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To the "Sofa Girls"

Posted by Dorothy on 1/14/05 at 00:07 (167102)

To All of the Numbered Sofa Girls: I think it is so sweet of you all to give me Hawaii encouragement and Hawaii information while you've been 'under the weather'. I'm reading and absorbing and thinking - and cogitating and ruminating and brooding and, did I say ruminating - about it all. When oh when are we going to get Time Travel so this business of the long airplane flight can be but a memory! Well, anyway, back to the real world: your unselfish information and courage sharing is much appreciated. Between all that you've given and all the John H has given, I'm getting (my version of) excited....

Re: Cold day

wendyn on 1/14/05 at 14:54 (167145)

Dorothy, this won't look anything at all like Hawaii, but your question about the weather this morning inspired me to take my digital camera with me on my way out.

I had several errands to run, and I wasn't looking forward to being out in the -30, -40 weather. Having the camera along made it a little more fun. Not much - but a little.

If any of you are camera people - I love pictures, and I'd love to see where some of you live!!!


Re: Cold day

Richard, C.Ped on 1/14/05 at 15:20 (167149)

Great pictures Wendy. I am going to get out the camera this weekend and take a few to post.

Re: Cold day

Suzanne D. on 1/14/05 at 15:37 (167151)

Those were neat pictures, Wendy! Thank you for sharing them. And the coldness did seem to come through, even just looking at them!

All my life I've heard people say things like, 'I wish the weather would get colder. I think 'a good cold snap' would kill some of these germs!'

Thinking about your temperatures made me realize that if the above were true, you all would be the healthiest people around, wouldn't you?!

Suzanne :)

Re: Cold day

wendyn on 1/14/05 at 16:53 (167152)

Suzanne, there may be some truth to those comments - but I sure wouldn't like to test them out. Way back in my biology memory, I seem to recall that there is a temperature where the germs can't live. I think it's more like -60, but I'm really not sure. Somewhere I heard that if you were hanging around the north pole, you wouldn't be able to catch any viruses.

Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it - we don't 'live' in the cold. We run from warm vehicle to warm house and carry our bugs with us. Then we crowd into small spaces and sneeze and cough all over each other in a nice warm environment where those bugs can thrive.

So, I guess a cold snap would only be helpful if you were actually going to stay out in it!

Do you have a digital camera Suzanne? I would like to see pictures of where you live!

Re: Cold day

wendyn on 1/14/05 at 16:55 (167154)

Excellent Richard...you're in South Carolina? North Carolina? I think? Now I'm not sure..

Re: Cold day

Suzanne D. on 1/14/05 at 17:18 (167168)

What you said makes sense, Wendy. And if it's that cold outside, you're bound to be inside even more, so the germs have more chance to spread, I guess. I do hope you feel better soon.

We do have a digital camera, and I must learn how to post pictures! I love seeing all of yours. I live out in the country with a field with pond, barn, and cows across the road, horses on one side, a field on the other, and another field behind the house. Add an aging dalmatian and a proud, black cat in the yard, and you get the picture. :) We live about a mile from a fairly large river which has an old, iron bridge across it. It's our claim to fame each Christmas when it is decked out in lights and decorations by the volunteer fire department. We cross that bridge every time we go to church which is about two miles from the house (which is owned by the church - we live here since my husband is minister). My old school was a half-mile from the house, but the new one is about 5 miles away. There's a ballpark, cemetery, firehouse, three churches, and a couple of stores, and that's our community. It is only 15 miles to a small city, though, so we have plenty of places to go for things we need and don't need!

Take care,
Suzanne :)

Re: Cold day

Carole C in NOLA on 1/14/05 at 17:18 (167169)

Wendy, the weather there looks so awful that it's eerie, like a doomsday scenario of some kind! Cool picture, though; thanks for sharing it. Stay warm.

Carole C

Re: Cold day

wendyn on 1/14/05 at 17:22 (167170)

Carole, I remember how much I enjoyed the pictures of the house you bought. You had some funky tree in your yard that you were trying to figure out how to take care of. Was it a bannana tree? That doesn't sound right. Some tree I've never seen.

Re: OMG! I can see ALL of them this time!

Carole C in NOLA on 1/14/05 at 17:24 (167171)

I'm so used to the problems my old computer had with Shutterfly, that I didn't bother trying to look at more than the top photo (which used to be all I could see).

My new computer can see ALL of the Shutterfly album! WHEE! I got to see all of the photos just by clicking on slideshow, just like the rest of you. No more photo deprivation for me. :)

They are ALL very cool. Thanks for sharing, Wendy.

Carole C

Re: Cold day

wendyn on 1/14/05 at 17:24 (167172)

Suzanne, now I just have to see pictures. That's a great description. Posting them to shutterflyis really simple. My brain is foggy today...you are in Virginia? Tennessee? Somewhere around there?

Re: Cold day

Carole C in NOLA on 1/14/05 at 17:26 (167173)

Yes, it was a banana tree, one of about 80 in my yard. I found out how to take care of it: about twice a year, you saw it off at ground level, so that the growth doesn't get out of hand, and the rest of the year you ignore it. Had I only known that then... (grin) I actually thought I had to fertilize it, water it, and so on. Nope! They are like weeds here.

Carole C

Re: Cold day

Suzanne D. on 1/14/05 at 17:34 (167174)

Yes, somewhere around there - Kentucky. :)

Suzanne :)

Re: Cold day

Dorothy on 1/14/05 at 19:42 (167192)

It sounds wonderful! I read a novel a couple of years ago (title escapes me :-( that was set in that part of the country (Ky/Tn) and featured an old iron bridge that had lights put on it every Christmas. The story had to do with union organizing .... oh, I swear my brain is dropping information like sailors throwing ballast overboard! I'll let you know if the information returns....
In the meantime, your area sounds very pastoral (no pun intended) and idyllic... and I do love Kentucky.

Re: Cold day

Dorothy on 1/14/05 at 20:00 (167195)

It looks COLD - but there's not a lot of snow really, is there? I'll have to pull out some of our snow photos (not this year's)...
I wish I could post some of our Michigan years' photos - now there's real snow - but we didn't have a digital camera then.

We've had some good snows this year, but not so many and not so long-lasting. We had a beauty arrive on Christmas Eve. That's the stuff of kids' dreams...

Anybody else here remember the old Gene Autry record 'If It Doesn't Snow on Christmas..'?? It was the flip side/B side of 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer'. The 45 RPM record itself was RED!! It was cool.

Re: Cold day

wendyn on 1/14/05 at 20:00 (167197)

Suzanne, Oh. Is that in the vicinity? My geography of some pats of the southern U.S. is not what it should be. Perhaps I need some brushing up?

Re: Bannana Trees

wendyn on 1/14/05 at 20:03 (167198)

Carole, that's pretty fascinating to me. I have only ever seen one bannana tree - in our Zoo conservatory. It's very tall. 80 trees in your yard?!!!!

Our yards are so tiny. I have one tree in my yard! And it was planted by the people who built our house! (Disadvantages of living almost on the prairies I suppose)

Re: Cold day

wendyn on 1/14/05 at 20:08 (167200)

You're right Dorothy - really not a lot of snow here right now at all. I would much rather have snow than cold. We don't get nearly as much snow as areas like Michigan or the coast where they get a lot more moisture.

At Christmas, there was no snow on the ground here at all.

Our ski hills have actually been closed this week - lots of snow there, but too cold to be out.

We have very weird weather here. By Wednesday next week, we are forecast to have above freezing temperatures (which means a HUGE mess as everything melts) and then possibly rain!

Dorothy - where do you live now? I do not know if I ever remember hearing.

Re: Bannana Trees

Carole C in NOLA on 1/14/05 at 20:42 (167205)

Wendy, my lot is 50'x100', and the house covers about half so I guess the back yard is about 50'x25'. It's not huge. The banana trees start out small, but if they are left to grow for a year or two they can get to 25' high. They grow tightly together, and the trunks have the consistency of celery rather than wood. So, a patch of banana trees might have ten of the close together.

They spread underground, so pulling them up does little good since there is still root down there. They are beautiful, I think! But, they are hard to keep back. This year I hired six men to cut them all off at the ground and haul them away. It cost me $450 but I won't have to have it done for another year. So, I'm happy.

Banana trees die back after they fruit, so they have to be cut back and removed frequently.

I have one 'real tree' in my yard, an indigenous red maple called a 'swamp maple'. They are indigenous and it was probably here 35 years ago when the area was developed.

Carole C

Re: Cold day

Suzanne D. on 1/14/05 at 22:50 (167215)

Wendy, here's a link (I hope!) to a US map which can be enlarged. Tennessee borders Kentucky to the south, and Virginia touches us on the east.


Now what I could use is a lesson in Canadian geography!
Suzanne :)

Re: to enlarge the map...

Suzanne D. on 1/14/05 at 22:53 (167217)

To enlarge it, just move your mouse over the map, and a box with arrows will appear in the bottom right corner of the map. Clicking on that will do the trick.

Suzanne :)

Re: Cold day

john h on 1/15/05 at 09:59 (167246)

Suzanne! How could you possible fail to mention Tennessee borders ARKANSAS on he west??? I prefer to say Arkansas borders Tennessee on the East and the border line is the middle of the Mississippi River. Wendy- Uall come on down and see us now. We got that Clinton Library here in Little ole Rock.

Re: Cold day

Kathy G on 1/15/05 at 10:26 (167251)

What neat pictures, Wendy! You can almost feel the cold. Wow, it is so flat where you are. Of course, what do I expect? As you said, it's prairie land.

Yesterday, we went to a mini family reunion in MA and they have so much more snow than we have in NH. We've had a mild winter with very little snow so far. Yesterday, it was fifty-eight when I woke up and twenty-nine when I went to bed. Today it's not supposed to get out of the twenties. Really strange weather.

A year ago yesterday, we were in the middle of a cold spell and the high for the day was eight degrees. That cold spell lasted for weeks and it was the first time that a long cold spell bothered me. Then again, it set records so I'd never experienced it before.

For the all important football game tomorrow (Colts vs Patriots), they're expecting temperatures around twenty-five or so and a chance of snow flurries. People are paying $160 for standing room only tickets. I don't understand it. If I can watch the game from the warmth and comfort of my own living room, why would I want to pay money to stand and watch it in the freezing cold? I mean, even pre-PF, I wouldn't stand to watch a football game. Guess I'm just a football fan who likes her creature comforts! :) I'll make dinner early in the day so I can be in front of the TV set for kick off!

Re: Cold day

Suzanne D. on 1/15/05 at 14:08 (167265)

Sorry, John! :) Wendy had asked if I lived in Tennessee or Virginia, and I told her she was close, so that's what I was writing about.

Have a good weekend!
Suzanne :)

Re: Cold day

wendyn on 1/15/05 at 21:01 (167289)

Kathy, it is flat all to the east of us. But just an hour west is the rocky mountains. I tried to get them in the picture, but they just weren't showing up with the glare from the sun.

I have family in both Indianapolis and Manchester Mass, so it will be a very interesting football game tomorrow!!!!!

I'll sure try to catch most of it. :)

Re: John

wendyn on 1/15/05 at 21:07 (167290)

John, if I was going to fly anywhere right now it would be to the Clinton Library and museum in Little Rock. ;)

You and I could have Tuna sandwiches on the deck and you could show me your all black Mission Impossible outifit. I would meet your cats, and they would want to sit on my lap and lick my face since I'm allergic to them.

Mary and I would talk about you behind your back, and she would tell me all about how you really like doing housework - but you complain so that no one will know.

You and I could compare battle scars - both of us propping our calloused lumpy feet up on the table to compare incisions and pain points.

We'd talk about Scott and the heelspurs board, and all the interesting folks we've 'met' over the last 6 years.

I'd bring you a case of real Molson Canadian and we'd drink beer until the wee hours of the morning while we laughed at your accent.

Sound good?

Re: John

Dorothy on 1/15/05 at 21:12 (167294)

Butting in - I think it sounds like a blast. Can I come? I love tuna sandwiches.

Re: Dorothy

wendyn on 1/15/05 at 21:26 (167298)

Dorothy, you certainly may! John is a good cook. I think. He certainly should be able to handle a tuna sandwich.

Anyway, I started school again today, and I do have lots of homework that I really should be doing.

You are all far more interesting than either Women's studies or Law, but I must resist socializing for at least a little while and be productive.

(This is why I go to the library to do homework!) Everyone else in the house thinks that I am working furiously down here.....


Re: John

john h on 1/15/05 at 21:53 (167299)

You Canadians come up with some great ideas. I like that part about licking the face. Some Mounte probably came up with that although I do think I recall Eskimos doing something like that or was it rubbing noses? I promise not to cough up any fur balls. Bill C. and Bush 1 were in town last week at the library planning their money raising ideas for the Tsunami. I did run into Paula Jones again at the coffee shop.

Re: John

wendyn on 1/15/05 at 22:27 (167304)

John, Eskiomos rubbed noses. Or so they say. I would not like it if a Mountie tried to lick my face. That would be only marginally better (or worse?) than the cat.


Did you and Paula have a nice chat?

Re: John

JudyS on 1/15/05 at 22:59 (167306)

Oh Oh.....I want to go to Little Rock's most infamous deck also! Please please can I? (sorry Wendy, none of us is gonna let you get John h all to yourself!) I can live without tuna but could help put a dent in the Molsons!

John, do you suppose Paula, Bill and Big George would like to party with us?

Re: Dorothy

Dorothy on 1/15/05 at 23:25 (167307)

Well, we'll miss you - but hope you feel better and you must be feeling better if you are reading in Law. I have a child who's in law school; I read the textbooks and I find it promotes a nap very nicely. My offspring thinks it's very interesting. I think matters of the law are interesting, but not the law textbooks. Take care ~

Re: John

Dorothy on 1/15/05 at 23:30 (167308)

Now, Judy, you KNOW Bill would harken to a call to party. This new 'friendship' between B and W is a little disconcerting. Maybe if we can get B on the deck, a little tuna, a little Molsons, a pilot in Birkenstocks - B will tell us all about it.

Re: John

Julie on 1/16/05 at 04:54 (167321)

The new BW friendship is very disconcerting. But not quite as disconcerting (for me) as W's now very old friendship with Tony Blair. That one has disconcerted me right out of British politics.

Re: John

Kathy G on 1/16/05 at 09:23 (167326)

Okay, I'm in. Let's see, I could contribute some maple syrup? I'm trying to think of something that's typically NH and I can't come up with anything. Maybe some moose meat since we have an ugly moose on our conservation license plates? Of course, I have to find someone who has shot and dressed a moose. Maybe some sand from Hampton Beach and a big piece of granite because we are known for our granite quarries. We can get a kind of beachy thing going. I know, some good beer from one of the Portsmouth breweries! How could Bill resist?

Get ready, John. I may not be able to afford a trip to St. John's but I may be able to afford one to Little Rock!

Re: Dorothy

john h on 1/16/05 at 11:28 (167334)

When you guys talk about tuna I now think of the 'Big Tuna' also known as Bill Parcells the former Giants NFL coach and now coach of the Cowboys. I may just make me a tuna sandwich today and have a beer and assume the football sofa position. Wendy are you a hockey fan? Looks like a dying sport and a lost season in the NHL. When I lived in Chicago I was into the Blackhawks and hockey. Also the local skating rinks they set up in the local parks was a good place to meet girls.

Re: John

Dorothy on 1/16/05 at 12:12 (167338)

I'd like to see a picture of someone who's dressed a moose - and the moose, too.

Re: Dorothy

wendyn on 1/16/05 at 12:26 (167341)

John, I wouldn't be a good Canadian if I wasn't a hockey fan of some sort. Our team made it all the way to the 7th game of the Stanley Cup Finals last year, only to lose at the very end. Yes, it looks like the whole season is a right off. Certainly not a dying sport here, but the NHL is sure having its share of problems.

Our sports deprived are all looking forward to your football today. Our football season ends in November and of course - there's no hockey, so there hasn't been a whole lot for sports fans here to watch.

Re: Politics (not)

wendyn on 1/16/05 at 12:41 (167345)

I'm certainly not going to pick up the political hot potato, but I will go out on a limb to say man - Bill looks awful!!! I've seen those commercials with him and George, and George looks like he's aging a whole lot better. Maybe Bill's heart problems have really taken a toll?

Anyway, no political opinions here - just something I noticed.

Re: Politics (not)

john h on 1/16/05 at 16:16 (167359)

I agree he does not look great these days Wendy. He did lose weight and he is suffering what many of us men are. Losing hair. It really showed when he got rained on at the opening of his library. I have not seen Hillary around since the library opened and very rarely since they left for the White House. I do not think she ever took to Arkansas or the South. She comes from the Chicago suburb of Evanston which is only a few miles from where I attended High School in Highland Park. She really was never very popular here as the Governors wife. She went by the name of Hillary Rodham even as the Governor's wife and only changed when he ran for President. I think he was in his early 30's when he was first elected Governor and he did not have any grey hair then. Wonder where each of them live these days? Bill seems to be on the move a lot and I guess Hillary lives in Georgetown when Congress is in session. I guess he lives in his place in NYC when he needs some rest. His Library has a nice apartment so I am told. They never show pictures of it. As part of the library there is being built a very nice lake home in Hot Springs where he went to high school. Not sure how this is part of the library but it is. The crowds at the library continue to be large and I have yet to go in. Around here some say it looks like a double wide trailer. Clearly they must be Republicans. Arkansas is a very Democratic state in state politics but very Republican in Presidential politics. We seem to split with our Senators and House of Rep members.

Re: Politics (not)

Dorothy on 1/16/05 at 17:50 (167366)

Maybe it's because Bill has a heart and W. .... well....

Re: John

wendyn on 1/16/05 at 18:19 (167369)

John, I do not think I knew that you were originally from the Chicago area. My mom grew up there - I think Jefferson Park? I have family there in Park Ridge and also right in Chicago. I have an aunt who lives on the 42 floor of an apartment building where you can look down right on to Lake Michigan. I think it's on Lake Shore drive. No - that's not right. N. Sheridan Rd (good thing I had my phone book here).

I like the apartment, but there is NO way I could get used to being up that high. I was uncomfortable even having dinner there, and it took me a long time to work up the guts to go out on the balcony.

I have just finally gotten my Republican/Democrats all sorted out in my head. Since we were in Boston during the National Democratic convention, I can remember that it's Kerry who is the Democrat and Bush who is Republican.

My family we visited in Mass are die hard Republicans, especially one male cousin and my female cousin's husband. They love to argue and they are SO much fun to get wound up. Mike and I found it wildly entertaining reading all of the pro-Democratic coverage from the Boston Globe out loud at breakfast. Mike pulled out the full page ad that was titled 'Impeach Bush' and buried it in my cousin's suitcase. It was around the time that I commented cousin's hubby actually looks a lot like John Kerry that I thought we may end up sleeping in the garage (for the record, he does not - but I just couldn't resist pushing one more button....). I actually had zero interest in the convention either way, but this whole exchange kept us amused for most of our vacation.

Re: John

Carole C in NOLA on 1/16/05 at 18:44 (167373)

Wendy, I feel the same way about being up that high. Maybe worse, because nothing could have made me go out on that balcony. I could never live that high; I'd rather pay less money and live on the second floor.

I stayed on the 22nd floor of a hotel in Baltimore once, and I kept the drapes shut the whole time so that I didn't have to look. I also stayed at least ten feet away from the drape-covered windows.

Funny thing, though - - I'm not a bit scared of heights in airplanes. I think that maybe I'm not really scared of heights at all, actually. I'm only scared of falling.

Carole C

Re: John

Dorothy on 1/16/05 at 19:26 (167377)

I think Park Ridge is actually where Hillary Clinton is from, not Evanston. Her upbringing was always described as 'middle class', but I grew up in Illinois and knew that area - our high schools played each other - and have seen pictures of her house and neighborhood and I would not say this is 'middle class', but upper to upper/middle class. Her high school was definitely a very 'fancy' public high school back then. I know that she was not from Evanston.
It is also pretty fascinating to read of Michael Moore's self-claimed associations with 'working class' folks. He owns several homes, but the area that I am familiar with, in which he owns property, is in northwest Michigan where real estate is VERY premium and VERY expensive. He has owned this for a long time. He was 'pals' with another Michigan personage, Jim Harrison, who is a prolific writer and also owns prime property in that area. Harrison moved to Montana in recent years as he has gotten old and wanted to live near his daughter, but previously was a long-term Michigan resident.
I mention these things because I think it is interesting when one is familiar with the 'real estate' that a well-known person is from and can compare it with the 'story' that said person claims as their personal truth. Hillary's family lived very, very well; her mother did not work outside the home and Hillary went to Wellesley and Yale - an expensive education (and especially in the sixties when fin. aid was not the same as it is now). All of this is apropos of nothing really. I'm going to go make chili.

Re: Bannana Trees

BrianG on 1/17/05 at 11:48 (167393)

Hi Carole,

Did you ever buy that machete? The bananas will be very easy to chop down each year, now that you've had them all cut. They will be about 90% water the first year. Go for it, Ms. Crocodile Dundee !!


Re: John

John H on 1/17/05 at 12:14 (167395)

Park Ridge it is Dorothy. Our high school, Highland Park, played in the suburban league and I think Park Ridge may have been to small at my time to be in the league. Evanston can hardly be separated from Chicago anymore as it is just one big blob. When I was young as you drove from Highland Park to Chicago you went from one small village to another but now you cannot tell where one ends and another begins. I attended all the Northwestern games when I was in high school. When I was stationed on Cape Cod my first assignment I went to Smith, Wellesley to date some of my former high school classmates. Bill Clinton really did come from humble beginings and never quiet escaped them. You could always find his mother at Oaklawn race track during the season. I think she must have gone every day.

Re: John

John H on 1/17/05 at 12:25 (167396)

If you Aunt lives on Lakeshore Drive or N. Sheridan Road she is living in High Cotton as we would say in Little Rock. Lakeshore Drive living is for the Swells and a lot of old money lives on N. Sheridan Road which was my usual drive from the northern suburbs to Chicago. You must have met the only two Republicans in Mass. What do you guys have in Canada? Whigs, Torres, Conservatives, Liberals, Separatist? I really never thought much about Canadian politics. Seems like I remember a Prime Minister that had some woman problems. This seems to be sort of common with many politicians. One year I drove from Boston to Niagra Falls and then into Canada and along some highway before driving down into Michigan and on to Chicago. Most of my travels to Canada have been to air bases so I never got out amongst the people.

Re: Bannana Trees

Carole C in NOLA on 1/17/05 at 12:45 (167397)

Hi, Brian! No, I didn't ever get the machete. The last time I cut them back was in June. I started using a saw, along with my box cutter and a lot of muscle to widen the cut by pushing at the tree, so that the saw could get through these huge trunks.

Then, as I mentioned, right before Christmas I hired 6 men to cut them back again, since it was time. They cut them all completely down to the ground, using a chain saw. I was surprised that they could do that, since I had assumed that the chain saw would just get 'gummy' and become useless. Silly me. If I do it again myself, I'll get one and try that.

Unfortunately, my banana trees will be just as big next year as they were this year, since I've been cutting them back to about 1-2 feet above the ground twice a year since 2003. As I described, they are about the consistency of celery which contains a lot of water, rather than woody.

Of course, that doesn't make them any lighter and they are very weighty to dispose of. One has to pick them up and set them on something to cut the trunks into 3' lengths, and then haul all of the logs plus bags of fronds to the curb. That's a whole lot more work than the initial cut.

The 6 men brought a chipper type of machine in the back of a big truck, and disposed of everything for me. Plus, for the $450 they also did some major pruning on my swamp maple which makes it safer for hurricane season next summer. I felt like the cavalry had arrived to save me (as in an old western movie!)

As you probably know, banana tree sap ruins any clothing that one is wearing. My best pair of jeans looks horrible after cutting back just a couple of them last fall.

I think I've decided that basically, if I have the money and if the trees need it, the six guys are worth $450 once a year! :D

Carole C

Re: Bannana Trees

unknown on 10/22/05 at 12:39 (185413)

that is pretty amazing