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please check in

17 years ago

Christmas and New Year's are always the time when old friends check in,so why not here too? There are so many out there who have posted here and then stopped because of many reasons,but if you happen to see this,please post and let us know what's going on,or do it through someone else here who posts. Katie is in Guatamala,Lynn in Denmark,and so many others of you from days past of whom we aren't even sure anymore. It would be great to hear from G'ann,RA,Marie,John D...heck the list is endless. And then there is that large unseen group of you who have never posted but I'll bet know all of us here. If you are registered,it would be great to hear from you too. Merry Christmas to all of you.

Comments (40)

  • calliope
    17 years ago

    Merry Christmas to my friends at the Garden Party, both old pals and new acquaintances. I came home this morning to a snowstorm of pine needles on the floor under the mantle of the Kitchen fireplace from the garland I wrapped from fresh boughs last week. You know, it was worth the trouble and mess. That resin smell of fresh pine is part of Christmas past.

    I tackled the plum pudding last night, as I have so many other Christmas seasons. I did it with trepidation, as this year for the very first time I attempted to modify the family receipt, wondering if Grandma was rolling over in her grave for monkeying with tradition. She came back to haunt me, just as I knew she would. I got tired of seeing so much of the annual pudding wasted because they could feed twenty easily and I halved the size from about a twenty pounder to a seven pounder. Sometimes you can do that successfully and sometimes you can't. I couldn't. After five hours of simmering, it still didn't want to firm up, so again I monkeyed with tradition and poured the soft mess into a round pan and stuck it in the oven to drive off the excess moisture. It set up, it's not totally ugly and it's edible now and I guess that's better than I could have hoped for. I made it to bed sometime around three this morning.

    I have some candies to make today and the last of the grave decorations to place and the Tom and Jerry Batter to whip up for hot cups of toddy tonight. I also need to make the hard sauce for the pudding. The quilt is a week short of being finished, and is to be wrapped as is and finished after the fact.

    I am watching a blue jay now at the kitchen window feeder, and he is tearing off hunks of some left-over suet from the pudding and I am about to put on some Christmas music and jump into the Holiday with both feet proper. I shall pull the rest of the heads of savoy cabbage from the garden today and take them to the chickens for their holiday feast along with the corn and oats.

    Have a Joyous Season, Suzy

  • don_socal
    17 years ago

    Have been quiet and absent for a while. Busy with work and some inner thoughts. This is a great place to share ourselves and partake of the life events of the members here. Miss many that have been here and are absent for various reasons. Puting aside excuses to just say "Hi" would be a gift to yourself apropriate for the season. We know not what tomorrow shall bring and then it may be too late to be heard. To all, have a great holiday and enjoy the time to be with friends and relatives, whatever the reason for the season.

  • Related Discussions

  • sheila
    17 years ago

    I'm having a hard time this Christmas. This is my first Christmas without my mother. No card to send for the first time in my memory. No present to find and wrap and send to her, something I remember doing even as a child. Even when I knew she wouldn't have a clue who sent those things to her it didn't matter, because I knew who she was and that she'd smile and be happy to get the card and open her present. My mother was a woman who appreciated life all of her life.

    I count my many blessings, not the least of which is the friendship I find here. You are a wonderful bunch of friends, albeit I will never see or even speak to most of you. You are the Spirit of Goodwill.

    Merry Christmas...hold your loved ones close. Be safe and well.


  • andie_rathbone
    17 years ago

    It's been raining here all day today & we've spent it mostly curled up on the couch with the Sunday papers.

    We're having the 7 fishes tonight & will open our presents since we're one of those Christmas Eve opening families.

    Tomorrow we're having a couple of friends in for dinner - that Christmas goose!

    I hope that all the Partiers have a most blessed Christmas.

  • Josh
    17 years ago

    Just sitting and sipping after prepping things for tomorow's dinner. Datenut breads in oven. DH has gone with DS and DIL to a large family gathering. Everyone is nice about my avoiding large crowds...just sensory overload. We'll see most of them this week in smaller groups which I much prefer.

    I hope too that more (new and old) will join in here...I just returned after a long hiatus and am enjoying it so much. I find myself checking in twice a day sometimes...

    Sheila, I've enjoyed the little glimpses into your childhood you've shared...I hope writing about your Mom helps. She must have been a strong resilient woman...she sure raised a resourceful independent child. I admire your willingness to move to another country and your success in a difficult profession... she must have been very proud of you. Just hold those early memories close...I also miss my Mom and Dad...but remembering their love and care helps.

    Hope everyone enjoys their holidays...stay safe if traveling even if just across town...josh

  • ohiomom
    17 years ago

    Merry Christmas !!

    Peace on Earth

  • beanmomma
    17 years ago

    Merry Christmas Everyone!

    Thanks for the 'invite' Marda.

    I am celebrating Christmas at my MIL's in Delaware and I have family and friends to thank for their wonderful understanding and support.

    At Thanksgiving the children and I returned from Denmark. DH is staying there until July and finishing up what has turned into a shortened 1 year stay. I wish I could say that the transfer was nothing but a fantastic experience, but unfortunately I was harder to 'transplant' than I thought I would be. After months of trying to adapt and feel comfortable I instead had a harder and harder time.

    The people and country were fantastic. We loved our home and saw so many different sights. I highly recommend Denmark, and the Copenhagen area for a fantastic trip. It just didn't work for me as long-term relocation. Thankfully our family and friends were super supportive. I am currently living with DH's Mom since our own home in PA is rented out through June. DD has started a new school here and has settled in very quickly.

    I'm working through all my mixed feelings about leaving, but making lots of plans for the re-settling in July.

    I hope you're all having a great holiday season.


  • kris_zone6
    17 years ago

    Merry Christmas from Boise, ID. DH and I are here celebrating Christmas with our two daughters. Lynn, I would also have a hard time adapting to a foreign country. I have visited some, and loved it while I was there, but very glad to come back to familiar territory.

    I wish everyone happiness and good health in the new year.


  • mwoods
    Original Author
    17 years ago

    Lynn,glad you are back with us and will back in Pa,knee deep in your beloved gardens before you know it. You had a great experience and the kids will always remember it,especially Olivia. This happens more often than you think. Dh's research took him and many of those with whom he worked to France,Germany and Japan quite frequently. We knew couples who moved there for a couple of years and many of the wives came home earlier than they had originally planned..even those who spoke the language fluently. It was just a matter of priorities I think and what was more important at that time. All one has to do is meet you to see how rooted you are to your family and the earth. I hope now that you are back you will post just as much as you did when you were in Denmark. LOL Bet Olivia and Miles will be thrilled to get home again.

  • bigfoot_liz
    17 years ago

    merry christmas all! thought i'd just let you guys know Bigfoot & i are fine and we do read here, not as much as we'd like but we do stop by still. we've had a warm but stormy day w/ tornadoes even but all is well in bigfootland...~ liz

  • ell_in_or
    17 years ago

    Merry Christmas everyone! We drove home from visiting Ontario (Oregon) today. I have to work tomorrow, so we had xmas a day early with my mom, and 2 days early with dad. It was a good visit. Mom only pushed some of my buttons and I only got a mild case of food poisoning. So mostly all is well. Hmmm. Except for the continuing stomach cramps. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. I think I'll go to bed early tonight.

  • treehouse
    17 years ago

    I'm still here. Been studying my fool head off for my classes in massage therapy. I have a big theory test when school starts up again in January.

    Good to hear from Beanmomma. I am sorry the transplant didn't work out completely. Please remember that DE is not that big, and Elkton is 2.5 miles from DE!!!!!! Let's get together.


  • sara_the_brit_z6_ct
    17 years ago

    Welcome back Lynn! It's great to have you back with us. And Hi to Robert & Liz. And everyone.

    It's Boxing Day, and in traditional style, we're using it as a day to sleep off the food coma, and nibble on leftovers. Feat of 7 fishes on Christmas Eve, Roast Beast yesterday. Oof.

  • janetm_md
    17 years ago

    Happy holidays everyone. I gave birth to a daughter, Joy, in January. She lives up to her name daily and adds to much to our lives. I'm still working fulltime as a sysadmin for the Dept. of Energy. We finished our second major remodeling project (rearranged walls in our upstairs) and moved back upstairs after three years weeks before Joy's birth. Went on a cruise this Fall to the Caribbean with my MIL. Life is good these days. Hopefully now our remodeling is complete I'll be spending more time in the garden and teaching my daughter how to weed;-)

  • mawheel
    17 years ago

    I hope it's not too late to check in! DH and I just got home from spending Christmas with our daughters and son in So. MD. As soon as it was my turn on the computer, I checked the GP. There's a lot to catch up on, when one has been away for three days! A belated Merry Christmas to everyone, and Best Wishes for a safe, healthy New Year.

  • kathyjane
    17 years ago

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, my friends!
    Hope everyone is well----Bean; glad you're home again---heck with those straight-sticks, right? :o)

  • shilty
    17 years ago

    Happy New Year, everyone!

    Hubby's mum had her second stroke 3 weeks after his third heart attack. He's got more stints, she's in a center down down the road from us where we can see her often.
    She will be 90 in a few weeks.

    My new fun is estate sales - I've made up my mind, watching them sell all those boxes of junk for $2 and $3, No more trash hauled away - packing mine up now...will have my own auction when I'm 75, hubby and I will take up smoking and drinking and eating twinkies and buy Harleys to tour the country...we are going to live dangerously and want to go in mid stride.

    We garden, I can and freeze, make jelly to give away. I enjoy shopping, we each have one aunt we try to watch over, we travel a lot, dunno how we ever had time to work.

    We hunt deer - just to count them...traveling the country roads on our route almost daily 48 - 63 - 102.

    I lurk, but seldom feel I have anything interesting to say.

    Peace to all.

    Sharon Hiltibidal

  • andie_rathbone
    17 years ago

    Sharon, It's great to see you posting! Are you still breeding your irises? The ones I got from you msny moons ago moved from Dallas to Tyler with me & are doing great. I think of you every time they bloom.

  • muddy_paws
    17 years ago

    Greetings to ALL...
    I have been absent for quite a long time. I think that I may have logged in about five times in the last two years...
    Hopefully I will be back more in the year to come. I can use all the help and inspiration I can get. I moved this year, and will be starting all new gardens. There is a tangle of scotch broom that will be making way for some fruit trees that I was gifted with for Christmas. The front lawn will be changing from plain grass (or the current weed patch) to a nice herbal mix. The back fence desparately needs repair so that the veggie beds will have at least a minimal chance...
    The existing camelias will stay right where they are.
    in Pacifica

  • shilty
    17 years ago

    Hello Andi!

    New owner dug irises for three years - finally filled up all her space. I still have most of 10 beds, they're like my own kids now... I don't buy as many new ones to grow just for me, but some each year.

    Glad you still have yours. I think of you and all the girls often...

    Never got over Sallie.


  • sheila
    17 years ago

    Wow, what wonderful old names are showing up in this thread.

    Some of you will have known me as Bedale, my original name. I can't remember when I started using my real one.

  • mary_c_gw
    17 years ago

    Hi all,

    I used to post, way back when, and I'm not really sure why I stopped - life got it the way? Maybe.

    I do lurk on occasion, and enjoy the forum.

    Some of the beginners on the forum may remember me as Silo Mary. The DH and I still own the missle silo site, but even though it is now habitable, with a working kitchen and bathroom, it's still underground! My claustrophobia (not really, but a good excuse) still keeps me from wanting to spend extensive time there.

    Meanwhile, my son has grown - oh my, I'm the parent of a man. He graduated high school, went to university, and last summer joined a fund-raising bicycle ride for the American Cancer Society. He rode from Austin, TX to Anchorage, AL. 70 days on the road. He left a boy, (with ringlets no less), and returned a man. The organization is "Texas 4000 for Cancer", if anyone wants to look - these are some amazing young people.

    Meanwhile, back at the homestead, I'm retiring at the end of March. I have quilts to make and places to see. This includes two step-grandchildren in Japan. And I have several Quilts of Valor planned out for wounded soldiers for the coming year.

    So - my life in a nutshell.

    Silo Mary

    Mary C

  • neil_allen
    17 years ago

    Happy new year to all from Chicago.

    I sweated my andouille and made my brown roux on Friday and yesterday I thawed the shrimp, put the heads and shells in a stock pot and made my shrimp stock. Right now, the start of my seafood and sausage gumbo is reducing on the stove and I've put the potatoes for the cayenne-pepper-potato salad on to cook.

    I've scrounged up some exotic stuff for this year's gathering. In Chinatown I found bags of "mixed nuts" where the "nuts" all have a crunchy coating, and the nuts include favas and dried peas as well as peanuts and cuttlefish and shrimp are listed among the batter ingredients. They taste great. There's wasabi peas, which you can even buy in large chain groceries here now -- they're dried peas coated with wasabi paste. And yesterday at the produce store there was a French nun selling bakery products to support her mission, so I got three dozen Madelaines.

    In a little bit I'll start the eggnog. We should have enough to drink unless everyone decides they want red wine instead of white or ale or something like that. I've also got the makings for Black Velvet -- Guinness and not-quite-the-best champagne. I've got to stop after one eggnog and maybe a sip of champagne at midnight or the arthritis drug I'm taking will make me have to get measured for a new liver. But as long as a lot of people come and enjoy themselves, that should be ok.

  • redclaygirl
    17 years ago

    Hi, I am Ellen from Georgia, I usually post a Kt, but someone mentioned they posted over here quite frequently and enjoyed it so I thought I'd come on over and test drive. LOL. I love gardening but not much good at it. I like to get my hands in the redclay of Georgia. I like crafts, sewing, grandbabies, people and posting. How about that? Oh, and I like to cook also.

  • ladyleo
    17 years ago

    I am here, busey but around, happy new year all

  • carolyn_md
    17 years ago

    Hello. I posted here mostly in 1999 and 2000. Funny - six years and three days ago, I met up with several GPers for lunch in DC. I was nervous about starting a new job on January 2. It was a pretty small company. Well, we grew and obtained locations in NJ and TX. On October 30th, they announced that Baltimore would be closed at the end of the year, so now I'm unemployed! Looking forward to a break though. Haven't even started looking.

    Nice to see everyone here. I do pop in from time to time to read.

  • Robert_alabama
    17 years ago

    Hey guys! Happy New Year, hope everyone is doing well. I am in for my annual visit, sort of like a physical (though Dorie is on pretty regularly). I posted mainly from 96-2000.
    Just want to say hello, I miss the Illinois get together days and seeing a lot of you all.
    Robert (and Dorie)

  • mary_md7
    17 years ago

    Better late than never, I hope!

    I found Gardenweb 10 years ago (!) and met FirstKim and JanetM on a visit to the National Arboretum in the spring of 1997 (we were mere children, of course). Also attended a couple of Chicago get-togethers and met many wonderful folks from around the country--Suzanne, RuthAnne, Toni, Andie... this list goes on.

    Met Pidge at the Philadelphia Flower Show and several events since. One year, Janet, FirstKim, Pidge and I attended... there have been various mixes since, including Kim K.

    And this past Sunday, Pidge and her DH, Janet and her DH and baby Joy, my DH and myself, and some other friends, spent a wonderful mild day at Longwood.

    While I've popped in from time to time, life changes and work pressures got in the way. I hope to be able to visit the Garden Party more often.

  • andie_rathbone
    17 years ago

    Mary, It's great to see you poating! I hope your schedule allows you to come back here more often in the coming year.

  • andie_rathbone
    17 years ago

    Whoops! Make that posting! I'm on my first cup of coffee this morning.

  • mary_md7
    17 years ago

    Thanks, Andie. I hope to visit more often.

  • macbirch
    17 years ago

    Happy New Year everyone.

    I've lurked more than posted and for much of last year I didn't have access to a computer. I really missed GW. It's summer holidays here in Australia. DH has taken a few weeks off and school doesn't go back until Feb. The garden's not looking great. Because of the drought we have water restrictions so the lawn has died and it's not a good time to plant anything to fill the empty spaces in the garden beds. We can handwater morning and evening every two days but we finally got some rain a couple of times so I haven't been out to water lately. Sadly one day the weather was so bad some people suffered roof damage, the concrete in a storm water drain a few suburbs away was broken, and the farmer down the road lost fences. And now we're back to dry and very hot.

  • wandaredhead
    17 years ago

    Been lurking off and on.

    Y'all on my mind so many times.

    Been going in 412 directions, as usual.

    Will read each check in post and post more goings on in my life later.

  • sps_7_14
    17 years ago

    Hi Friends,
    Getting used to Seattle after move in May 05. Can't believe it has been that long. Well, we moved to be close to family and that is what we got! My husband and I have almost 30 first cousins living in the Northwest. The immediate family is 16 at the table.

    I drop in occasionally but still working and having husband retired and trying to reestablish my new garden has me busy and enjoying our new home. I am doing more lectures on Bible Plants and Bible Gardens and maintaining and we have passed the one million mark for visitors.

    My son who was ill with GBS is still in a wheelchair but vows he will be walking by the end of 07 and he has the will and guts to make it happen. We pray that it will be possible.

    I have met some wonderful gardeners and am exploring all the possible things to grow in the PNW. When we moved I had to leave the huge redwoods in my old garden..... Andi said I could not move the trees.....LOL but I replaced them with old growth Douglas Firs and love them.

    But, I did take many of my favorite plants with me and think of all my GW friends who traded with me and swapped at our parties and in Chicago. Each one tells a story and it is repeated everytime they start to sprout or bloom. I must bore my visitors to death with tales of Andi, Suzane, Suzi, Neil, Rev, RuthAnn, Bigfoot and Liz and all the others who sent me seeds, cuttings and plants. But although I don't visit here very often everyone is in my heart and in my garden.

    Happy New Year and I hope that everyone has a wonderful year full of happiness and beautiful gardens.


  • andie_rathbone
    17 years ago

    Shirley, It's good to see your name on a post! I'm glad everything is going well for you in the PNW. I think of you when my garden is blooming. You sent me so many seeds when we moved here and many of them have grown into hardy & lovely plants.

    Try & carve some time out of your busy schedule to come & chat here more often.

  • rosebudms
    17 years ago

    OK, I give up. I have been around since we first went online about 12 years ago. Don't think I ever posted much. Not sure what name I used. I remember very well RuthAnne and the airport and that stinkin' something she loved and hated. I remember the young man from the west coast who posted a lot and went missing for a few weeks. Everyone was very concerned about him but he was o.k. Also remember the courtship of Liz and Bigfoot. And so much more. Have always loved to read about everyone.

    I am retired from teaching in Virginia, Mississippi and Florida. We lived in Tennessee for a while afterward and moved on to MS about 10 years ago. I am widowed, just lost my last cat, but am hanging in and enjoying my yard. Lots of birds, and a few spring things blooming that ought not to be.

    Usually I get this far and erase it all, but today I'm hitting send.

    Happy New Year to all of you.


  • Josh
    17 years ago

    Rose, Please come chat with us...I've been around "forever" too and never posted much but have jumped in recently and am enjoying it. How many times I used to want to comment but since I didn't post often always you've made the plunge, the water's fine...several other teachers here and of course gardeners galore...hope you'll join in.

    This thread has been great...thanks, Marda. Wonderful to catch up with so many oldies...josh

  • sable_ca
    17 years ago

    Belated Happy New Year to everyone. I check here every day, but almost never post. Am mainly over at the home decorating, building, etc. forums, as we will be remodeling our own This Old House forever. I also check in at KT regularly - fascinating to see the different vibes at these two sites! I love looking at posted pictures of homes, gardens and animals. And - I made a wonderful friend on GW, quite unexpectedly, and hope to see her in the spring.

    At the moment I am keeping an eye on our two lemon trees, which are loaded with fruit, as we just came through the great California freeze of 2007. They seem to be okay, but it will take awhile to be sure. They are frost-hardened, so we're keeping our fingers crossed. Am also watching the plants on the deck. The succulents may loose their larger under-leaves, but the roses seem fine. I'm not sure why, as the water in the cats' saucers froze hard night after night. All we really have to worry about is our electricity bill, whereas the farmers and ag workers took a terrible hit.

    Wishing you all very good health and much happiness for 2007 and always.

  • merian
    17 years ago


    I am coming back to GardenWeb after many years. I see a couple of names I recognize but lots that I don't. It will be fun etting to know you all

  • calliope
    17 years ago

    Well, a lot of us are still the same ones you remember, but under new user names. I know my old user name was also coupled with a very identifying email address and there was just no anonimity whatsoever. I'm not particularly paranoid about being anonymous, but a little bit of it is nice. LOL.

    It's so wonderful to see so many of the people I rembember from years past, like Shirley who moved from California to the PNW, and especially Silo Mary. Her name has come up like a bad penney with people wondering if they still had the silo. rofl. That was so neat, even if she doesn't particularly like staying in it. That would make a wonderful HGTV offering for unusual abodes.

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