Coffee Shop III

gurley157fsMarch 3, 2007

As promised - a third edition of the Coffee Shop. I just looked back at the original Coffee Shop post and realized that we have now been open for 6 months. It really feels like longer than that but in a very good way. I think a few of us have come to know each other fairly well. And I know I have come to rely on all of you for my little touch of humanity.

It is so neat to see all of the new people too! I hope you will all stick around for at least another 6 months:-).

My mood has brightend significantly with the blooming of the daffodils and sasanqua. I have four sasanqua called 'Taylors Pink Suprise' that someone talked me into. When I originally ordered these shrubs I was adamant that I did NOT want pink. Pink is 'cute' and I am not a 'cute' person. He assured me that I would be happy with these and since he was giving me such a good price I accepted.

These flowers are unbelievably beautiful. I would never have thought that I would like a mass of pink flowers along the front of my house. They are huge and what a bright and pretty display they put on starting in February when everything else is brown cold and dreary.

The birds are now taking over the yard much to my delight. I switched from thistle and black oil sunflower over to a cheap bulk mixture. I can't believe what a difference that it made. We have eastern bluebirds, scads of robins, tufted titmouse, chickadees, I don't know all the different kinds of wrenns, wood peckers, and today I saw several doves. Also some kind of very small blackbird, cute and not at all aggressive like the bigger ones seem to be.

I don't know if I mentioned that I now have a very small (6x8) unheated greenhouse. It was a gift from my father in law. I was not sure that it would do very well but I now have two decent sized tomato plants, about 15 agave babies, portulaca seedlings, cypress vine seedlings, a strawberry plant with several small strawberries on it and some water plants (lilies and so forth).

As for coffee, my DD gave me a basket of Starbucks coffees for Valentine's day and it also had some Starbucks cocoa powder in it. I found that I really like the cocoa powder but the Starbucks not so much. Someone on this forum (was it eloise?) got me started on Yuban and I really like it the best.

Well, that is quite enough for a first post I think, I'm about out of breath.


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Hello, Gurley. I thought a CS-III was about due and thank you for starting it. This morning I did post in CS-II only due to subject matter. I hope it was the sensible thing to do. Regards to all, Gene

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 10:59AM
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And a wonderful Sunday morning it is!!

I received an email from daughter in Blacksburg a little earlier this AM - it's snowing there, too. DD is on pins and needles waiting for tomorrow morning when VA Tech will post on their web site whether her husband (and others)gets an appointment for next year's internship and where it will be. I just hope and pray they get to stay on the east coast somewhere.

Gene, railroad ties are not a good idea for surrounding your vegetable garden. Treated type woods should never be used due to the leaching out of undesirable chemicals, lead, etc.
Individual plastic or clay containers would be better - or another great thing is if you can find the outside hard plastic wall of a backyard pool - you know, the kind that has a separate removable/replaceable liner. They are usually about 18-24 inches deep and 12-15 feet in diameter. Some people use the regular childrens wading pools, but I find most of them too shallow for veggie growing - that is, unless one cuts the bottom out so roots can go deeper. Untreated wood is fine, but won't hold up more than a couple of years before beginning to fall apart.

Growing up on a farm in N.C. I remember my father and grandfather talking about planting by the signs. I recall that some things couldn't be planted until after Easter, some things absolutely HAD to be planted on Good Friday, etc., etc.... Must have worked for them as they were quite successful farmers. You could probably find a copy of the Old Farmers Almanac at most any feed/seed store, perhaps Lowe's has them. Even if you aren't interested in planting by the signs, it has some interesting reading.

gurley, it is great to see you back and seemingly in rare form!! We all really do enjoy your posts so much, but we also understand when one needs to be "away" from others.
(BTW, I sent you an email thru GW - so check your junk mail today, unless you have GW in your approved senders.)

I've been reading Walt Whitman this morning. Finally read all the way through "Song of Myself". His "Longings For Home" is one of my favorites = all about the rivers, swamps, bayous, etc of the South. Somewhere I have the book "Leaves of Grass". I loaned it to my mother a few years ago, so it is probably still in her old house - (we have never been able to bring ourselves to go thru things there.)

My You've Got Mail neon sign just flased across the monitor and I checked to see who - It's the Inn at Iris Meadows. I emailed Becky earlier about a reservation - her email is long so let me go read it.

Will post again later today perhaps.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 1:07PM
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It is now later today...........There is no such thing as coincidence.............

Gene, you posted earlier this morning about seeing the article in todays Asheville Citizen-Times about planting by signs. Then a few minutes later I got an email from the Meadows - seems my friend was reading the same article and just had to tell me about it. She mentioned there's a website shown in the article where you can buy the calendars to use as your planting guides - and just for general info on what position the Zodiac signs are in.

We got up to 58 degrees today - hard freeze expected for tonight - then a warmup starting tomorrow.

Tomorrow I must make a trip into town. I have a doctor's appt (to see if he thinks I need a prescribed sleep aid), plus I need to pick up a few grocery items, get dog and cat food. I really need to get a haircut but I think I'll put that off a while yet. Also, I MUST remember to by the library for a stack of reading material. Any suggestions???

Had I mentioned previously that I'm having cataract surgery later this month? Had it done on one eye 3 years ago, so I am not apprehensive about it.

Having read that several of you like the Yuban coffee, I want to pick some of that up tomorrow also. I still have some Starbucks from Christmas I really should finish up first.

Hope everyone has a wonderful upcoming week. Don't sweat the small stuff.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 7:16PM
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Good Monday morning all,

Sorry to keep following my own posts. The call came at 8:15 this morning. Daughter and her husband will be going to California. We were all so afraid of that. I have posted over at the Kitchen Table because they have so many more members than here. Please read that post for additional info.

eloise - I don't know where you live in CA but do you have any input? Costs of living on the West Coast are going to be much higher than they are used to. SIL will be doing a 3 year residency at the Univ of CA at Davis. DD will have to find a job.

I will check in later - have to run now. Doctor's appt at 11:30. I may not get to all the other things I had planned to do today.

My heart is heavy.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 10:08AM
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gerry, I didn't get an e-mail from you.

Sorry to hear about your DD having to move. But, on the bright side, might it be an opportunity for you to travel? I do like CA as a place to visit - lived there for a couple of years but home is here :-).

Gene, my favorites to plant for success in the garden are zuchinni, tomato, and eggplant. All types of squash seem to be suseptable to mildew in the Carolinas but last year I sprayed all daily with chammomile tea and they did great. So much so that I am still eating squash from last year - won't do that again! I am tired of it.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 7:11PM
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gurley, I did not use the email address that is shown in full as I was afraid it might be at your work. I used the second option and sent it thru Garden Web. I have read recently on others posts that emails sent thru GW seem to be getting lost.
Did you check your junk mail?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 7:20PM
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Gerry, I am sorry about your daughter moving to California, but hopefully you will be able to visit them here! When I vacationed in the NE states, my daughter asked me to bring back some realestate brochures for Maine. Apparently her and hubby had thought that when the kids were out of the house, they might want to live there. I tried not to think about it because by then, they might change their mind. Sometimes people visit or have an illusion of how beautiful it would be to live elsewhere, but when they do, they find it isn't that great.

I of course favor the University of California. Did I ever mentioned that I worked for UCLA for 32 1/2 years? Anyway, Davis is in northern California and I am in southern California, probably about 400 plus miles apart. It is beautiful up there north of San Francisco, and Napa Valley is closeby! The downside is that it is extremely expensive. My sister and her family moved to Santa Cruz for about two years, and they decided to move back to New Mexico where they have a home because it was very expensive here. Like anywhere else, they might be able to find a reasonable place to live. Maybe through the university, they might find a place.

I am trying to be positive, but Gerry, I too would have a heavy heart if my family ever moved away.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 9:34PM
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Hi, eloise - I think the children are going to be just fine. Daughter was upset at first having to be away from everyone and everything she has always known. But in two days time, they are beginning to be very excited and looking forward to this wonderful new adventure. They were really hoping to get the post at Univ. of Georgia so they could remain on the east coast. But after giving it some thought, this move to CA is probably the best thing ever for them. I understand that the Univ. of CA at Davis is a very prestigious school and that son-in-law had to be really smart to quality for that 3 year residency. SIL's mother says she will likely fly out every 6 months. I'm going to have to limit myself to once a year since I'm slightly more financially challenged!

So after a couple of hectic days life settles back to a type of normalcy. Tomorrow I have a dental appt in the AM, and plan to work in the gardens in the afternoon.

Murphy (the dog) ran away again today. He came home in about an hour, with a new little friend in tow. Fortunately, I knew where the little friend lived and chased him home through a path in the woods by throwing pine cones at him and yelling at
him to "go home". He was a cute little rascal. No, I didn't even try to hit him with the pine cones.

I found a book today by Garrison Keillor- "The Book of Guys" I just love that man. Managed to attend one of his concerts in the spring of 2004. He is just so funny - and has such a beautiful singing voice.

Gene, I'm working towards taking my "vacation" in early May up in Waynesville. I really want to be there for the "Art in the Gardens". That is going to be held on Sunday, May 13. Hopefully the irises will be at peak bloom. Will you consider being my guest? Perhaps coffee at the Panacea afterwards?.... Would give you a chance to meet some of the local folk, too.

Goodnight, all.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 11:02PM
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I have exhausted myself today. I had the day off and decided to start working on my new greenhouse renovation.

I have a screened-in room right off of a workshop and it has a metal roof. Today I took off the metal roof (I had to take a nap halfway through) and then painted all of the exposed wood with wood preservative. The next step is to re-roof it with translucent panels.

gerry, I searched Art In the Garden and couldn't find anything - that sounds like a fantastic trip. Someone here told me about a garden/flower show in Columbia on April 14th so I put it on my calendar a couple of months ago. I arranged for time off for that day - and now I can't find ANYTHING about a garden show on that date in Columbia!

I probably don't need anymore plants than what I already have anyway :-(.

The idea of art in the garden is intriguing though. I have seen some things that I really like and don't just look 'knick-knacky' but they are all way out of my price range.

Well tomorrow is going to be another busy day at work. Won't have another day off till the middle of next week or later. I guess I'd better start getting ready for it.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 7:17PM
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gurley - Art in the Gardens is an Iris Meadows thing. Last year was the very first. It is held in the gardens of the Inn at Iris Meadows and features art from local artists as well as around the country. Becky has a lot of artists who do the annual retreat thing there and participated in the art in the garden celebration last year and will again this year. We try to time it for when the irises are at peak bloom. The gardens are actually prettier later on in the season. We got great media coverage last year, newspapers, on-line, etc., and this year a regional magazine will carry the announcement of the event. In a few years, we hope it will develop into a whole town event. That's why I am planning to spend time up there in May. I will be going a few days ahead of the event to help get things ready. Several others of my sisters and a niece will also be there and we will all be working out butts off. A lot of the neighboring folks chip in and help, too. Some provide extra event parking. The long time residents of the area seem to share ownership of the old place.
I have tried not to talk too much about the place,mentioning only that I had known Becky all her life, etc. I guess it's confession time. Becky is one of my dear sisters. Without going into any details here, I'll just say it's a aorta family business. I'll email you some web sites to visit - zillions of pictures, etc. They are open right now for public view. You can also google The Inn at Iris Meadows for general information and pictures.

At the rate I am going now I won't be able to stay up much later - am on my second glass of wine when one is usually my limit.

On the Columbia thing, have you check the Master Gardeners forum to see what they may have on it? Jeff Hayes should be able to give you some info. He lives somewhere up in that part of the state.

Heck, while you're at it, why don't you come to Waynesville that weekend, too. I've already invited Gene to come as my
guest. He lives relatively close by, and I am looking forward to meeting him. (No, Gene, you don't have to worry about getting screened!!) ...I think the inn is booked solid that weekend so a lot of us will be staying other places. I plan to bunk out on a air mattress in the innkeepers private quarters! At least for that weekend. Later on, I'll move into a guest suite. I plan to be there at least a couple of weeks. Becky and I are way overdue for a long visit.

You may be sore tomorrow from all that work today.


    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 9:29PM
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What a beautiful Inn! I looked it up on the net. I am such an introvert, don't know if I could ever do something like that. I used to travel a lot - been thru the Smokey Mountains. I've always preferred the East (I'm in Oklahoma, smack dab in the middle of the country) over the West, like California. While I have been to Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, never been further west from there. I love the East. Lived almost 2 years just west of Boston. So much rich history, so many great writers, Thoreau, Emerson, Dickinson, Frost, Longfellow, I can see how they were inspired by life in that area.

I ask myself sometimes, how did I end up in Oklahoma? I'm from Kansas (southeast where it's pretty). My ex went to law school at OU and my daughter was born here (my son was born in Fort Madison, Iowa), and she's pretty much a stickler for staying in Oklahoma, so I had to come back, after living in the East and then Dallas, and now OKC.

I've been out the yard doing a bit of cleanup and trying to get ready for plants I ordered - mostly native things. The summer heat is just so awful here - last year 2 months of 100+ temps - I'm trying to xeriscape as much as possible with natives for my butterflies.

I got my pop-up tent yesterday in the mail - it's HUGE. About 6x6x6. Didn't sound that big to me when I ordered it, but it IS! This is for raising my butterflies and keeping them safe from wasps and other predators. I can just put potted plants inside it, and since it is mesh, sun will shine through and nasty bugs will stay out. I don't kill the nasty bugs because all in all, Mother Nature does things for a reason. I love to let the praying mantids crawl on my hands, love the caterpillars and crawlies. So, I can just remove the eggs and tiny hatchling caterpillars from the plants in the garden and put them in the tent.

It's been so nice here - 60s and 70s for the last couple of weeks and this week, too. I know I'll be shocked when we get that last spell of cold weather! Everything is growing and leafing out. I need to get two more bags of chicken manure, some Neptune and alfalfa pellets. My daffs are blooming as are the hyacinths, and the lilies are poking their little heads out of the ground. Clematis is leafing out, I've done some pruning on the old contorted mulberry tree and the Japanese Maple. I don't think one of my azaleas made it thru the winter, darn it. Had it been older, I think it would have made it, but it is only 2 years old. My older azaleas are fine.

I have tons of seedlings up from my winter sowing.

Gurley, are you putting translucent roofing on your workshop so you can grow plants in there?


    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 10:31AM
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Good Sunday Morning, Folks - I had some old, run of the mill, maple trees cut back significantly. At the time I was unsure if I wanted them taken down or not. I still don't know. But, when one doesn't see small branches with last year's bud knobs there's just no where for the buds to begin. Am I right?

I appreciate information about the RR ties. You certainly make sense. The creosote (sp?) or whatever with which they treat them would only hurt. I like the whisky barrel idea, too. I also like the swimming pool, thing. With all of the sage advice and the perkiness everyone seems to have developed about the planting season it should rub off on others. I hope so.

Interesting information about the B&B, Gerry. Last year it seems I was by Panecea on a Sunday and it was closed. Maybe out of season or maybe it was another day. I hope we meet.

Last week I walked the Asheville Municipal Course with a golfing friend and, on Thursday, our regular foursome played Glen Cannon at Pisgah Forest. We rode but, after teeing off, I sometimes grab the clubs I need to get to the green and walk. As often as not it slows down the group and some riding is a have to. Both days I played were pleasant. It's been six months or so since I walked a course. What is it they said about no pain - no gain? The back nine at Municipal is hills and valleys. It gets the old heart beating faster and lungs working harder. Although I have a tough time resting afterwards I know it's still worth the effort.

Tents for butterflies and friendly insects? Renovation of greenhouses? And, so on? I'm definitely proud of you folks. It's a lot of food for thought.

At times pass-through e-mails are hardly worth the effort it takes to delete them. But, on the other hand there's a morsel of thought that the brain sometimes seems to grab. Reecently, one said if they were going to develop memory loss problems they hoped it only had to do with their enemies.

I hope everyone is doing well and that the life you're living is better than you anticipated. Regards, Gene

    Bookmark   March 11, 2007 at 11:42AM
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Gene - I just thought of another container idea that I've used in the past and that is those aluminum tubs that you often see stocked with ice and drinks/beer. I've planted in them before. Actually, my office bought some for the office picnic and they let me have those, but they're not as expensive as the half whiskey barrels. You can find them at Home Depot or Lowe's.

I even went so far as to make a bog garden out of one of them, sunk it in the ground, filled with soil and it stays pretty boggy.

I bought my tent on ebay, upon a suggestion from a friend who had purchased hers from the same seller. I rarely get anything from ebay. That was only my second purchase - the first was some caracala seeds that I "thought" I wanted, then ended up giving away.....too much trouble.

Anyway, the popup tent was $30 plus shipping ($15), so I thought it was a pretty good deal because I'd been searching the net for something and they were at least $75 and up.

Actually, it is a "paint ball" tent with a bit of camoflauge design on it, but 3 sides are mesh. You can just pop it over your butterfly plants to protect them, or can use a mini-cold house for starting and growing plants.

It's black mesh, so will hold the heat early in the year.

If you are thinking of building a raised bed, don't used pressure treated lumbar if you plan to grow edibles or butterfly plants, as the chemicals leach into the soil.

I've been trying to ID some of the birds in the yard this time of year, like Cedar Waxwings (never seen them here before) and other tiny little things that I have no clue what they are. I must invest in a pair of binoculars. I guess you have to be old like me to appreciate the critters in the garden. I put out some fruit bait for the Mourning Cloak and Goatweed Leafwing butterflies, and the possum eats it overnight. That's okay, but I just need to get to the store for more rotting bananas.....very soon.

Also plan on getting into moth watching this year. I will hang a white sheet backlit by a black light after dark, and check it to see how many and what species of moth are attracted to it. The sphinx moths are quite fascinating to me. If one plants the long-tubed flowers like daturas, brugmansias, nicotianas, etc., they are the only insect capable of pollinating them, because their probiscus can be up to 6 or 7" long. I raised a few last summer, and still have hummingbird clearwing sphinx moths hibernating in cocoons in the fridge. My photos and documentation of several moth species' presence in Oklahoma are reflected on Bill Oehlke's website, a nationally known research database.

Some of these caterpillars are probably well known to you - like the tomato (manduca quinquemaculata) and tobacco (manduca sexta) sphinx moths that are frequently found on tomatos. Many people are now realizing the benefit of having these moths in the garden, and are growing separate, less desirable, tomato plants to move them to when they find them on their desirable plants.

My winter sown seedlings are popping up like crazy right now. I grew several species of milkweed (asclepias) from seed.

I'm ready to start photographing the butterflies now, so I carry my digital with me whenever I'm outside. Don't want to miss them as they are still infrequent locally, but a few here and there.

Anyone watching American Idol - such an inane pasttime, I know, but I love it.


    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 9:04AM
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Good Morning, Folks. Have you ever fumbled with the cotton in a small mouth medicine bottle. You barely reach it and pull. What comes out is just a small piece so you get tweezers or the like to extract the rest. Years and years ago I was doing the same and it was one of those "why didn't I think of that before, or, why has no one ever told me to do it this way" moments. Rather than trying to extract the cotton by pulling I grabbed it and began twisting the bottle. The cotton turns into string and yanking it out is a piece of cake. I'm sure everyone else in the world knows about this remedy but I just thought I'd pass it along.

Gerry, I've not been to Waynesville lately. We played Maggie Valley Country Club yesterday and they're in a little different direction. Also, it was not my turn to drive. I'm looking forward to getting by the B&B just to see what it is. A friend who lived on Love Lane died a few years back. His wife is still there. I'd visited him on quite a number of occasions but don't recall your sister's place. It seems I recalling him speak of a lodge that was on one of the cutoff streets. Did the B&B have a different name at one time? Yesterday it was in the mid 70's and if you sister has early blooming plants they won't wait until you get here.

The single life seems more expensive at times, doesn't it. I have a car; a truck; and a Miata. I have an umbrella insurance policy for coverage beyond what car insurance covers. However, the insurance company requires the car insurance to have at least $300,000 coverage before they will write the umbrella policy. That makes my car insurance almost double, I think. That seems unfair. Then, I have my Miata that I normally tagged from May 1 to Oct 31. The bottom line is that part of the year there's three vehicles but one driver. However, the inflated car insurance is required for all three. Sorry about the complaining. With the warm weather here I was just thinking of tagging the Miata now rather than wait until May.

I have six foot erronomous (sp?) bushes next to a walk way. I'd not trimmed them for years but I did a couple of days ago. The stems are so strong if someone brushes again them as they come up the walk way they'll really get scratched or jabbed. I don't guess there's any solution other than cutting them back further or cutting them down completely.

I'd not read the "what if" topic under singles until this morning. The person's first question was never discussed. I think it related to what if a person is by themself and gets choked on something that must be dislodged to live. Any thoughts?

Eight o'clock coffee's ad states they only use arabica coffee beans which is good. Robusta is a lesser desired coffee beans and is used by most manufacturers. I've never seen anyone say they use robusta on their packaging. So, if it says nothing about using arabica then one can expect they are drinking robusta.

I hope everyone is enjoying a bit of spring. Regards, Gene

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 10:14AM
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Gene - I seldom think about cotton stuffed in medicine bottles - don't really see much of that anymore, though I suppose some of the older pharmacists still do it. I didn't know about twisting it out, always relied on the tweezers.

Went into town for some supplies for the dogs this morning. They needed new collars, a 3 months supply of flea and tick medicine, and one needed a new leash. Pets can get expensive!!! They DID NOT get a new Frisbee!!

After that trip to town, I don't think I will attempt to drive anymore for awhile. It seemed as if I were driving in a heavy fog or a sandstorm. My vision has deteriorated quite rapidly recently. Thank goodness I'll be getting cataract surgery end of this month. I had it on my left eye in Jan. 2004, so I don't know why the sight is so bad in that eye. In fact, it's worse now than it was when I had the surgery done a little over 3 years ago. Just last year I passed the eye test at the DMV without my glasses with a 20/40. I wonder if it's possible for an implanted lens to move out of place? I'm glad I can make the text larger on the monitor - at least I can read THAT!

Yes, the Inn used to have another name, but I'm having a senior moment right now and can't think of it. It was closed for awhile for renovations in 2003. G. & B. opened it in the fall of 2004 (I think) under new ownership, new name, new ideas, new decor, etc. etc.

It has been 82 degrees both yesterday and today. Slight cooling trend will begin Friday and then just in the 60's most of the weekend - not cold enough to do any harm, though it may slow some bloom. My azaleas should be in peak bloom in a few days. Seems every time I walk outside there's more color. Daffodils are still going crazy and late ones have not even started blooming yet. Yes, the "Almost Summer" season is beginning.

Got a new haircut while I was in town today also. I think it's the best one I have had in many years. I noticed that since it's cut much shorter, it seems to be more gray than white now. Then I remembered my mother used to say a person's hair always turned darker just before they died!! So I buried that thought in a hurry.

Give the bushes along the walkway a week or so and new little branches will be growing out to soften the stubbles you have now.

Has anyone ever tried growing tomatoes upside down? I know you likely have seen the hanging planters they have for sale for them. I want to do a couple or three using 5 gallon buckets - cut a hole in the bottom to place the plant, finish filling the bucket with soil, then plant basil or other herb on top and hang it up to grow with the tomato plant growing out the bottom. Sure wouldn't be bothered by cut worms or soil borne fungus diseases. I am thinking it would be best to hang the bucket before planting it - then plant using a ladder if needed. Would need a lightweight potting mixture, and a very nearby source of water as they would dry out very quickly.

Susan, I can't seem to get into the raising of butterflies, though I do maintain a butterfly garden - and I plant lots of dill for the caterpillars every year. Thank you for helping to save our Monarchs, as well as other species.

I wonder if gurley finished the renovation of her greenhouse.

Coffee and porch time.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 6:15PM
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Good morning all. It is 5 AM, and I am on my second cup of coffee. Each morning, I have coffee in my mug (travel). I consider this one cup, and not until today did I actually measure to see how many cups my mug holds - two!

Murphy the dog running away again. One of my grandkids' dogs, Patootie (cocker spaniel), will run away any chance she gets. When they lived with me, Patootie ran away several times and each time it was such an ordeal finding her. One time after we had given up all hope of finding her, I decided to walk around several blocks from my house posting more pictures of her. As I got closer to my home, I saw a little girl on a swing and asked if by chance she had seen the dog. She had, and took me to down several houses to a garage where there were several cages and dogs in them! The little girl asked me if there was a reward, and said she splits it with the people that live there. I don't know why they had all those dogs in cages unless they are a rescue house!? Then, I got my car and drove around taking down all the signs I had just posted up.

Wow Gene, three cars? It must get expensive insuring all three. I have one SUV, a Jeep which can serve as truck and car, maybe a sports car if I recline my seat a bit, LOL!

So gurley, if you don't mind my asking, what is your first name? You sure are ambitious working on a greenhouse. Sounds like heavy-duty work.

I get tons of butterflies, hummingbirds and bees in my yard because of the flowers, especially around my passiflora 'Incense'. Of course, I don't know the names other the Monarch butterflies and Ana hummingbirds.

I keep trying to talk myself into putting up my home for sale. I live close to a school and am just sick of all the mess the kids leave behind. There are street vendors that park themselves close to the school and when the kids get out, they buy candy, ice cream, corn on the cob, etc., and just drop the wrappers on the ground that end up in my yard of in front of my yard. Their parents are no better. I have yelled at a couple of women who cut my flowers as they walk by, and men who threw their styrofoam coffee cups into my plants as they wait for their kids to get out of school. When I worked, at least I didn't see all these inconsiderate people, just the mess they created. I love the space I have, but how can one enjoy that when others destroy what you work on so hard to make beautiful. I think my biggest concern is that my home will sell before I found another and I have TONS of plants that I am taking with me, LOL! I think I should start now taking samples of the plants I want and putting them in containers.

Have a fantastic weekend!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2007 at 9:02AM
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Good Saturday Morning, Folks. There are matters encountered by singles that are a bit unique. Sorry about complaining about the vehicles, y'all. I've just never found it easy to put a half ton of mulch in my SUV (LOL).

Living a single life is tough, at least for many of us. If we can do something to generate a moment, hour, or day to offset a rather dismal existant, why not! I guess that's why I keep the Miata. So, you're saying keep it but shut up about how much it costs? Well said.

Gerry, was the B&B formerly called something like The Heath House? I don't know why the name comes to mind. I thought it related to some type of organization. I hope the wind did not affect any flowers that were up. Of course our Western NC winds don't compare to many places but
yesterday and last night we knew they were here.

I live about 75 miles from Grandfather Mountain. They've recently installed new weather equipment. A number of years ago winds at one of the old weather station, that was also designed to record speed, was blown away. It's been said it was over 200 mph. Better there than here.

I appreciate your information about the bushes, Gerry. I may try to cut them away from the side walk just a little more. They seem to be hearty and maybe they will survive.

I like the idea of growing tomatoes upside down. Does one put a net around the base of the stalk to keep the soil in the container? I don't know anyone who has done this but I've seen on TV where they experiment with growing a lot of things that way.

This morning's news was about pet food. I certainly hope all of my THS friend's pets are okay.

I need to make a grocery store run today. I've been drinking Millstone Columbian which is not bad at all. I think I'll get Eight O'clock Columbian. I'm not sure if I've tried that one. Maybe I can find it in a half or quarter size so I can get to something else a little faster.

I hope everyone is doing well. Regards, Gene

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 9:26AM
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Hope I'm not butting in here but I do enjoy reading the posts here now and then and I know there are several if not many animal lovers on this forum. Gene in the above post mentioned the animal food recall story. Here is the link to check out. Please check the list to be sure you don't have any. The outlets are major retailers & food chains so it's not a small number of food brands listed. Hope all is well with each of you.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 10:48AM
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Good morning and a HAPPY ST PAT'S DAY to all,

Brrrrr - After all the warm days we've been having, this morning is downright chilly for this part of the world..... It seems we nearly always have a couple of cool days in May. I recall the old folks calling it "Blackberry Winter". Wonder if that was because the wild blackberries were in bloom?

Ah, the wearing of the green - I'm still in pj's, but soon as I get up from here I will don my kelly green tee.

We used to go to "The Paddock" (restaurant) for dinner on St. Pat's Day.

I don't think it was called Heath House, Gene. I keep wanting to say it was called Paradise Inn or something similar. It was closed for awhile between previous owners and the Fains. I know some Welch's lived there once, and one of the rooms is named after a Mrs. Barber who may have been a resident at some time. I have the history stored here in my computer somewhere but can't seem to find it. It may have been lost when I had the crash... Ah, I just found this-- -an article copied from the Citizen-Times, August, 2005.It says the house was build in 1907 for J.C. Arnold, but has changed hands many times over the years. It stood vacant for 20 years, before being purchased by Tim Welch, a local contractor,who bought the old house "that once stood as a fine example of early 20th century Greek revival architecture"
Welch completely restored the old house and he and his family lived there for many years before moving to Laurel Ridge... I guess it could have been called the Arnold House, too, at some time or other. In fact, that seems to tinkle a bell in my gray matter.

I will be out of town a couple of days next week.

Gene, you may email me at the address shown on My Page. I would send you one through Garden Web, but I don't think they do that anymore - at least I've read (and experienced) complaints about them not being forwarded on by GW. Perhaps they have just discontinued that service. Or you may use my web-based email: .

eloise - things are going smoothly for the children's move to California. Son-in-law has discovered a young man he went to vet school with is doing a surgery residency at UCDavis, so he is helping them out on that end so far as finding suitable housing. They do have to live within 15 minutes drive time of the university. That stipulation is in bold print in SIL's contract. DD and husband have decided to do the POD thing with their moving. It's more expensive than doing it themselves with a U-Haul, but a lot less hassle. That way, they can ship their things ahead of time, and then take a "vacation" drive out there. They are only planning to take one vehicle, so they can travel in the same one. The University is mailing DD a package with employment application. They have openings for RVT's, so she is excited about the prospect of working there.

Have a wonderful Shamrock day and may the leprechauns be near you to spread luck along the way.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 10:54AM
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Welcome Sanantoniorose - please come hang out, you are not butting in at all!

Gene, I just got back from the grocery and picked up two large cans of Yuban. I am hooked on it now. I am just about finished with the Starbucks that my DH bought me. I figured I might as well drink it but have found I really prefer the Yuban - I am making a fresh pot at this very moment.

Lots of stuff going on here. I am doing a chemotherapy (cream) treatment on my face. I am on day 4 and, so far, absolutely no reaction. This is a good thing. If I am lucky there will be nothing there. My face itches but not even the smallest amount of redness or spotting, that is outside of my normal age-spots :-). I have to be careful not to let any sunlight on my face so I have dragged all of my big floppy hats out for working in the yard.

The chicks are doing well, have to get started on the coop soon. The whole thing will have to be bordered with a hot-wire. I lost another pet (rabbit this time) to the loose dogs. I will not rant about that right now.

Lots and lots of stuff to do in the yard. I really want to try the upside down tomatoes too. I have seen it a lot but never tried it. This is my year to try and have a real go with tomatoes - meaning I will put some effort into it as opposed to just setting them out and throwing a little water on them like I usually do.

gerry, is The Paddock that you are referring to you in Camden S.C.?

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 11:17AM
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gurley -My mind was really rambling when I wrote that sentence about the Paddock.

Yes, I lived in Camden a few years as I think I have previously mentioned, and the Paddock was one of our favorite spots to go for dinner and drinks. Camden was so small it didn't have much selection - but the Paddock had atmosphere. Oh, dear - here I go down Memory Lane again!!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 11:44AM
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a musing moment:

Those things that are just beyond my grasp seem to be the things that I work hardest for and treasure the most.

Thyme is one of those things. It doesn't like my sticky South Carolina midlands climate. I have tried different cultivars, planting in pots, spent money on different mediums to plant it in. To no avail. Thyme just does not want to be a part of my garden.

Yesterday as I walked into my under-construction-greenhouse I noticed a tiny little sprig of new growth in an out-of-the-way place that I normally keep sprayed for weeds. Tucked in between crushed concrete and a landscape timber there is the tiniest little Thyme!

Never mind that I have an over abundance of cannas, bananas, elephant ears, mint and rosemary. So many plants that I have to throw away and give away each year. Those I do not cherish as much as this one fickle and hard to please little patch of Thyme.

I had given up hope but there, in the most unlikely place, I found it again.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 10:15AM
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There truly is much joy in the small treasures and pleasures that we get to experience now and then.

Yesterday yours was in discovering that tiny sprig of thyme. Yesterday mine was in receiving a box of goodies from a sister. She returned two books borrowed years ago and in the package she stuck a bar of Ghirardelli intense dark chocolate which she knows I love, a bag of Quinoa which I heretofore have been able to find only at health food stores, a selection of teas, a package of dried cherries, a bag of Newman's Own organic coffee "Nell's Breakfast Blend", of which I am having a cup even as I type.

Seemingly such small things -- but they make the heart sing.

Have a good day.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 11:21AM
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Thank you for the welcome Gurley, it's very much appreciated & I look forward to adding my musings of a sort in the future from time to time. Thanks again and have a good evening.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 8:59PM
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Good morn'all, I am new to this so please bear with me till I get the hang of it.LOL.I think everyone can use more friends and ya'll sound like people that I'd like to call friends.I live alone and work part time so I'm mostly on here at night but it's cold here (MS>) this morn. and I can't get started so I have been reading on here.I feel like I'm evesdropping on ya'll.LOL Hope you don't mind.Have a good day.Sue

    Bookmark   March 19, 2007 at 10:28AM
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HI SUE IN MS! It's cold here too (in S.C.).

Welcome. I evesdrop a lot myself when I'm not in the mood to chat. You can talk to others or talk to yourself here. And you don't have to drink coffee either - I think they also serve tea and pop/soda :-).

This morning is the beginning of a weeks vacation at home. I could SOOOO be retired! I have so many things that I like to do at home. For the morning I have promised myself that I will do housecleaning stuff and then go out and play in the yard. Here it is almost 11 am and other than a couple loads of laundry I don't think I have made much progress.

Dusting here I come!!!! (yuck).

    Bookmark   March 19, 2007 at 10:49AM
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Hello Sue, gurley, Rose, eloise, Gene, and all you other good folk,

Today has been a long day. Made a trip approximately 75 miles away to get a second opinion on some oral surgery my local dentist was insisting upon. Even got a third opinion. I am so glad I did - turns out it is not necessary at all, according to both dentists. Whew! I sure did not want someone carving in the roof of my mouth. Needless to say, I have this day changed dentists. Yes, it's a long way to drive, but when one has dentures, one seldom needs to go to a dentist!! :0)

I hope last night's frost was our last for this area. I am so ready for shorts and tank tops.

Mosquitoes (sp?) are beginning to hatch. Fortunately I use a flea and tick medication for the dogs that also contains a mosquito repellant. Of course they are on heartworm preventative, but I still don't relish the thought of their ears and noses being bitten when they are outside. As the weather warms they will spend less and less time in the yard, and more time in air conditioned comfort....Some times I wonder what it would be like not to have pets that have to be cared for like children: fed, bathed, brushed, shots, etc., etc., etc. And then I look into their bright little faces and see the unconditional love I have never experienced from another human. Do we keep pets because we crave that adoration? Of course parents love their children, but is it truly unconditional? Do they sometimes want/expect more than than their child is capable of? When our children are very young their love is not unconditional - children are adorable self-centered little creatures. Later, they learn that parents do make mistakes, they can have clay feet, so can our love for a parent ever be unconditional? And what of our lovers/husbands/wives/SO's ?

I guess in this world it's enough to know that we love, and that we are loved, and that nobody is perfect... To cop a line from Desiderata -- With all it's sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2007 at 7:39PM
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Today is a time for reflection for me.
On Tuesday my uncle passed away at the tender age of 65. He outlived all of the other men of that line - my father and grandfather, and all of the other men before them never made out out of their 50s.

Every single memory that I have of Uncle Larry holds a smile. Always had a joke to tell, like to kid around all of the time. He was never too busy to fix a toy for a child or listen to an elderly person. My aunt tells me that in the two days since his death more and more stories are coming in about the things that he did for people that no one knew about. Small things like mowing and placing flowers at the gravesite of an aging widow's loved one. Fixing a bicycle for a child he saw in the parking lot of a store. Helping a neighbor with a plumbing problem.

I was a difficult child with many problems at home. But when I was with my Uncle Larry I was as normal as his own children and he made me feel like I was just as special to him as they were.

Each life event holds a lesson, an opportunity to learn and grow. In my Uncle Larry's passing I believe that I have been given an opportunity to become a better person through love, acceptance, and laughter by following his example. A gift he gave to me that I feel I must pass on to others.

I only hope I'm up to the task.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 6:20AM
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Just out of curosity, Gerry1117. Did your dentist recommend removing a bump in the roof of your mouth for better fitting dentures? Just the thought of that would give me the heebie jeebies. My mothers' dentist recommended she do that and she of course declined. I'm not aware of her getting a second opinion though.

It's already hot and humid here in S. Texas. It's going to be a long hot summer. One of my reasons for not retiring. Couldn't afford the cooling bill for 24 hour a day a/c. It's bad enough just running the ac at night.

I really need to get my front flower beds re-worked this year. I would like to put in a water feature for the hummers and butterflies (and also for me, the soothing sound of running water) Maybe I can get to it this week-end. I had some foundation work done in the fall and those beds were pretty much destroyed. I better get a move on if I want blooming plants for the critters this year.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 10:57AM
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Dear Gurley,

Your Uncle Larry must have been a wonderful person and I know you were blessed to have him when you needed him. I'm sorry he is gone but I hope the pleasant, sweet times he shared with you keep coming back in memories for you to savor.

You wrote a lovely tribute to him and whatever he gave you to pass on to others by following his example (although I don't know you, nor you me) I feel safe saying I'm sure you're more than "up to the task".

God Bless,

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 2:44PM
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Re. expense of three cars, not quite intended that way Chandler :-) But, you are right about keeping the Miata. I used to have a Mazda RX7 at one time, and just loved that "sports car" until some guy with a 50 some Chevy ran into me and totaled my car. Nothing happened to his car; those older cars sure were made better than today's cars. It happened on a Friday and Saturday morning, I 'allowed' myself to feel sorry for myself and cried for a few minutes. Then, I washed up and went to the dealer and bought my first Jeep Cherokee and have stayed with this make since. What I would really love to have is a Ferrari and a Hummer, LOL! My grandkids think it funny that I would want such cars at "my age"!

Gurley, glad you like the Yuban. I would love to get some baby chicks, but if I decide to sell my home, I most likely won't find a property where I can take them with me. I currently have two hens (Americanas). Sorry about your uncle.

Amazing how the topic of mosquitoes got you asking all those questions Gerry, LOL! I myself do not have pets. Or maybe I do, if I count my two hens, four finches, one cockatiel, and mosquito fishes in my half-whiskey barrel pond. I am guilty of conditional love. When I retired, I bought a Shi Tzu puppy, but quickly found that I could not give it the attention it needed. Good thing my family loved her and took her before she ended up really having a "dog's life" with me.

I hate mosquito and flea season, BECAUSE they love me! I tell people that if a dog and myself are walking together, the flea will ignore the dog and jump on me instead. I can walk outside and get bit by fleas possibly left behind by stray cats, dogs, squirrels, etc. And, I cannot be outside at dusk or else be attacked by mosquitoes.

Well you all have a fantastic weekend. I hope to be able to do some gardening before it starts getting too hot here.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 8:42AM
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gurley, I was very touched by what you wrote about your Uncle Larry. SA Rose said it perfectly in her post. I have a feeling that this man made an impact in your life as a child that not even you fully realize yet. He really must have been a wonderful man.

Yes, pris, my local dentist would not do a denture unless I agreed to have surgery on that bony overgrowth in top of my mouth. I needed a new upper denture and he said unless I had it removed there would be no suction to hold the denture in place. Strange, the old one worked just fine! He's getting a bit aged and probably needs to retire. Everyone knows (who wears dentures) that suction is aided by the soft palette, not the hard bony palette, and so long as it's not really oversized (mine is very small), there is no problem. So... to make a long story shorter, I have spent this whole week it seems in the new dentist's chair. I already had a partial on the bottom, but x-rays showed some more dead teeth and abcesses in the lower jaw, so he thought I might have to go to a full denture on bottom also. Turns out, he was able to save 4 teeth, so I can still use a partial. He also did a lot of bone grafting in my lower jaw - using that material called Biogran, which hardens to form synthetic bone. I will finish up next week.

Yesterday was an extremely difficult day for me. Not only was I undergoing all that dental surgery, the day itself marked another milestone in my life. It was the 25th anniversary of my oldest son's death. It's always a sad day for me, but for some reason the 10th year was very difficult
(being a decade), then this year by it being the quarter of a century mark.

eloise - It appears that here, too, we may be jumping right into summertime with the temperatures. As I have said before, here in the South Carolina Low Country, we really do have 4 seasons: Almost Summer (which is what we have now), Summer, Still Summer and Christmas. Heat, rain, drought, mosquitoes, alligators - I still love every minute of it.

Have a wonderful "almost summer" day.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 1:36PM
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You wrote a fantastic tribute to your Uncle. It would be nice if you could write out some of these stories and put them in a binder.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 3:05PM
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Good morning all.

Have a nice day planned ahead; going to Los Angeles to meet a friend for lunch, then a movie. We have the same birthdate in February, but have not been able to get together to celebrate until today.

Gerry, I wanted to send you a personal email, but see that your email address isn't listed. Just wanted to give you a hug and to tell you that I understand your loss. In 1989, I too had my son taken and find some dates hard to deal. Also, I hope your dental work is over quickly, and successfully.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2007 at 8:45AM
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eloise - Thank you for your kind words.

Yes, the dental work is going fine. Amazingly, it has been pain free and the worst is over.

My e-mail should still be listed. I had notified GW that I did not want it shown, but I guess that's not an option. How-ever if you ever want to e-mail me, you can use this address:

How was your trip into town? I'm staying behind closed doors until they get my new dentures in on Monday. Right now, I look like a toothless old hag!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2007 at 4:29PM
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Morning all. I was tired from yesterday and so stayed in bed until almost 7:30 AM! This is late for me as I usually get up between 4-5 AM. I think I ate to much junk food yesterday.

Had a wonderful time in L.A. We ate at a Japanese restaurant, then went to see the movie, Premonition, with Sandra Bullock. I love her movies, but this one was a bit slow starting. Although we had just eaten and were quite full, we still had to get popcorn, soda and M&Ms -- a must when going to the movies. Afterwards we walked around a bit at what is known as "The Grove". We went to the Farmer's Market on Fairfax, windowshopping at a couple of stores, stopped to see the water fountain and then to hear a small jazz band that was playing outdoors. Although my friend lives in this great neighborhood that also includes walking distance to the La Brea Tar Pits and the L.A. County Museum, I would not like to live in an apartment.

Gerry, well soon you will be all put together again!

Happy Sunday to all.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2007 at 11:28AM
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Good evening, everyone,

I know most of you are probably familiar with the "When I Am An Old Woman, I Shall Wear Purple......" In fact, I believe I posted it a few months back on the Coffee Shop II.
Today, I found "When I Am An Old Man, I will Wear Plaid...."
and I would like to share it with you. I had never read it before today, though it shows it as having been first published in 1991.

"When I am an old man I will wear plaid and a pink tie with a hula girl that wiggles when I walk. I'll go to the beach in my black socks and high-top tennies and admire the ladies through my one-way mirrored sunglasses. I shall spend my children's inheritance on fast horses, fast cars, and slow women and I will say I have no money for birthday gifts. I will turn the TV on as loudly as I want and watch football games in my boxer shorts. I'll drive my RV everywhere in search of a fifteen cent cup of coffee and piece of pie. I will give the waitress my phone number and tip her well if she takes it. I'll call my children collect from exotic places and say, "Send money. I'm learning to wind surf."

But now we must be responsible. We must pay our mortgage and taxes and mow our lawns. We must subscribe to The Wall Street Journal and put the kids through college. But maybe I ought to practice a little now so people who know me are not too shocked and surprised when suddenly...
I am old and start to wear plaid."

I am beginning to wear some purple so I guess the "When I am an old woman..." has had some effect on me. In fact I have been thinking about getting a new spring outfit in purple.

I was looking at my collection of straw hats - I have two natural straw, though one is beaded around the brim, one lime green, l red, and one purple. I just love straw hats and always have one on when I am outside in the sun - even in the winter months. I really need to buy a white one now.

Until next time.......

    Bookmark   March 25, 2007 at 7:02PM
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Happy Sunday night all,gerry, I too love hats of any kind and way too many for one woman.Our little :Jack's" resturant allows we senior citizens to play Bingo there every Wed. from 2 to 3 PM.If we bingo we win some food that "Jack's: sells.Mostly biscuits&Sausage or hambugers or combos.But they are really nice to do this for us.There is probably 25 or 30 of us and I almost always were some kind of hat so I'm known as the hat lady.Wish you were close enough that all of you could join us.I hope you all have had a good Sunday.A girl that I work with invited me to come to her home & grill steaks with her.It was very good,living alone I don't do much cooking any more and I miss it.I always liked to cook.Well, enough blabbling ,Good night all

    Bookmark   March 25, 2007 at 10:28PM
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Good morning all. Haven't been here for a "few days". Loved the tip on getting cotton out of medicine bottles! I have been known to struggle un-dexterously with that cotton for more than.....well....a few minutes. It calls to mind when I used to struggle to swallow medicine capsules. They tend to float around a lot and not want to go down the hatch. I finally figured out if you bend your head down when you take a sip of water, the pill floats to the back of your mouth and goes right down without any hijinks!

I've been working in the garden, removing dead branches, limbs, and stems; planting new host and nectar plants, and keeping an eye on my winter sown seed containers. It's been rainy here, and while we truly need all this rain, it's been cloudy for the last 10 days - not used to that in Oklahoma! Time for some sunshine.

I am trying to dig a new bed in my front yard, but it is going to be slow going. Having had back surgery, I can only do a small portion at a time. The woes of wearing purple! I have yet to color my hair blue, though.

Have seen a few butterflies in the yard. The daffodils, hyacinths, chionanthus, and crocus have all come and gone. The fernleaf bleeding heart (dicentra exima) is preparing to bloom, as well as a few others.

Cheers, everyone!


    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 10:52AM
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Good Saturday Morning, Everyone,

I just wanted to stop by this morning to wish our friend, Gene, (candler) a happy birthday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GENE, and best wishes for a wonderful, beautiful day.


    Bookmark   March 31, 2007 at 8:57AM
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Gerry, thanks for letting us know about Gene's B.D.

Happy Birthday Gene! Wishing you a glorious day to celebrate life!

Susan, I too used to have a hard time swallowing my vitamins/aspirins. I learned to poke them down my throat and then I was able to swallow them. Before, I would get full of water and the darn pills would just float around in my mouth so I would resort to chewing (ugh) them! Now, I am able to swallow them with no problem.

At the end of a cold. Two weeks ago, my grandson was home from school two days with it. Then Sunday, my sil, two granddaughters and I came down with colds. I mowed the back lawn last Wednesday and thought my lungs would explode, which just made me all the more decide to sell my home "because it is getting to be too much for me"! Yesterday, I mowed the front lawn and it went much easier, which then made me think that I can still manage this property -- feeling better from the cold!

Met with an attorney yesterday about a living trust. This is way overdue, but am glad I finally got around to it.

Happy weekend to all.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2007 at 9:25AM
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Good Sunday evening, folks,

It has been a quiet, peaceful weekend here. Most of the weekend has found me lounging around in my PJ's. Except for yesterday afternoon - I did get dressed, took one of the dogs (can't handle all 3 out in public at the same time without looking like a human pretzel) and we drove over to the lake. On the way, we stopped at a roadside stand and bought a bag of boiled peanuts and a Pepsi. We drove down to a place called the Hatchery, then walked about a mile along the dike. Later we came back to the Wildlife Observation Area. The only wild life I observed was a bunch of boozed-up fishermen whoopin' and hollerin' about their catch. After the fishermen left, it was all quiet down by the water and now and then a fish would jump. We spent about an hour just sitting on the grass eating those boiled peanuts. I would eat one, then open one for the dog. I refused to share my Pepsi, though. We were close enough to the water's edge for her to drink there.

So much for a restful Southern Saturday afternoon.

My dog Daisy (the one who died this past July) used to love going over to the lake and sitting on the shore, just watching the boats come and go. I really miss that girl. I wish you could have known her. She had more character than any dog I've ever known - and she was so homely she was cute. I think she may have been related to Andy Rooney. She had the same droopy jowls and bushy eyebrows, and could be just as grumpy at times as Andy can be. I often called her Andy. (in his honor, of course)

I don't think anyone ever answered the question about how you keep the dirt from falling out of the pots where you are growing your upside down tomatoes. I plan to use that material they call shade cloth - you know, the stuff you spread down on the ground, then cut slits in to put you plant in the soil. Just cut to fit your bucket, pot, container, then cut an X just large enough to get your tomato plant through it. 2 or 3 layers of newspapers will do the same thing. Once the roots have become well-formed, you won't lose much/any dirt when you water anyway. Coffee filters make good liners for plants in containers with just a center drain hole, too.

I'm getting a late start on my gardening this year. The perennials are all coming up nicely so I don't think I will try to put in any annuals this summer. I may buy a few pots of bright bloomers to set about when my daughter comes in July. I think this year I might get an automatic timer to set up with the sprinklers when I need to be gone for several days at a time.

All that oral surgery I had done has mostly healed now. At least I can now talk without lisping, the stitches have all gone wherever dead stitches go and I can actually chew with all that extra "stuff" in my mouth. And now tomorrow morning bright and early I have to report for cataract surgery on my left eye, and that procedure will be repeated on the right eye a week or so from now. They tell me I shouldn't need glasses afterwards, except perhaps for reading or sewing.

I hope everyone had a nice April lst, and that no one was too badly skunked.

Night, all

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 8:38PM
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Good Friday Evening, everyone,

I have been reading some of the posts here on the Coffee Shopand have realized that most of us are "senior citizens". We have shared our musings, our serious thoughts, our fears, our dreams. We seem to have become somewhat a cyber-family. I so enjoy reading what everyone has to say, and have learned much from you.

Now, I would like to share with you some thoughts on growing old:

Old age, I decided is a gift. I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometimes despair over my body - the wrinkles, the baggy eyes and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror, but I don't agonize over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family, for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avant garde on my patio. I am entitled to overeat, to be messy, to be extravagant. I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon, before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read until 4 a.m., and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60's, and if I at the same time wish to weep over a lost love, I will. I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the bikini set. They, too, will get old. I know I am sometimes forgetful. But here again, some of life is just as well forgotten - and I eventually remember the important things. Sure over the years, my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when a beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turn gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver. I can say "no", and mean it. I can say "yes", and mean it. As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.

I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day!!

And so, whatever you beliefs, may this Spring time season of renewal and rebirth bring you many blessings.


    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 9:00PM
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gerry, you have sure put my thoughts down.Isn't it good to have long enought to realize what things are REALLY important in life.I hope you all have a Happy Easter.Sue

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 9:57AM
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Happy Easter everyone!

Beautifully written Gerry! Were you a professional writer at some point during your career?

I wish I could say that I was totally content with getting older, but I cannot. I like some of the styles that are currently out there, e.g., clothes and hairstyles, but I cannot wear them because I would look ridiculous. I also do not like the fact that aging is starting to limit things I was able to do before, e.g., heavy duty gardening, and just being more active for longer periods of time.

On the other side of this issue, I can act extremely silly with my grandbaby, dancing in front of her in a crazy manner to make her laugh, and no body laughs at me! When I don't feel like doing housework, I put on a cd and dance while I clean -- this makes the task more enjoyable. I do not dye my hair and so have gradually greyed, and I am o.k. with it. It's definitely great to be able to do what you want, when you want to, especially since I have never liked anyone telling me what to do, LOL! The latter, of course, can also be a curse. I am blessed to be around to see my daughter matured, and to see my grandkids grow up; blessed to have them want me in their lives!

Now I have to get off the computer and bake three dishes for our church's Easter breakfast.

Blessings to all.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 10:18AM
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Easter Sunday afternoon

Greetings, everyone,

eloise, thank you. Yes, I do a lot of writing, but I'm afraid I cannot take credit for the sweet little essay above on aging. Most of my writing these days is confined to my journal. But, like you, I felt when I first read it that it so closely described my own feelings on life as it is right now that I wanted to share it. God bless whoever wrote it.

This truly is a wonderful time in my life. I have some of the sweetest, dearest memories that I can take out and look at now and then. I also have some of the saddest memories that a human can endure, but the edges have become somewhat softened now. I have found a peace and serenity in my life that I never expected to experience. Each new day that I am granted is a blessing.

Our blackberry winter seems not to have done too much damage here. Some of the azaleas that were not under the protective covering under the leafed out oak trees are looking a wee bit sad, but most have come through just fine. They last such a short time as it is. My mock orange bushes are just covered with bloom buds, some of which began opening today, so I think the cold has spared them. Of course, it did not get quite as cold as had been forecast - we only got down to 30 degrees. I did bring in a few things yesterday and other things I covered with sheets, towels, whatever I could find, and I think I will cover them again before dark today. I have dozens of hostas up, some are beginning to get quite large, iris beds are full of buds. All those I covered last night. The hummingbird feeders were iced up, but were thawed by noon.

I am planning a two week visit to the North Carolina mountains the first part of May. I hope the snow they had yesterday is the last of winter. I have a couple of new spring outfits I am hoping to wear. To be on the safe side, though, I'll take some heavier clothing.

I hope this has been a nice Easter for everyone. I have spent a quiet weekend at home, caught up on laundry, watched part of the Masters Golf Tournament, cleaned out a couple of outdoor fountains, put out some bird houses. My children are both up in the Virgina foothills/mountains this weekend. I hope my son's little girls enjoyed the snow. I don't think they have ever seen any before.

Dryer is buzzing - time to fold.

'til next time,

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 4:36PM
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Hello all,

My Easter has been pleasantly uneventful so far. I have spent the day mourning over lost beans I lost to the freeze, covering and uncovering then covering again various plants. Today I just dug up tomatoes out of the garden and put them in large pots in my sunroom.

I listened to a neighbor who said "Oh Easter is late this year, I think they will be fine to put out now.". Silly me, they were already fruiting in the greenhouse and would have been fine to stay there. At least I didnÂt put out my pepper plants. I am pretty sure all of my Blue Lake Bush beans are lost. My sunroom is now full of assorted pots and plants sitting in the middle of the room on a tarp. I have a large sleeping bag mounted on a pole in the back yard that is attempting to protect a banana.

I also went around posting For Sale signs for my 15 extra chickens. I would love to keep them all but I know I really canÂt keep up with 25 hens  the 10 that I plan to keep is probably far too many. Unfortunately most people donÂt want to pay what I am asking. At $3 apiece I am losing money  I paid more. Many people just want the free or cheap ones that you can get at the feed store. But I wanted certain egg-laying breeds, vaccinations, and testing for disease. Oh, and I wanted to make sure I got all GIRLS. I still have a bum knee from when a rooster buried both spurs in my kneecap and I had to yank them out. Use your imagination to figure out how he ended his days. No more roosters for me!!

I believe I am fairly young compared to the other posters here but I have always valued age and the rewards and freedoms it brings. I remember being 25 and planning for the day when I turned 40 so that I would finally have raised my children and could move on to other things. I have done that and each year has been better than the last. Yes, I have had run-ins with cancer, permanently moved into bi-focals, given up on two-piece bathing suits and the guys at work stopped seeing me as a girl/woman and started viewing me as ÂMomÂ.

But on the other hand, I am so glad to be over the need to force myself into pointy heels, fuss with my hair and the constant worry that my clothes and/or household goods will be identified as thrift shop finds  Now I just donÂt care. Like the lady said in Fried Green Tomatoes "IÂm older and have more insurance". If you havenÂt seen the movie that statement wonÂt make sense.

Well, it does look like I have written a novel here so I think IÂll wrap it up.

Hope everyone else is having a lovely day.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 5:45PM
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Have Y'all got room for one more?

I'm 52,Male,Dvd. just lookin for someone(s) to talk to.

I'm a bit of a Redneck,but I'm housebroke.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 10:51PM
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gurley, good to see you. I have missed you.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 11:08PM
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Hi gerry! Our temps last night didn't get as low as forcasted - thank goodness. I believe you are near the coast so yours may have even been warmer.

Welcome halibrand! My mother tried very hard to raise of lady of polish and social standing - somehow it just didn't take :-). Redneck here all the way. Besides, if we were all the same life would be pretty boring.

Enjoying the day off today and then on to a 10 day work-week. Looking forward to heading to Cherokee N.C. on Friday. N.C. should be beautiful this time of year. A freind has a cabin up there and has offered it up for use several times so I'm going to go ahead and take advantage of it.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 6:00AM
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Hi Gurley,

Your experience this week-end was duplicated here. I had just cleaned up my front beds and set out my "butterfly" plants. Who would believe we would have sleet the day before Easter in South Texas.

I also had the chicken problem a couple of years back. I started with a half dozen hens and one rooster. Fortunately I did not have a bad experience with the rooster but a year later my chickens were up to 36 and had eggs running out my ears. I work full time so was giving eggs away to the neighbors and everyone at work. It got to be way more time consumming than I was willing to invest and ended up giving away all the chickens as well as the hen house and galvanized nesting boxes. I will say that I miss having fresh eggs for myself. They taste so much better than store bought eggs. There is just no comparison.

Guess I'll have to replant those front beds next week-end. What a waste. I tried planting a few tomatoes, squash and peppers several years ago but ended up giving a lot of it away as the yield was way more than I could eat and I'm not into canning. I was never confident enough in my ability to believe I wasn't going to end up poisening myself. At least if a can of tomatoes from the store end up making me sick I'll have someone to blame for it other than myself.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 2:38PM
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Good morning all. Nothing much new here.

My daughter has been in Texas since Wednesday taking care of some business and is coming home today! It's only been a few days, but we all miss her.

I have two hens left and just love them. At one point I had about 14, but gradually some disappeared (think they flew over to the neighbor's and were never returned), and some were killed possibly by raccoons. Most were Americanas, which my grandkids and I bought as chicks for the blue/green eggs. There were a couple of Rhode Island Reds for brown eggs. I too only wanted girls, but one time when we went to get a couple of chicks, my grandson picked one he liked because it was a bit larger than the others. A few weeks later, I told him I knew why his chick was bigger than the rest -- it turned out to be a rooster! He named him 'Rocky' and he was just beautiful. Less than a year ago, I got new neighbors who complained about Rocky crowing at 3-4 in the morning (what's wrong with that, LOL), so I had to get rid of him. When I had too many eggs, I would hardboil them and take to work with some salt and pepper. My office colleagues would be thrilled. I've also taken a couple of dozen blue eggs for bake sales at our church and people buy them right away. My grandkids got to take one blue egg and one brown egg to school for Show and Tell. The kids and teachers were thrilled because they had never seen these before, and my grandkids got to be celebrities for the day! Can you believe something so simple can amaze city kids and adults so? Years ago I read that white eggs were cheaper in the West Coast, and brown eggs were cheaper in the mid-West and East Coast. It is true that we pay more for brown eggs here in California, but don't know about East Coast. Last time I saw blue and brown eggs at a Farmer's Market, they wanted $8 for blue and $4 for brown! I too wanted the chickens for fresh eggs, but I love being out in the yard and hearing them go about their daily business of clucking and scratching. When I sell my home and move, most likely I will be in an area where I can't have chickens and that saddens me. I recently heard or read that you can freeze eggs by scrambling them first, then store in plastic bags.

As for too many tomatoes, you can also freeze these by cutting them in half lengthwise, lay each piece on a plate or flat pan and freeze. When frozen, you can then put in freezer bags and use later for soups, sauces, etc. I have some Roma and yellow tomatoes frozen now which I will use up before my new crop comes in.

Anyone else having problems with this site? I can get to the plant site quickly, but this one is taking forever!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2007 at 9:03AM
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Hi, eloise

Yes, they've been having connection problems on this site - had a notice notice up through yesterday. It may still be up but I didn't notice as the connection was quick today.

Chickens and eggs -- I used to have some hens that layed (or should I say "laid"?) blue green eggs. Never sold them, since I had a little niece and nephew who would only eat the "Easter" eggs. As for the brown eggs, they do cost a little more here.

I've never tried freezing any tomatoes - always canned them. Being acidic I never worry much about spoilage. Some species of tomato, including the yellow, are not as acidic, so I usually add some vinegar. There's also a commercial product you can buy to put in them, but I can't recall the name.

My daughter is still excited about her move to Davis. They have already found a house to rent - in fact, they have actually already rented it. So it will be ready and waiting when they get there the latter part of July, 1st week in Aug.

gurley - how was your vist to Cherokee? Sorry it had to turn so cold. My grandchildren were in Blacksburg, VA for a long Easter weekend, and I have pictures of them playing in the snow - first they had ever seen. Precious.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2007 at 4:51PM
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Oh, the senselessness of it all. I am speaking of the VA Tech shootings today.

Some of you may recall that my daughter works in the OR in the Vet School there. Her husband is a veterinarian interning there. For hours I could not reach them and I was terrified, as I imagine everyone was who had a loved one attending, working, teaching there. Finally my daughter was able to get to a computer to e-mail me a very brief message to tell me they were safe. All buildings were under lock down so she wasn't able to get outside to use her cell phone and they cannot get a signal inside.

It was only after receiving that e-mail that I broke down; it was the utter sense of relief and thankfulness that I felt. And I still feel a very deep sadness and grief for those who lost loved ones.

DD has had some hairy experiences the year she has been there. On her very first day there last August we went thru something very similar when an escaped convict ended up killing two police officers. They were under lockdown then, and the police had snipers on the roof tops of some buildings. It wasn't quite as bad then, of course, since the convict had not gone on a shooting spree killing at random. Then there were last week's bomb threats.

She e-mailed me early this morning before going to work, complaining about the weather - snow and high winds. "One more reason to be excited about moving to California", she said. (They have to be in CA at Univ. of California, in Davis by August 1st, where her husband has a 3 year residency appointment) Now, she has even more reason, though I don't imagine anyone there will ever be able to leave such a terrible tragedy totally behind.

But tonight, I know my child is well and safe, my only daughter, my youngest child - and I thank God.


    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 8:07PM
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Gerry, thank God that your daughter and SIL are safe. I was at my daughter's watching my granddaughter and they do not have a t.v., and I didn't have the radio on so just found out about this horrible thing. My SIL came from work and mentioned it. I can just imagine the state you were in not knowing whether your family was safe or not. My heart and prayers go out to all those that have lost a loved one.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 10:03PM
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Gerry, Thank God your loved ones are safe. What a horrible tragedy for everyone. Why can't we find ways to prevent these things from happening? I am just at a loss for words to express how I feel about the senseless loss of life and suffering inflicted by one deranged person.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 8:59AM
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Good morning all.

It rained yesterday here in southern CA -- yay! We really need it.

Just as I had finished draining my pool because it has a leak, more water accumulated from the rain.

Last weekend, my neighbor and helpers torn down the side fence between our properties to put up new fencing. He also cut down about five trees that were leaning on the fence and grinded the tree stumps and removed the roots coming across my driveway. This is all great, but since he works during the week, he can only work on this during the weekend. Hopefully with the ground being soaked, this won't delay putting up the posts and fencing this weekend. I am sharing some of the expense in labor and materials for the new fence.

Going dancing with friends tonight, and am really looking forward to doing so.

Have a glorious weekend.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2007 at 10:35AM
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Hello, All. Can't believe my last post was March 17, I think. Thanks for the birthday wishes. I insured and tagged the Miata a couple of days ago. Now, a little brake work and it'll be raring to go. This time it didn't take long to realize getting in and out of it seems a little more difficult than last year.

I liked my Millhouse Columbian blend from a while back. It must have been dark roast. I even bought another bag which wasn't as good. I'd picked up the same brand but it was a medium roast.

Now I'm drinking Summitt Coffee House "The Fiend Blend". The blend was prepared in memory of Alex Lowe, a mountain climber who died. He was fiendish about his coffee. Part of the Fiend Blend proceeds goes to the Alex Lowe charity. I ground the entire bag rather than a few cups at a time. The coffee is okay but may have been better grinding a few cups at a time.

I appreciate the talk about tomatos. Although I'm no longer into gardening I think I'll give the upside down tomato thing a try.

Eloise, did the living trust thing work out. Rather than talking to an attorney I'd like to hear from someone who has done it. If you have time to offer some of the fundamentals I'll sure appreciate it.

The frosts in WNC have played havock with plants and such. I only have six or seven azaleas. I think six are dead. The one alive is bloomiing but only on one limb. The rest of the leaves and buds are dead. I'd trimmed some 20 feet of golden ? bushes. Gold/yellow leaves came out; frost hit; and now nothing but brown. There's some green toward the bottom and maybe there's hope.

I wish everyone well and hope the enjoyment of a season change is stronger than distractions of mosquitos and fleas. Regards, Gene

    Bookmark   April 27, 2007 at 12:33PM
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Good morning all.

Gene, have fun driving your Miata! When I had my Mazda RX7, and my back was out, my daughter said I shouldn't be driving that car because it was hard getting in and out, but I still did. I have a draft of the documents that I am reviewing. It is taking several days because I hate reading contracts. Because I am a single woman with one living child and not much $, the total document is close to half an inch thick; my daughter's and SIL is about an inch thick! The entire document includes the living trust, will, power of attorney, and health care directive.

It was awfully hot here yesterday, so I waited until it cooled down late afternoon to work in the yard. I remembered reading somewhere that pinning a Bounce sheet to your clothing would keep mosquitos at bay. I assumed it worked because I did not get a single bite!

Today at 2 PM I am meeting with the Realtor about putting up my home for sale. I am sort of nervous about doing this as I love my space. Also, I can't buy another until my home sells. I will be staying at my daughter's until I find what I want, and do not look forward to moving twice. I could put a contingency, but this might keep prospective buyers away as it is a buyer's market. If I am meant to move, then my home will sell quickly without having to lower the price too much. In walking around the yard, it saddens me that if my home sells quickly, I will lose out on harvesting my Santa Rosa plums, apples, pears, heirloom tomatoes, japanese cucumbers, grapes, etc., etc.

Next Saturday, my gardening group is meeting at one of our member's home. We will have refreshments and exchange plants. I love doing this, but of course this time I have to be more selective in which plants I bring home because I don't need more pots to take with me if I move!

The fence is finally up! I just need to pay my half to my neighbor.


    Bookmark   April 29, 2007 at 10:53AM
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Good Afternoon, Folks. Eloise, I'm familiar with some of the documents. I'd just like to know more about a living trust whereby one can transfer assets to it but still be in control of everything.

Usually these are not creditor proof but I think they serve a purpose. I've heard of this as an example. A couple separated. The wife wouldn't give a divorce and the man was just too tired or too broke to challenge it. He wanted to get a house. He had a living trust prepared and recorded at the courthouse. He put the house in the living trust's name with him and two daughters trustees. He died. The daughters were able to dispose of the property without the estranged wife being involved. This was supposed to take place in North Carolina. I just wondered how it may be viewed elsewhere.

I don't know if I mentioned the following in a prior post. Relating to a particular coffee (can't recall which one) I think I said it was good at one tablespoon and ten ounces of coffee. For a very long time I've been going along thinking a cup (not measuring) I use to put water in the coffee maker was ten ounces. A month or two back I found out the cup was eight ounces. It was really a shocker because I've been using it ever since I began coffee sampling in October, 2005. I just hope I've not passed out too much bogus information.

As for the upside down tomato planting I have a bunch of hanging baskets (plastic) in the shed. All have a small hole in the bottom and that's where I'll stick the plant.

Have a good Sunday. Gene

    Bookmark   April 29, 2007 at 1:15PM
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What a day!! What a week!!!

Went to a motorcycle rally in Cherokee N.C. Had a great time and absolutely fell in love with the area. I have spent a fair amount of my summer weekends in N.C. but the area between Sylva and Cherokee was the perfect spot for me. I am actually contemplating trying to get a little piece of property up there. I didn't want to come home.

Had an unplanned day off today so that gave me a chance to get caught up on things at home. My town is not large by any means but one trip to Lowes had me totally frustrated. My people skills and patience level are getting worse as I get older.

To complicate things I have had a gout attack - yes it happens to women (at a certain age) and an allergy attack. I think I'm ready to go back to the mountains now :-).

Gene - I noticed a little town called candler on the map up there - does your 'name' have anything to do with that?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 7:18PM
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Good morning all, and Happy Mother's Day to all mothers!

We are celebrating Mother's Day by going on a train ride and having brunch -- this should be fun!

Well my home is up for sale and I am trying not to get stressed. This process sure is making me a neater person, LOL!

Gene, I am still trying to proof the living trust documents. From what I understand, as the trustee, we are in charge until the 'power of attorney' has to kick in if we are no longer able to make decisions for ourselves. At that point, the person with power of attorney should do what is right for you, hopefully. Once you die, no one can change your trust, e.g., to give themselves more of your assets when there are more than one person/organizations listed on the trust. I am trying to understand all this stuff myself.

We had a grand time at our gardening gathering, and one of our members is going to take my two hens when the time comes for me to move. He is a master gardener and works for one of the high schools around here. At first I thought I would advertise two free hens, but also worried that someone would want them to have them for dinner :-(

Happy weekend to all.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 10:07AM
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I haven't lurked here in a while and just read your post. As coinsidence would have it, I had an email from my sister in NC when I got to work this morning with pictures of the H.O.G. rally at the Outer Banks a couple of weeks ago. It seems that lately everyone I run into has gotten into motorcycles. Looks like a lot of fun.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 5:24PM
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Howdy, Folks. I've heard if one hangs a dead crow on a fence near their garden it will keep other crows away. My next door neighbor has had to replant corn three times. Each time it breaks ground crows pull the plant. Yesterday he shot one and hung it on the fence. I've not talked to him and yet don't know the effectivness .

This morning I had my coffee and a bagel on the back porch. I kept looking at the dead crow and thought of Poe's, The Raven (remember? Nevermore, Lenore?). When I came to the computer I was inspired.

ODE TO A CROW, by Gene

My head is low,
My feet are high,
Different from yesterday -
I soared through the sky!

A garden I spotted,
Oh, I filled with glee,
Morsels of young corn
just waited for me.

On a fence
here am I hanging,
Corn sprouts were good,
but gun went banging!
- - - - - - - - - - -

I have four coffees (1/2 pound package deal) from Caribou: Caribou blend, Sumatra, French Roast, and Columbia. I'm using the Caribou blend. I didn't want to grind it myself. I told them I wanted it ground for the paper filter type of maker. It came ground very, very thin. I thought it should have been lightly coarse. Am I wrong? That coffee is okay but for my taste buds no much more than less expensive stuff.

Gurley, you caught me, didn't you. Yes, I live at Candler. I've never thought alias' were very good anyway. If someone wants to find you bad enough they will. But, it is often recommended by those in the know, isn't it.

Thanks for the continuing information, Eloise. It has encouraged me to start doing something. I'm 73, windowed, with three children. I'd like to have things more organized when I move on. I have updated my will in a simplistic fashion for the present. I've found the local N.C. probate office accepts an informal will if signed and no witnesses. There were changes I wanted to make to the old one and that was convenient for the time being.

I'm preparing two file folders. One has original documents and the other copies. The other will be furnished a daugher whose named Executor (they don't use Executrix any more). Some of my things require explanation such as an insurance policy which has a face value higher than actual value. I need to include a letter explaining I borrowed some money on the policy years ago and just have never paid it back. Otherwise I think it would be confusing to them. I plan to pay it back if and when I sell a lot.

It is dry in WNC! I'm sure it is elsewhere, too. I'm mowing every couple of weeks rather than weekly. It sure makes one think about global warming. But, I have seen it this way even with ground cracking only for the rain to begin and come almost daily until Fall gets here.

I still drive the Miata maybe once a week. It's still fun. It came with a supposedly cancelled XM radio. I generally don't try to listen to music because of noise, it being a convertible. I was at a stop light and began messing with the radio. I got an XM channel with 30's and 40's music. It was good listening. I heard later XM has sample days trying to get new subscribers.

I wish everyone well. I'm sorry the topic has slowed so much. Maybe it's because of warmer weather and longer days. Maybe it will pick up come cold weather. Sorry about saying those words. Regards, Gene

    Bookmark   May 26, 2007 at 1:54PM
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Howdy, Everyone. It's Wednesday morning, July 11, 2007. It seems I have this Topic all to myself, huh. Can't believe it's been around a month and a half since posting my last note - and, no one else. I suppose I'm vain enough to want my Ode To A Crow poem read. Since no one has commented I thought it might be too gross, or whatever. I thought it was funny but I've always had somewhat of a warped sense of humor.

Regardless, the crow is still hanging (or at least part of it) and the neighbor's corn looks fine. Right now he's got a problem with ground hogs that have burrowed under my shed that visit his garden on occasion. Maybe I'll be writing a poem called Ode To a Ground Hog. Who knows.

I've finished the coffee mentioned in my prior post. The Columbia was the best of the four. Down the line it was Summatra, Caribou blend, and French Roast. I was surprised FR was on bottom. Of course we have to realize my analysis is based on my taste buds and we all are different, are we not.

In Western NC it has been hot and humid. I saw my thermometer hit 91 a couple days ago. My A/C didn't turn off for several hours. Yes, age is a factor in dealing with heat. In the past I've shoveled dirt in hotter weather.

It starts getting a little comfortable outside around 9PM. I sit on the back porch watching the fireflies and anything else that might move in my field. I'm normally not out very late when the air is cool enough to enjoy the Miata. But, on occasion I'll head out late if only to run a short errand. The fun time is in September and October.

I've slowed on thoughts of getting organized. But, I'm sure further along than I was a few months back. The children seem to appreciate what I'm doing. From a personal standpoint I would, too, if I were them.

I hope all my fellow THS posters are doing well and the summer is going just like you want it too. Regards, Gene

    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 10:59AM
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Hi Gene,

If no one else has told you, Gurley started another post under the name "Keeping in Touch".

Very good, your Ode to a Crow.

Well I have been totally busy taking care of my 10 mos. old granddaughter. My daughter and SIL went to Texas to take care of some business with her dad's house. They should be on their way back now (driving) so expect them by Tuesday. I do believe I am a bit more fit resulting from all that walking around and picking up I have been doing with my granddaughter. She started walking at 9 mos. and now at 10 mos. she thinks she is ready to run. I am so blessed.

It is super hot here in So. Calif. I can't stand this hot weather and am looking forward to cooler days. My home is still up for sale, and just today I called the realtor to lower the price. I am ready to move from here. Some dumb person(s) graffitied the realtor's sign. Last Friday, I caught a girl jumping over my fence with a bag of plums she had just taken from my tree, AND the mother was waiting for her with a baby in a stroller!!! I was so angry and yelled at them when I opened the door. Because I had put my car in the garage, they must have assumed no one was home. This morning, I found my front gate door opened. Perhaps some other thief coming for plums.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 9:09PM
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Hello, Eloise, and Others. I no longer know where I fit in to this Topic. I'm still old (73) and widowed; I still sample coffees; and I still don't have a close by companion. But I do have single's opinions.

Shopping. I'm in the process of returning my third toaster oven. Two were not satisfactory and one almost caught on fire. One that's unsatisfactory is boxed up for returning. Folks, I don't want a toaster to take 7 minutes to make a piece of medium toast. Can you believe that's their directions - 7 minutes! Someone has to be kidding. The Euro-Pro people must have more time than me - and I'm retired.

Thoughts. The preface of Thomas Wolfe's You Can't Go Home Again speaks of everything being first total darkness; then a flicker as a spark from a just lit match; and back to total darkness again.

I suppose we all know how short lived a spark is. Wolfe started the book in 1934, I guess, and died in 1938. If he wrote the book's preface it seems he illuded to the spark being the total time we have on earth.

Folks, over the years I've given much thought to that and I don't like what I see. What do you see? Have you found your purpose of life? I've never met anyone that did. Are we here just to continue searching?

Years ago I had an encounter with Mona. She was the only true Earth Child I'd ever met. She wanted to find a place for us and we'd spend forever reading to one another. Mona made me feel good just being around her. I think of her very often and in the sincerist form I hope she has found someone she loves and is doing exactly that. Please excuse the tear. It comes from the heart of an old man.

Coffee. I started my testing in either October 2004 or 2005. General consensus is to store ground coffee in the dark such as in a wall cabinet, in a pantry, in a base cabinet, or an unclear glass. The coffee folks didn't seem to recommend refrigeration. Maybe they want the coffee to go bad quicker. Who knows. Good coffee is what a person enjoys most. They're the judge.

And coffees don't taste the same all the time. A while back I got a couple of preground bags of the most popular Columbian Bold. Just opening a bag I knew it was going to be good, and it was. A later trip to the grocery I, again, got two bags of the same. I opened one and am still waiting to get the rich good smell as its predecessor. Go figure.

This and that. In the WNC mountains it's been dry but we finally had a day of slow and steady rain. My deceased brother in law always called it a United States Soaker.

I tagged my Miata back in May and will drive it through October or November. It's fun. I'm a member of the local Miata Club but have not gone to a meeting or on their outings. If I had a lady traveling companion maybe I would. I still walk the golf course and I still walk some of the trails off the Blue Ridge Parkway. I've given up on trying to find a lady companion who's strong enough for the rigors of walking.

Finish. To my former Singles buddies I'd like to say I wish them happiness and health. To the new ones I only ask that you look over me . Gene

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 7:48PM
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Greetings Gene et al. I don't know where everyone's gone to!

Gene, of course you fit. I assumed the topic was whatever we wanted to share. It's a shame that you are on your third toaster oven, and that's also a lemon. They just don't make stuff like they used to. Seven minutes is a long time, and I sure wouldn't have the patience (being retired as well) to wait that long for a piece of toast. You could probably toast it faster over a lit match, LOL!

Speaking of a lit match, as one gets older, life certainly seems to be going faster, like a spark that goes out too quickly. I try not to reflect too much about the past because I would have a long list of regrets about things I didn't try/experienced, about relationships I screwed up, etc., etc., and then I might get depressed. There are also lots of great things that happened in my life and so I think about those instead. I wonder if we do all find "our purpose in life." Perhaps we just don't realize that the "purpose in life" is different for everyone, i.e., we weren't all meant to be running companies, or being actors, or having our name in print. Some of us were meant to be great parents, great friends, great gardeners, great writers, great painters, and even some being "jacks of all trades, masters of none", which I consider myself as being one :-)

I too have experienced when the same brand of coffee taste different. Sometimes I get this great Yuban that smells and taste strong and rich, and other times, it is bla (sp).

I just found out yesterday that my mom, who will be 80 in October, had identity theft. It just makes me sick to think about it. She lives in a very small town in AZ, and her STUPID bank paid checks made out to some computer companies and someone's telephone bills, instead of her bills like utilities! This is a very small town and they know that she only gets her SS check, and yet, they paid off some other stuff! This evening I emailed my brother and sisters in AZ to see what is being done about it.

Started a yoga class finally this fall semester at one of our colleges. I've had three classes and am enjoying going there. The only problem is that we can't understand the instructor some times. We kind of look around to see what others do. My home is still up for sale. I wish it had sold already, but the market is extremely slow here in So. California. Most likely when the contract is up, I will take if off the market and just accept staying here.

Hope all are well, and extremely busy doing great stuff! Eloise

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 9:54PM
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Hello, Eloise, Gene, and others,

It's really nice to see a couple of old friends posting again. I took a hiatus from the Single Life forums for the summer, but I've missed all of you.

Eloise - my daughter and her husband are really having the time of their lives out there in California. They love it and I am so glad. This is the first time either of them has been so far away from family and old friends. They've made lots of new friends. Rachel (DD) says the people are easy to know and like, though she has had problems with places like the DVM, etc. She was rather discouraged at being treated like an illegal alien (she, with the blonde hair and big blue eyes), but she says she also understands the reasoning behind it so just grins and bears it. Her problem stemmed from the fact that she did not have a paper birth certificate. When her birth was registered, they sent me a small card, laminated. It contains all the info necessary, but the state of California would not accept it because it was laminated, as a lot of falsified documents often are. They were OK with it after she wrote the state of SC and got a regular old paper copy - certified, of course. They have purchased touring bikes and bike through the city of Davis, all around the campus there, and out into the surrounding countryside. She finds fresh fruits and veggies less expensive even than here, though she was unable to find Duke's Mayonnaise! Her MIL sent them a care package with a couple of jars of it. Hey, they DO have grits, an old Southern staple!!

Sorry about you mother and her identity theft problem. Hopefully your siblings will soon be able to get it all resolved. She has been through so much already, as it is.

Since your house hasn't sold, at least you had a chance to reap the fruits of your past labors. Did you get enough rain for your fruit trees to produce a good crop this year?

Gene, I know I'm late getting around to it, but your Ode to a Crow is, well..amusing. It's good to hear that you are still doing your coffee tastings. I am finding that as the days and nights here are becoming cooler I am drinking more coffee than usual. Coming in from outside chores I now am more likely to pour myself a cup of coffee than a glass of iced tea.

So far as ever finding our purpose in life -- I doubt that many, if any, ever discover what that is. Perhaps that may be a good thing. Perhaps we are meant to just keep searching until that little spark you mentioned is extinguished. If, during this life, I have touched the life of another in some way, and brought a little happiness, comfort, joy, and somehow made a difference, it will be reason enough for me to have existed. You give us much food for thought, Gene.

Yes, time passes much too quickly as we grow older. It was Friday just yesterday - then I awakened this morning and it is Friday again. Lots of quicksilver days now.

A good day to all

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 3:56PM
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Howdy, Gerry and Eloise. Never can tell. Maybe CS III will come back to life.

I made a clerical mistake in my post about coffee a few notes back. I intended to say the general consensus of coffee people is to store it in a dark place and in an unclear (opaque) container. I erroneously said "or" in an unclear container which was incorrect. Sorry about that!

It was a pizza and beer Friday, alone as usual. I must have been in the mood for both because it was goooooooood.

Thanks for the Ode To A Crow recognition, Gerry. There's a few ground hogs under my shed. It's a little late in the season for them to disturb my neighbor's garden but I thought for a while I might be writing one to a ground hog.

Thanks for the thumbs up about the toaster, Eloise. I still can't get over it. The brochure inside the box says 7 minutes for medium toast. I wonder how many they would sell if that was printed in readible letters on the outside of the box.

Good luck to your Mom, Eloise. I'm in the process of something I hope is a near miss. Someone hacked a small business where I'd placed some classified and used a credit card. I talked to an attorney at the N.C. Dept of Justice Consumers' Division. He said there's no restriction of how long a company can keep one's credit card information once a customer uses it with them. That STINKS! I asked the attorney what could be done about the retention and he said there's basically nothing since no state or federal government has ever created governing laws. That STINKS, too!

Hope everyone is enjoying a little weather change. These Western NC mountains are feeling mighty good. Hope it is where you are, too. Regards, Gene

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 9:12PM
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Hi Gerry, Gene and anyone else reading CS III,

So glad your DD and SIL are having a grand time here in California. Sounds like they just fit in right away! It amazes me that Americans are treated as illegals, and illegals are treated as Americans and get so many benefits, aghhhh! I've never heard of Duke's mayo; my favorite is Best Food mayo. We certainly do have grits! Every once in a while, I will buy a small box and keep it in the fridge as I don't use it that often.

Two days ago, I harvested the last of my Bartlett pears, and yesterday I took the last avocado from the tree. Prior to that, I had lots of apples from my Anna tree, and got quite a few red, seedless grapes from my vine, and even earlier had Santa Rosa plums. I have oranges and grapefruit on my trees. My citrus trees suffered from lack of water. We have not had sufficient rain and apparently there was no moisture left way deep down for the roots; my lemon tree died. I assume the lemon, Valencia orange, navel orange and the grapefruit trees where leftovers of when the San Fernando Valley was all citrus orchards many years ago.

Well Gene, I keep my coffee in a small, clear glass canister and refill it from a large can I have in the fridge of my mixed Yuban (vanilla bean and Yuban). I also have beans of other coffees in the freezer and sometimes will grind enough to make myself a cup of coffee.

My Friday's dinner (also alone, watching tv) was a Marie Calendar chicken pot pie, salad and a glass of Fetzer Gewurztraminer, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Thanks both of you for your good wishes for my mom's problem. Hopefully it can be taken care of quickly. These scum who just take everything you have without a thought on how it affects their victims is beyond understanding. During the summer, my Credit Union contacted me that they were sending me a new ATM card because some vendor I used had contacted them that they had security problems. The Credit Union said they couldn't tell me who that vendor was! I didn't have any problems and was grateful that the vendor contacted whoever they had to regarding their problem before it became a major one.

We had rain a couple of days ago and it was wonderful. The air is so clean and the sky is beautiful. I wished it would have rained for a couple of days more since we are in a drought. Take care.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 10:47PM
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Good Tuesday afternoon (afternoon here)
I always have to stop now and remember what time it is elsewhere, such as on the West Coast - still morning there.

Eloise, glad you finally got some rain, but is it too late for your citrus crop? Last night I heard someone on TV singing "It Never Rains in Southern California". I thought of you.
DD says they also got rain a couple of days ago - first rain she has seen since arriving there July 26. Of course, she's much further up the coast than you are - I don't know about further inland. I am so looking forward to my first visit out there - most likely in the Spring. DD's birthday falls on ll/03 - her MIL is going to stand in for me. Of course, there's always the possibility of changing my mind and making a trip out during the holidays!! We chat almost every day, either by IM, email, or phone, so it's next best thing to being there and helps tremendously in preventing my missing her so terribly.

I was hoping more of our old friends would come back after the summer was over, but it seems they may have gone to other threads. This one is becoming a bit long for scrolling down now anyway, so it may be time for a new one to begin. Or, perhaps we need to "diversify" and post on some other threads. I've personally always loved the "mind rambles" so characteristic of the Coffee Shops. I guess we are just a bunch of old fogeys!! :-)

I have made a big effort this summer to get to know my neighbors better. I was beginning to get a reputation as being "that eccentric old lady living back there in the woods", not that I really minded. I'm just not one for wanting neighbors dropping in at just any ol' time for coffee. I truly enjoy being alone most of the time. Most of my neighbors just don't have the same interests as I do.
Anyway, through a neighborhood cook out/picnic I met several neighbors I didn't know, and became better acquainted with some I already knew.

We're in the worst month for hurricanes, but so far things have remained quiet. Still, I made preparations, just in case. Now I'll probably have to eat all that canned food, etc. I bought in case we were without power in this area for several days, perhaps weeks. On second thought, I think it would be better to donate it to a shelter. I just do not like commercially canned products.

Gene, I wars reading recently that fall foliage in the mtns isn't expected to be so colorful this fall, due to the long, dry summer causing leaves to begin dropping before they have a chance to turn. I hope your recent rains were not too late to help some. Still, I imagine there will still be enough color to make driving the Pkwy and back roads quite lovely.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 1:36PM
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Greetings Gerry, Gene et al.

The Valencia orange and white grapefruit trees seems to have fruit year-around, and so far, I have not seen the drought affecting those trees too much. The grapefruit did show some stress as the leaves got droppy, and as you read before, my lemon tree is a goner.

Gerry, I sure hope you decide to visit your DD and SIL here in California during the holidays. I am sure it will do them, and you, a whole lot of good.

I too am a loner sometimes. I barely know my neighbors, but than, I really don't want to know a couple of my neighbors.

Gerry, hope you don't have any serious hurricanes.

Gene, hope you have lots of beautiful folliage! I still remember my trip to the NE states last October!

Maybe the others will come back soon to post. You are right Gerry, that this post is getting too long and we have to scroll down quite a ways. I hope no one is offended, but I am going to start Coffee IV so post there! Think I will add, "Not just for coffee drinkers" to the title.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 8:58PM
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