Blue Garden chat forum: BlueGardenChat/Spring2016

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Apr 1, 2016 11:57 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Ahhhhh it's Spring and time for a new thread!

And how does your garden grow? Did you ever notice that usually the first flowers to bloom, especially the wildflowers, are almost always in shades of blue? I noticed my yard was peppered in violets this week, streams of them rolling down the hillside, all in shades of lavender and blue, deep blue with traces of white. Beside them grows ground ivy with its tiny blue flowers and henbit, marching along like little soldiers armed in purply blue.

All weeds of course, which tells you the condition of my lawn, but so pretty. Shades and shades of blue. Soon we'll see whites and more yellows will follow our daffodils and as our blooming trees turn lovely shades of Spring green, our eyes look for those blooms that are lower to the ground, the bulbs and rhizomes and tubers we planted last Fall and the Fall before and some of us, the Fall of years and years ago. With all the rains we're having, it will be a lovely Spring.

We came from here:

Thumb of 2016-04-02/Sharon/b7433b

Well yes. I did. I talked about blue blooms and of course I give you a painting of red poppies. Yes. I did. I'm old. What do you expect?
Apr 2, 2016 2:56 AM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Good Morning!

BEAUTIFUL Sharon Lovey dubby

Andi - In 2014, Apple came out with iPhone 6 and also iPhone 6X. The 6X is larger than a cell phone but smaller than a tablet. This might be a good option for you if you go with Apple. About 6 months ago, Apple came out with 6s and just recently 6se. Sheesh - technology moves fast, huh? I have heard that Walmart has a plan that is much cheaper than Verizon, AT&T, etc., and they do sell the iPhones. I realize getting into Walmart is an issue though.

It rained overnight but I haven't checked the rain gauge to see how much.

Have a super Saturday!

Are you packed Nap?
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
Apr 2, 2016 6:07 AM CST
Name: Nancy
Buffalo NY
Starting to think about packing, Vic. I've been gathering stuff I'll need, and today I'll get my luggage out of the basement. My sons both plan to stop in today to wish me well, and I need to run out to pick up a couple of things for Bill. So tonight I will get things organized for packing.

One thing that is glaringly obvious is that a lot of people depend on me for things. Mostly the Burmese folks, but even Bill. He has lists and questions for me - "things to buy before you go," and "things to do before you go," and "before you go, show me how to..., and "before you go, where do you keep the...," and "what do I do if (whatever) happens..." My son will come over twice a week to go through the mail and pay the bills because Bill doesn't want to learn our finances. Bill has relied on me to know/do everything. That's not good, I know, so maybe this 6 week separation will be good for both of us.

I do see him wanting to take over some of my Burmese responsibilities, and that is fantastic. He will be in charge of LK2 during the week, feeding him and getting him to school, etc, and the little brother is magically starting to become less aggravating to have around so Bill says he can come over too while I'm gone, even spend the night sometimes. What? Who are you and what did you do with my husband??? Hilarious! Bill also plans to take Bulah to the Asian market once a week or so. Maybe I should have made this a longer trip!

This is the weather I will be living with in April.
Thumb of 2016-04-02/nap/1ce978

And in May. We leave the 16th.
Thumb of 2016-04-02/nap/c13312

When we get back to Buffalo we will be freezing in upper 60s temps. Better not put away the winter coat just yet.... Whistling
Apr 2, 2016 6:26 AM CST
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA
Good luck with your trip Nap. It is something that I could not try, even if I was 30 yrs younger.

New England spring is back to 51° & going down. John will go to Town Meeting to pass the budget, I suspect & do several questions which need to be done. I have learned that it is not for me as I would miss things going to the ladies & back. It is held at the high school auditorium, the only place in town large enough to hold the crowd.

My spasms seem to be holding off so we will see how the morning baclofen goes. I took it at 8pm for the evening pill. the timing on it seems to be difficult. See he nurse/practicisor on Mon afternoon to see if she has any interesting ideas.
Apr 2, 2016 7:44 AM CST
Name: Mary Ann
Andi -- I think that Radio Shack no longer exists. They went out of business a year or two ago -- and both Radio Shacks in our area are closed. Sad

As long as Vic brought it up -- Walmart does have a fine plan. It's called Tracfone -- and you buy your minutes in advance. I bought my LG Android new on Ebay, and use Tracfone service with it. The cheapest minutes card that you can buy costs $19.99 for 90 days (so approx. $7.00 per month), and my phone automatically triples the minutes for calls, texts and data -- so I never run out. Every once in awhile, I spend an extra ten dollars and buy extra text or data time -- and the phone triples those too. I use my cell phone mostly for texting with friends and family, so that option works great for me. The phone itself is smaller than the iPhones -- and I like that. I don't want to carry one around in a pocket, and the Android fits fine in any purse.

I'm thinking my phone cost around $75.00. And you have return rights with the purchase. I don't worry about service issues -- at that price, if I have a problem I'll simply get on Ebay and buy another one. I never have an issue with no coverage because Tracfone has purchased tower right from all the major cellphone companies. I think that an Android can do anything that an iPhone can do. Oh -- and you can purchase extra minutes on the Tracfone website, or from the phone itself -- so you don't have to worry about getting into town to buy a card.

Thought this information might be helpful to you. Smiling
Every day is a second chance. Every day is precious time.
Apr 2, 2016 8:37 AM CST
Name: Mary
The dry side of Oregon
Be yourself, you can be no one else
Good morning. No frost overnight. The porch thermometer says 35. Smoke from the chimney is drifting lazily toward the south. The windmill is not moving at all. It's especially nice to see the sunshiny day after dreaming about living in an old farmhouse with a lot of company and a leaking roof! The house was one that we lived in when the kids were born. It did have an unfinished upstairs and a leaky roof. Why did I dream about it last night? Those memories are taking up space where more current stuff needs to be.

The owner of the field to our east has been preparing the ground for seed. Yesterday he began seeding and was sure stirring up a lot of fine dust which slowly drifted over and around our house just about the time I came inside to start our dinner. I quickly rescued my dry laundry from the line. I hope that today's breeze will take the dust to someone else. His field is an interesting one, not many straight lines in it and there are islands of rocks and brush. It's best described as a crazy quilt.

Mary Ann, that may be helpful information for us as well because we need a new phone and Rick has begun to look into it, asking questions at the Verizon store in town. We don't know up from down about cell phones!
Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.
More ramblings at
Apr 2, 2016 8:44 AM CST
Name: Sharon
There's a puffy white cloud just over Kay's house and I swear it looks just like the pear trees that were blooming last week. I had to look twice wondering where on earth that tree is growing. Yes we have blue skies and sunshine. Probably won't last and it's chillier today. We will be getting that blast of cold into next week too and though my old plants will survive, I hate that they and I have more cold to look forward to.

Thanks for explaining better about the iPhones, Vic. I just don't keep track of them anymore. They've served me well over the past years and I do know that Ashley's is the slightly larger iPhone 6, larger than mine but smaller than a tablet. I don't know anything about Tracfones though I do trust Mary Ann's judgement. Whatever she says is always worth considering seriously.

I kept opening my eyes all through the night. I never slept at all. First I was cold then Sunshine must have been cold too and she crawled up against my back. Then it was a leg cramp. Baclofen didn't help, Lucy. I think I need to stick with cyclobenzeprine. I think that's Flexiril. They can't be taken together so I didn't. Anyway. I might have been up just about every hour on the hour. It was a very long night. Got to see the sunrise though. That made it almost worthwhile. Sunshine went back to bed after her breakfast. She was up with me every time, something she never does, but she must have sensed I was aching last night so she stayed with me. That dog. Just a bit uncanny.

Nap, I know you're excited but I do worry about the heat. Maybe you'll get used to it. Just Go, have a good time, and enjoy. i'm glad that Bill will take care of things at home.

I posted this article on Facebook this morning. It's an old article, one on ATP about 3 years ago. But it might give us a new appreciation for those golden blooms that dot our landscape right about now. And the henbit. And later, goldenrod. I think I might have forgotten to mention thistle, Mary.

Warning you . . . I might fall asleep in the middle of a word today. I hope you have sunshine.

Apr 2, 2016 8:48 AM CST
Name: Sharon
Morning, Mary. I love your words today. Dreams are funny things, aren't they? I wonder if there's a reason for yours.

You reminded me of Oma with your description of your neighbor's seeding dust. She has problems when the farmer near her home seeds as well and we haven't heard from her in a few days. Oma, I hope you are well.
Apr 2, 2016 9:19 AM CST
Name: aka GardenQuilts
Facebook, NGA
and the beloved Winston the pug
I have as question for iphone users, do you have the Apple coverage? It would have a $79 deductible and cost $5 a month. The phone would be new with a year warantee, so I am unsure of the advantage of the extended coverage. I have it on my "ask consumer cellular" list.. The best deal for coverage for me is Consumer Cellular. They use the ATT lines, which is the only provider that gives reliable service in this area. Verizon works in other parts of the poconos, but not here. Target and Sears have Consumer Cellular sales centers, so I can see the phones they offer. I can use their phone or an ATT go phone with their service.

Consumer Cellular gives a discount for AARP as well. You can check their website. If you switch to them please name me as a referral because I will get a $10 credit to my bill! If I buy a phone via consumer cellular, I am leaning toward the iphone 5. Other than screen size and the new screen sensitivity of the iPhone 6s, I don't see a large difference between the iphone 5 and iphone 6 based on online comparison. The iphone 5 is substantially less expensive than the iphone 6 models. Model 7 will be in the stores in time for Christmas along with other offerings from other companies. Technology gets less expensive and more advanced every year.

ATT has the best online and phone customer service, but their stores are over crowded in this area ( 1-2 hour waits to talk to somebody? Overcrowded with former New Yawkers feels more overcrowded with polite Minnesotans).

I can get to Walmart, it is a bit further away, but I can get there either on the bus or with a neighbor - especially since the neighbors rediscovered Aldis down the street from Walmart.

I am really frustrated with Walmart online and extended warantee support. I hesitate to buy electronics at Walmart. The prices are tempting, but I don't need another week like last week.
Apr 2, 2016 9:21 AM CST
Name: Margaret
BC, Can.
Good morning all, happy spring, I know I sure am happy that it is finally here. Big Yellow Grin I have been busy in the garden doing the flower and shrub bed cleanup, got the 3 crabapple trees pruned, that was the worst job. I have been stiff and sore for 3 days from climbing up and down the ladder. I have 2 large flower beds left to cleanup up, should get those done today. It has been slow going as I have to sit and rest often with this annoying heart condition, but no matter, even at a snail pace it is getting done. Hurray!
Apr 2, 2016 10:09 AM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Andi - I don't know what you mean by Apple coverage? Confused I do have insurance in case I lose the phone or if it's damaged. Is that what you mean? We are on Verizon. I would prefer AT&T but I'm on a family plan with Brad and Michelle and they are on Verizon and yes, the wait at their store can be 2 hours as can AT&T. We still have a land line and that is AT&T so my internet is AT&T.

I agree with Mary Ann - the androids are just as nice and perfect as Apple but but all our children and grand children are on Apple so it makes it easy to Face Time. The Androids have that too but I don't think Androids can Face Time with Apple users so it's just easier to stay with what the family is on.

Good to see you Margaret Lovey dubby

Sharon - I'm off to read your link and please take nap today if you can Group hug

Mary - I was thinking when the weather warms, you will miss cooking your oatmeal on your wood stove. I love your morning words too Lovey dubby

Lucy - I'm thankful your spasms are holding off.

Nap - I'm with Lucy, even if I were young, I couldn't do this trip. I'm way too much a homebody.
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
Apr 2, 2016 10:34 AM CST
Name: Mary
The dry side of Oregon
Be yourself, you can be no one else
I try to check the Cornell bird cams often because there is a lot going on sometimes. Ms Barn Owl now has 5 eggs. The Great Horned Owl babies are growing larger by the day and are sprouting new feathers, flapping their wings and sometimes hopping up into the air a bit (careful kids, it's a long way down!) and the barred owl eggs (3) should begin to hatch right away. I looked at the pond cam and saw beavers (a pair), and at the albatross in Hawaii, which leads me to this question: would 3 albatross be albatrice? I'll ponder that while I weed and snip. I need to check our owl nest this morning when I dump the wheelbarrow. I didn't look yesterday.
Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.
More ramblings at
Apr 2, 2016 1:19 PM CST
Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario, Canada
Zone 5a
Nice wall, Sharon. Love stone in the garden though freezing can really move it here.

Sally: the two main lines of evidence for evolution: palaeontology (fossils: direct) and comparative (at various levels, from DNA to social (for our Order) behaviour).
The comparative anatomy is especially relevant to interpreting the function of skeletal anatomies found in fossils. Can be lots of disagreement here.
Lots of additionally relevant areas e.g. various methods of dating and the study of fossilized plant seeds (relevant to interpretation at Shanidar Cave (in Sharon's interesting article)).
Re the science of death assemblages: e.g. some of the Homo erectus skulls have the bottom broken out: evidence of cannibalism or rather had the delicate bottom part of the skulls been broken out by being rolled along as part of the bottom load of a river - most of the fossils I'm familiar with were deposited and preserved originally in water)?

Farts: so funny, Andi.

Sweet pictures, Sally, Arlene.
Very creative, Arlene.

Gorgeous blooms, Carole.

Sharon, traditional and non-traditional uses of Bud. Am impressed.

Lucy, Sharon: as you say; great idea to keep grass away from the irises.

Love our iMac.
One of the best thing is all the help available on-line; has been incredibly useful.

Very pretty picture, Sharon.

Bon voyage, Nancy.

Did have frost over night here.
Beginning of the hellebores, yesterday.

Thumb of 2016-04-02/SunnyBorders/b61d72
Apr 2, 2016 2:10 PM CST
Name: aka GardenQuilts
Facebook, NGA
and the beloved Winston the pug
Nap, I hope you enjoy your trip! I Your husband will be busy with the kids and missing you while you are gone. he will probably be a bit more independent and a lot more appreciative when you return. Sometimes we take the people close to us for granted.

Arlene, I think Winston objects to wet /icy feet more than windblown ears. sometimes it is hard to tell. His face looks grumpy even when he is happy. Gardening has a new routine - move the lead and remind Winston where I am. Every once in a while he looks around and doggy talk his "where are you" sound. He doesn't see as well, so he likes to be within cuddle range outside. He feels more secure inside. He still barks at cars, especially ones with radios blaring or loud mufflers.

The weather report calls for possible snow accumulation overnigh. PHhhhttt. It will melt right away, but is dampens our springtime morale. Guess who will not be a happy camper for his morning walk. It has been getting colder all afternoon. It is an upside and backwards sort of day.

The boys in the neighborhood are all stressed out today. Everyone has an emergency. At least we are taking turns with emergencies. Winston the pug wants the spring weather back and wants the dogs in the neighborhood to stop barking and howling. His mood improved after lunch, but he is impatient for an early taste of dinner - the next batch of home made dog food cooling in HIS pressure cooker. We are having hamburger again since the pack of chopped meat is open. Hershey the hound is berserk because there is a female dog in heat - that explains the barking and howling. Winston "doesn't do" heat, he had a little operation before we met..... Joe is having computer problems. He lost his sound and has something important to do that needs sound. I got the sound back. The guys have to settle down because I have things to do!

There is some sort of crisis somewhere down the road involving three pickup trucks and a bunch of wood - looks to be really long as far as I can tell from the window. There is yelling and commotion loud enough to draw my neighbors away from their televisions. I am not interested in lifting logs or hearing yelling, so I am staying inside! There is probably a redneck joke in there - how many redneck and pick up trucks does it take to move a log...

The Apple Care plus extends protection for 2 years with a $80 deductible . I don't think it is worth it for an older model like 5s which will be old hat when the new iphone 7s come out at the end of the year. A new 5s has a one year warantee standard. It makes more sense for people buying the latest model, IMO

I am still shopping. Directly from Consumer Cellular the iPhone 5s is $200 (lower price than amazon) and the iPhone 6s plus is $750 and comes in the optional very pretty rose gold color. That is a big price difference in my budget. If I get an iPhone, it will be an older model like the 5s. The 5s is updated to run the same software as the 6 including siri. I think the 5s is available at a lower price because there is a new lower priced iPhone 6SE that is the same size as the 5s and therefore also more affordable than the larger high end iPhones.

My issue with Apple in general, is that it is difficult to update. This is a bigger issue for computers than phones. I can add a sim card to most android phones to add memory but I have to buy the iPhone with the memory already installed.

A friend is checking out the phone models at microcenter in NJ today. He will skype me from the store - the next best thing to being there. I respect his opinion on electronics - although he is not a smart phone fan. I told him I need to reach the Pocono Pony online while stranded both by phone and website. Period. He understands. He doesn't like the idea of me being stranded in in Stroudsburg or downtown Allentown either. He has heard really good things about the Huawei Ascend Mate 2 (pronounced HA as in ha, ha ha very funny, way as in no way) phablet. He said the company is well known by electronics buffs because it has made phones for T Mobile. It is starting to sell more products under its own brand name. It has some kind of gyroscope and other cutting edge stuff that I doubt I need, but he will like to play with. With a name like ascend, maybe it can fly back to China on its own volition for repairs.

Honda, Hundai, Huawei - Oy Vey - I want to buy a consonant! I don't know any oriental languages, perhaps I should.

I really want to know about the sound quality which is the complaint with the phone I am returning - the geeks that do reviews don't mention that often. I think the store lets people call themselves with the store models - it did the last time I was there anyway. All the bells and whistles in the world don't matter if people can't hear you talking to them! Or vice versa.

I'd rather be gardening than waiting for my phone to skype.... I have plenty to do inside, I can even start some more seeds.

Here is a link to the Phablet if anyone else is shopping or interested. This website also reviews android aps.

Apr 2, 2016 2:23 PM CST
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA
I am no help on phone talk as everything we have is through Verizon including the computer. Wish you luck.

MaryE albatroses?

Rain today & very grey not sunny showers. Temperature dropping.
Apr 2, 2016 2:27 PM CST
Name: Mary
The dry side of Oregon
Be yourself, you can be no one else
I get Lehman's emails, and yesterday they featured some of the funny replies from customers. Grandpa's Pine Tar Soap is said to repel mosquitoes according to one customer who golfs and isn't being eaten alive when his golfing buddies are. It might be just the thing for gardeners... many of you have said that you have to apply bug repellent, wear long pants and sleeves, tuck pants legs into socks or something, etc. I have no personal experience with this product.

The big lilac bush is pretty much trimmed. What a job! I have a few snips to go, but wanted to look at it from other angles because it was hard to tell how much was enough from the underside. I'm cutting all the new sprouts from around the original root ball, but also those that come up out of it and then make a u turn toward the ground. I found a poor, lonesome, struggling tulip that needs to be moved after it goes to sleep. The leaf mold under that bush needs to be moved around to benefit other plants. Another item for the job list.

Our Ms Owl is still on her nest. Eggs? Baby owls? Some of both?
Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.
More ramblings at
Apr 2, 2016 3:16 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Andi, I know you know technology better than I do but I don't understand why you say iMacs are difficult to update. I get messages from Apple with every update available and takes me about 5 minutes to do the upgrade. I'm just saying I have no problems with Apple. I hate that you are having so much trouble with all of it.

Nice hellebores Charlie. Your garden is going to be so pretty in just a short time. I can understand why you would have problems with a rock wall. I also love your scientific puzzles, I think that's my favorite part about studying ancient cultures, the puzzles that there are no sure fire answer too. Food for thought.

The wind is roaring and it took two trips outside this afternoon before Sunshine was convinced it wasn't thunder. The wind combined with the screaming little girl next door is going to really mess up my days. It's Spring Break here in KY.

I think I now need that nap.
Apr 2, 2016 5:34 PM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Very nice hellebores Charlie.

Gussie is having one of Sunshine's bad days. Not because of thunder but very loud guns the neighbor and friends have been shooting for HOURS.
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
Apr 2, 2016 5:38 PM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
ps to say I get updates on my phone.
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
Apr 2, 2016 5:52 PM CST
Name: DaylilyOma2
Be a good day maker! Smile!
Dear Sharon, not to worry. Just the same old health issues to deal with and again not enough sleep. I was up all night long and that happened every night this past week, as I recall. Sharon, we could have had a slumber party without the slumber.
And then there is the concern of our daughter with health issues. The 31st she spent at the hospital with a rapid heart beat and they were fearful of a blood clot in her lungs. They did a CT scan and gave her some medicine to take for three days. It is a concern for sure but we know that God is in control of it all and will see us through this. None the less, we still have it on our minds and it is hard to concentrate on other things.
After being on the medication for three days, she will be tested again.
It is not fun to have the dye pumped through the veins, which is what they did for the CT scan. I have had no word from here today so she is probably sleeping.
Our weather here has been crazy. High winds, blowing rain, sleet, snow and at times looking like a blizzard, then sunshine and high winds. No snow left to show for any of it. Really strange.
I tried to take a nap this afterno0 on but a cat nap was all I got. HAPPY wanted to keep jumping up in my chair to watch the canary so of course that disturbed my trying to sleep. Today he managed to crawl under DH's recliner and if I had not seen him do it, he would have been hurt, so now we have to tip the chair up before sitting down or goodbye kitty. I do not want to think of what would happen if DH sat in the chair with him under it, if he tipped back in the recliner. Not going to think of it.
That is about all I can manage right now. We saw a double rainbow last evening while it was raining. DH tried to get a picture. I will try to post it later.
The sun is shining, high winds at 7:50 p.m. It is supposed to calm down this evening but we've not seen that yet.
Have a wonderful Sunday.

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