was outdoors too but it was shoveling snow off the roof so I wouldnt get any more water damage on the kitchen ceiling.

OK Ive really got to run and get off this computer. Doug and I are on the way to the gym then have a busy day finishing things up here.

Have a great day everyone
Deanne


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Happy Christmas Eve Idylls ! Just a brief scan and a quick drop in to say hi. I reached my destination quite easily yesterday, that Sacramento airport is so painless. We wizzed through security , flight departed on time , arrived on time, and it is of course raining.This is after all the PNW !

Mary, where is the gingerbread lady with the lime green undies?

Best wishes to all and I'll try to check in later ..

Kathy, not in Napa


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

For Kathy
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Mary


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Kathy, that one cracked me up. And Mary, good job!

Morgan and grandpa is such a sweet thing. And loved all the happy girls around the fireplace.

I'm buzzing around here trying to make good use of a day off. Pulled in the mail (it's seed catalogue time) and opened a few cards with personal notes which are always so nice to read. Slit open one from Katie's generalist vet expecting printed greeting and instead found a personal note to "Cynthia, Monty, Katie and Dannie, I hope 2008 brings you health and happiness and fewer Dr vists :) Hope you all have a great holiday together and a happy new year!" And she enclosed a business card for $50 off on a dental. I had already scheduled Monty for a dental next week and we had discussed how she would do it because he's got those other medical 'things' going on. It is just the sweetest thing, and I spent nuttin there compared to the neuro vet :)

I'm hungry now, so that's an excuse to stop cleaning for a bit. I do have Salvation Army coming with a truck on Friday January 5th and will be lightening up the attic and getting rid of some furniture and 'stuff' that should have left years ago.

Happy Xmas Eve day! Cynthia


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

LOL (I'm sitting here, all alone, cracking up)

All gift items are wrapped. I only copped out and used gift bags for 2 items; socks and a a pair of lined jeans. Time to hang the pet food lids on the tree and fiure out an artful presentation for Rex's pig ears.

Grospapa's tall clock now has the soundbox in place and I'm waiting for it to strike one o'clock. Its chime is that of Big Ben, Mary. IT WORKS, but I think there needs to be some "fine tuning" as the hammers strike the rods too vigorously and there is "reverb.".

Time to begin the "decluttering" so the vacuum can be shoved around more easily.


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Good one Mary! That's one of the cutest Christmas cookies I've seen.

Deanne, what a bummer about the ice damming. Sounds like you and Doug have it under control now though and aren't letting it get you down.

Kathy, good to know you made it to your destination and your able to check in with us from there. We have a great smaller airport in Flint called Bishop that's so much easier to fly from than Metro. Last time David flew it was a breeze to drop him off and pick him up. So different than Detroit.

We just got back from an eggnog run. We have a dairy about 1/2 an hour from here that makes the best eggnog. I only have a few more recipes to get through this afternoon. The stuffed mushrooms I'm putting together call for 1/3 cup of white wine. So that leaves enough for me for later too!

I'm getting excited to see Bella open gifts tomorrow! Can't wait!

Eden


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

From Butterscotch to Bach, in whatever doses you can handle...

Here is a link that might be useful: Bach Festival 2007


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RE: since I know you're there

Deanne, my sympathies with the ice damming. We have had issues with the gutters on the house for a couple of years running, now. Wouldn't you know it? the one on the front of the house leaks directly over the front entry... lol. We will have the seamless gutter guys replace them when we have the house stained and trim repainted next spring/summer. Great that you managed to beat the rain, though!

A few weeks ago I began to notice the telltale little "grains" that kitties shed in their favorite beds when they have a tapeworm. I suspect it's Spencer that has been dispensing them, but with 3 that go outdoors who can be sure? Anyway, I ordered up "Drontal for 4" and dispensed it to everyone a few days ago (to their chagrin). Time to get out the Kirby and suck those suckers up! "Free Rice", Maine style. hehehe.

I love Egg Nog, Eden (I like mine with rum or whiskey). Mmmm! And that reminds me that too-sweet Penuche is GROSS, Cynthia. Do any of you make Christmas Pudding... the real stuff with suet, booze, and the stuff we aren't supposed to eat and haHd sauce on top? I haven't had it in years, but in Mum's home (yikes, MY home) is the tin mould that belonged to my great-grandmother and that's one tradition that could entice me back to the kitchen for some COOKING.


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Earlier today when I viewed Mary's gingerbread people I thought about one with lime green undies and now here it appears.

I've been working on burning DVD's, although I've had a burner on my computer for 4 years I didn't ever take time to learn. Today's was a collection of photos from our 2006 vacations. Even Rick sat down and watched those from IU3.

Eden, we are opening gifts with my family tonight. I talked to Kenzie on the phone and asked her if she had been good and if Grandma should bring her some presents. You can imagine what her answer was.

Morgan is a "chunk of butter" unlike her big brother. He'd better watch out she will catch up with him.

Denise, welcome to the "V dub Club" I drive a Passat.

We are leaving soon so I must get going and make sure I have everything organized.

Merry Christmas Eve All

Michelle


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

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Greetings all, No time to chat but love all the visuals, including the ones only talked about. Does that make sense? LOL I've been a scatterbrain all day. Norma


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We picked up my Mom today and just had a very filling Christmas Eve dinner of tortellini with thyme cream sauce and grilled scallops. We're still too full to eat the ginger/spiced creme brulee for dessert. The plan is to watch 'Love Actually' on DVD and have dessert during the movie.


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

A fun, joyous, peaceful Christmas to all --


--Cindy


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Home from Christmas Eve dinner....linguine with lobster sauce, and baked stuffed lobster. Nick's Grandma is a hero :)

The lime green panty-clad ginger woman cracked me right up....she's the first thing I saw when I tried to scroll into place!

I'm beat but I still have wrapping to do....I've had a tough time this year....usually I'm done weeks ahead. Anyway, I think the kids might've fallen asleep while I caught up to you!

I hope Santa brings me more energy and some free time for Idyll :)

Saucy (who loves your display, Cindy!)


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C'mom! can we get up now? Santa's been here!


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The heck with all this PC Happy Holidays busines...it's Christmas. If you don't celebrate it then this greeting isn't meant for you.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I'm off to my brother's for brunch then on to Deanne's for a day and overnight of frivolity.

Hope everybody enjoys!

Sue


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

I'm up (I think). Merry Christmas from me too. Hope your day is filled with wonder and joy!

Eden


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze again

Santa has been here too and presents joyously opened. Annie was over the moon with her new sheepskin boots and David with his electric guitar and amp (yikes!!). I'm about to cook some ham and eggs for breakfast, round up the troups for a Christmas walk and then head to a friend's house at 4PM for dinner and games.

Have a wonderful day!

Mary


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All celeratory "loot" opened and enjoyed. (Can't wait to beginning reading!

Cat nip bombs for all.

Pig ears and a lamb bone.

Time to clean the Salon.

And a fond wish to Marian for a lovely, peaceful day. :)


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Merry Christmas! Sorry Sue, my card says 'Happy Holidays' since I have friends and coworkers of different faiths and beliefs. I'll say MC on the actual day and to those I know celebrate Christmas.

I'm taking a break from peeling potatoes for the upcoming meal to check my email and the Idylls while hubby and mom are out for a walk with Oliver. Turns out that 'Love Actually' was a bit too risque for my mom last night so I'm glad she fell asleep so we could switch to 'Its a Wonderful Life' on TV instead LOL. We've seen LA before, but forgot some of the scenes.

I think I've gained 5 lbs this holiday season :o( I should be out for the walk.


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Peace on Earth! There is nothing like a day when almost everything shuts down. The best gift for me is not to be traveling. It's lovely out today and I'd be happy to stay home completely, but going out to visit with friends at 2PM.

The dogs have played off and on with their 'screaming monkeys' and I've nibbled on penuche and opened some, but not all, of the gifts that came in the mail. Hoping for a fire tonight and will call folks as I open their packages :)

The secret to penuche that doesn't hurt your brain is to omit the Karo syrup. I found my grandmother's recipe and made it. Of course it didn't taste quite as good as hers, but I think that has something to do with being young and quietly sneaking the cover off of the candy bowl while everyone is out of the room.

I hope you are all enjoy the day off from work and are having fun with your families and friends.

I found a use for the birds which used to go on the tree :)

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And yes, the act of putting all those birdies up started me on the mission of cleaning all chandeliers and ceiling fans in the house.


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

I'll add Happy Boxing Day! (the 26th) to further diversify holiday greetings, and also in honor of the Haws watering can I received. The Haws is genius, with the rose truly replicating the fall of rain water. I may record the sound as a sleep tonic. But I actually sleep like a bear, so nevermind.

For those with teenagers, I found out this week that the nice bunch of boys living at the end of the block the past few months are none other than The Cold War Kids Wonder if they need any 50 yo hangers-on. Youth is wasted on the young, I say.

Cynthia, love the chandelier, it' postively Dali-esque, except I bet Dali wouldn't bother to clean it.

Oh, Michelle, we are long-standing members of the V-dub club, but this is the first one we've had in years less than 30 years old! No more Little Miss Sunshine vignettes. We were able to drive my folks to the Christmas Eve celebrations instead of taking separate cars -- proper number of seats and seat belts and easy access for their old bones. A great present to the whole family.

I've been trying to explain Deanne's ice dam scenario to other So. Californians, without much success. Lots of glazed noncomprehension.

Can you imagine an idyll pet reunion? Oscar & Emma look like they'd be in charge, lol.

Warm holiday wishes to all.


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RE: sorry Oliver

Sincerest apologies to Oliver. Emma is probably snickering over that one...


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Merry Christmas from Rahjii the Christmas Cat!


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

What festive Christmas pictures we have today. I hope you all celebrated and enjoyed the day in whatever way pleases you. It was a lovely warmish day today with everything covered in hoar frost this a.m. It made a nice Christmas scene.

We had an enjoyable evening last night with my whole family minus my son. Hes trying to appease his current girlfriend and its a long story. It was a little bittersweet celebrating in a house other than our family home. Kenzie had a ball. At that age they have so much fun with the unwrapping whether its their gift or someone elses. She liked her doll stroller a lot, but with such a house full it was hard to maneuver. Christmas dinner was at my parents today.

Cynthia, I really like the birds on the chandelier. I enjoy glimpses of your lovely home, the type of house I would pick if I had a chance, but when you live on a farm, you take what you get and most farm homes are more functional than architectural. Rick got a new alarm clock for Christmas and some how that lead to vacuuming under the bed.

Cindy, your bouquet is lovely, as is your wall color.

Deanne, the gold bow looks so fitting for his majesty. LOL Did you get the ribbon at Sams, I think I have some of the same. How do you attract the cardinals? I know they are around, I just havent seen them here. They are so pretty with the snow.

Heres a few of our Christmas 2007 memories:

What could be in here?

I hope the link works.

Michelle

Here is a link that might be useful: Kenzie's Christmas song


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Techincally challenged

I figured I'd get the link wrong, I'll try again.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kenzie's Christmas song


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Good morning - here's hoping everyone had a great Christmas. We had a good time, the Christmas mess is even mostly picked up already!

Mary, loving the lime-green undie gingerbread woman!

Hi Monique! What lovely doggies! My DH did all the cooking yesterday - a yummy roast beast (yeah, we watched the Grinch a couple of times - I think I enjoy it more than the kids do!) He even peeled a mountain of potatoes! All I did was set the table and make the gravy.

Deanne, so sorry to hear about your ice dams - good thing you were able to catch it right away and take care of it! We had them a few years ago, a window in my son's room leaked badly - we didn't find the leak until the floor was soaked. My brother came over and knocked the ice off the roof with a hammer. We kept checking that spot last week, and no drips - yeah! Rahjii looks wonderful, so color-coordinated as always.

Cynthia, I like the birdie chandelier. Good to hear that Katie is doing so well.

Michelle, I'm at work with no speakers on my computer - I'll have to listen to Kenzie later at home. I'm sure she's adorable!

Chelone, I did see your wake-up message yesterday, I was on the computer at 7:30 installing the software for DS's lego robot. He has been playing with it practically non-stop since yesterday.

Well, duty calls (yeah, I'm at work today - but only for a half-day) the phone started ringing at promptly 9am.

-Wendy


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Good morning and Happy Boxing Day.... Also

I'll be back later Sue and I are enjoying coffee and conversation. We'll be joining Chelone, Wendy and Saucy for lunch today so another great day in store for me.

Have a terrific day everyone!
Deanne


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Happy Birthday, Monique!!

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Roses and Angels just seem to suit you :-)

Martie


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The Second Day of Christmas and only 10 more to go!! LOL If we celebrated each the way we did yesterday we'd all be sleeping until April. What a great day with amazing food and family, and a few emotions thrown in for good measure, most of the remembrance kind.

Was sitting around and Ky brought up a box -- "What's in here?" I'd completely forgotten, but threw this together and from now on think I'll throw things together at the last minute.

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Kenzie is too cute! How she was able to remember the words in the midst of all the magic is beyond me ...

I need to work for just a few hours this morning, but from home, and then plan to sleep in heavenly peace.

Happy Christmas to All!!

Martie


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Happy Birthday, Monique!

--Cindy


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Also-Happy Birthday Monique~

~Babs


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Checking in from Edmonton to wish you all a very very happy boxing day!

We had a beautiful snow on the 24th and clear blue skies on Christmas day. We've taken Skyler for skating lessons 3 times and I'll try to share pictures with you when I return to Ontario. The mountain of Christmas loot was obscene but the young man was really in control of the situation with no fussing or tears as in the past. The books were all studied with care, including The Enormous Egg. I was impressed! For DH and me, many doggie gifts appeared. :) Lonesome friends joined us for our dinner and we had a lovely walk in the snow to see the lights. Indy dog has been able to run at top speed with big sticks in her mouth...so nice after her leg surgery healed.

Reed is a super sweetheart, but you knew I'd say that. He's quite the Mama's boy, but I do get to hug and snuggle almost often enough. Yesterday he sucked on a piece of asparagus for dinner!

Much more activity here than I'm used to with neighbor kids in and out and overnight. Life is good and I hope you all feel the same way!

Loved Mary's lime green contribution!
Later,
'bug


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Our Christmas ran late in the day due to all the other celebrations, but everyone was pretty relaxed and had a good time. After a little cleanup today I have been taking it easy and sampling all the leftover goodies.

Wyatt opening his last present. I missed the shot of him jumping up and down with excitment.
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The big kids playing a rousing game of Catch Phrase. Everybody having a good time what more could you ask for.
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This is a dorky pic of DH, but do you think he needed beard trimmer. LOL
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Happy Birthday Monique. What a cute picture of Emma and Oliver on your holiday card.
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I'm to lazy tonight for comenting to all but I have relished every picture and post. Since I don't get away from home all that much I sure enjoy the companionship here. Cheers to all! Norma


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Ok I just watched Kenzies video again and have to say that is so cute, and the pictures of her are too.

Now I'm waiting to see Bella on Butterscotch, and T's grandsons too. I'm curious as to what James had on his Santa list.

And Cynthias crew in their red coats, Babs Gingerbread ornament that I bet Ryan made. Rahji in his ribbon. Their all sweet. Oh yes, the girls in front of the fire at Marys was great. And the gingerbread cookies. Also everyones decorations. Just so neat.

The birthday cards too. Saucy yours is so serene looking.

Party on girls and have a plesant lunch together.

Nite all Norma


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Happy Birthday Monique!


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Thanks for all the birthday photos and wishes everyone!!! I ate too much today, bought some shoes, and got a foot rub. Sounds like a good birthday, doesn't it LOL?


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Good morning Idylls,

Its a pretty dreary, gray day here but its just SOP for this time of the year. I think we are supposed to get a few inches of snow sometime today and Doug is anxiously waiting for his new snow blower to come in. We finally broke down and ordered a new machine as the old one was beyond its last legs. Wed bought it shortly after we bought this house so it doesnt owe us anything. Doug ordered an 11.5 horsepower Ariens so it should be able to throw the snow into the next county. Of course now that weve taken the plunge it probably wont snow for the rest of the winter. LOL

Yesterday Wendy, Chelone, Saucy, Sue and I met in Chelmsford for lunch and had a terrific visit. Lots of laughs and good wishes were shared by all. What a treat to see so many smiling gardener faces. We are talking about having a get-together at Tower Hill sometime in the next couple months and Im going to be planning our annual Thumb our Noses at Winter party, probably for the last week in Feb or beginning of March. The Idyll social calendar is getting off to a good start for 08. Speaking of which, where are we going to IU5????? Anybody have any great ideas out there???? Personally, Id love to go back to Michigan and see Davids new gardens and visit Edens and Honeys gardens again. That was a marvelous trip and pretty central. Jump in anyone please with ideas and suggestions.

Im loving all the birthday and Christmas photographs. What fun. Michelle, I just love that Chickadee on the sundial photo. Wonderful! And Norma, what is that columbine? What a beauty! Your DH is so cute. He looks pretty happy with his Christmas present.

Michelle, Oh yes, I almost forgot to answer your question, I DID buy that ribbon at Sams. They have some lovely ribbon this year too and I want to pick up a couple rolls when it goes on sale.

Mary, I ROTFLOL when I saw the lime green panties gingerbread woman. You are just too clever.

Monique, glad to hear you had a great birthday.

OK Ive got to get off this computer and get to the gym and begin to work some of this excess baggage I picked up over the holidays off my bum. Have a great day everyone.

Deanne


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Happy Birthday Monique
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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Just a stop in here to wish a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our Idyller friends from Jim and myself. We are having a great holiday, all 4 of my kids are here including my oldest son and his wife from France whom I haven't seen for a year. I went amaryllis crazy this year and the house is beautiful filled with amaryllis and decked out trees and lots of other plants of the season. We even have a special "Merman Tree" which has all the typical gay stereotypes in sequined merman form (the "December Diamonds" series of ornaments, you can look at them on line) which we made from one of Inta's bright chartreuse green tuteurs, decorated with gilded feathers and flashing lihgts. It is a total hoot and looks just like a Christmas tree in drag, LOL.

And I see it must be Monique's Birthday so HB Monique, and hi to Les too and all the rest of you. Best wishes for a wonderful new year in the garden....


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Good, but tiring, Christmas here. DH is on the way to the airport now with his parents. They're going to be very tired by the time they get home tonight - and that's not good. MIL gets very confused and upset when she's tired. FIL is likely to have a few bad/tiring days until she readjusts. He was looking very tired when he arrived last week. It's very stressful living with someone with a deteriorating memory and who is becoming more and more physically frail. We're all worried about the future for both of them. They have stopped talking about possibly moving back here. I think they are now beyond the point where they could deal with the stress of arranging and coping with a long-distance move. Aging sucks!


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RE: Idyll # 345 Happy Holidaze

Thanks Mary, David and Woody for the photos and good wishes!

David, how ironic that you chimed in right after Deanne mentioned Michigan as an IU5 location LOL


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