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Yep, that's what I'm doing, counting the days to spring. I googled and it tells me that there are 37 days, 11 hours and so many minutes and seconds to spring 2018.

I've been rather lazy this winter and neglected my house plants and since we use wood heat in the basement and first floor, the air dries out my plants as I've neglected to care for them like I used to and the soil dried out several times or maybe more than several times... It seems that I'd rather nap than water plants but they are tough and despite the neglect, they are rewarding me with late blooms this year. It could be that they are confused with the weather extremes.



This was a Poinsettia Christine gave me at Christmas in 2016, It was huge but I lost 2 plants in that pot because I let the soil dry, bad me... but it's still put on a show the best it could.


The Christmas Cacti also were neglected but despite their hardship, they survived with a little bit of attention.


The Poinsettias and Christmas Cacti used to bloom on time for Christmas but this year they were late and are blooming now and are not in the best shape but I'll take any blooms at this gloomy time of year.  The Christmas Cacti are almost finished blooming right now. We've had snow storms and rain repeatedly and it will be a long time before the outdoor plants give blooms... Somehow seeing real blooms on my houseplants kinds of gladens the heart.



I did a bit of hooking and I finished one mitten. I have the wrong size knitting needle for the pattern but the woolen mitten fits me perfectly. Now to start the other one.

I hope that you take heart if cold winter isn't your favorite season.
Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.
Hugs, Julia
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February 2nd is Groundhog Day and Mr. Groundhog certainly didn't see his shadow today. That means we'll get an early spring...  It's been gloomy, snowy and overcast. The weather is rather mild and it's a good thing. We attended a funeral service for a dear family friend who was 99 years young. Adele would have been 100 in May but she certainly didn't look her age. She died two weeks after a fall. After her fall, she decided that maybe it was time to move to an assisted senior complex... Our large church was packed even though it was snowing heavily at the time.


 It stopped snowing for a short time and it's now snowing again...

What to do when Spring is not far away, but it's still wintering outside? I dream of tending my flower gardens of course. If everything goes as plan, I'll be retiring from dairy farming in the spring. I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed. I'm not afraid to get bored as I have more hobbies than I can do even if I lived to be 100.


I've been looking at my seeds catalogs and writing down what seeds I want to buy.

 It's unbelievable how expensive the seeds have gotten since I started gardening many years ago. I only had a few gardens then and with no money to buy plants, I bought little packets of seeds. They were very cheap then.  I remember my first little makeshift greenhouse was a large picnic table turned upside down and I draped it with a large sheet of heavy plastic. I would pull back the plastic in the morning and put it back on in the evening, somewhat like a cold frame and I had great results.
 I'm hoping that I will have more time to do some weed prevention this spring but I'm only dreaming.


I started this little rug April 2017, since the backing was too small for my frame, I basted some wool strips to stretch over the frame.I'll be weeding that grass and try to hook the grass differently. THat baby is sleeping with one eye open, lol...

I've also pulled out my not so great Rock-A-Bye Baby rug and I've resumed hooking the sky. I've been using leftover wool worms for everything but the sky as it was a challenge rug but since our daughter, Nicole passed away, I kind of lost interest and just put it away for a while. It's rather smallish for me as I was using a small leftover piece of linen burlap backing that I had hanging around.

I design all my own rugs and just can't be bothered to buy a ready made pattern. Someday, I may do a portfolio of my hooked rugs, just for fun.

Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving comments. I really appreciate it when you take the time to let me know that you came to say "Hi"
Hugs, Julia
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I think that the time to return to blogging is finally here. I seem to finally have more spare time. Life got really busy and I got myself very tired... and then it was the old slow computer woes, the old car problems, shopping for a new vehicle, getting the house ready for the Merry Maids prior to getting family visitors and being sick for a whole month, getting a new computer and having all the pipes frozen in the barn and all the bad weather etc.

In early December I got sick with a very bad cold that lasted over a month and it left me totally exhausted. I'm finally feeling my old self again.  I've noticed the daylight time is getting longer and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I'd had been having some security concerns and other small issues with my old and new my new computer and when I got my son in law, Bill to take a look at it yesterday, he got everything to work as it should with some minor adjustments here and there. I  had even stopped commenting on blogs because my computer was telling me the blog sites I was visiting were not secured sites.  I think it's a Blogger issue as so many blogger sites are no longer secure.  The regular blog sites I was visiting no longer had that little green padlock icon with https:// at the top of the page and it made me nervous.



Here is the little padlock that I'm talking about at the top of the page.  it used to show an "i" icon instead of the padlock and when I clicked on the "i" icon, it would tell me that the site was not secure and how many cookies were there.



To secure my site, I went to Settings and clicked.


For an unknown reason, my https was set on no and I have no idea how that happened. I clicked on that little arrow and clicked on Yes and I got my blog secured again.

And that's my little blogging for today.
I hope you are all coping with this unusual winter without too much trouble.
Stay safe and well.
Hugs, Julia
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August is always a busy month on our farm. Hay has been plentiful this year.  All our barns are full. s      There are still a few fields that are cut but the hay will be left in the field.   There has been a lot of activity like building a new tarp barn. This time George put the tarp on with the help from his friends 
 .and they did a great job despite of the wind shifting to give them a hard time instead of helping them



This year one of our local plant nursery gave George a lot of plants they had overstocked and he planted everything. We have so many tomato plants, squash, cucumbers and some other veggies beside what I have in my little garden. A friend gave potatoes so he planted those too.

This year I haven't weeded his veggies simply because I have already way more than I can do.

We had hoof trimming for the cows or maybe it sounds better saying the cows had a pedicure.
We had the milk inspector coming to check each cow individually to see how well they are doing, then we had the vet coming to do herd health to check on which cows are pregnant and which one needs to be dried off before they calve and we had dehorning of the calves.  Just so much to do.

We also had visitors who have now returned home  and I've been weeding and clipping the badly damaged spruce hedge.I had to stop trimming when it got too dry and when we got a good rain, I resumed pruning. It's slow going , one branch at a time.  I'm getting closer to finish if I wasn't chased in by the rain. Unfortunately the trees by  by the road were so badly damaged that I had George remove 4 of them.

I've also been picking high bush blueberries for my neighbour next door  who no longer can pick them because of her bad knees. I think the blueberries are pretty well done for this year. I haven't had much time for blogger or for myself. I rush in to get meals ready and rush out again and it's time to go feed and bed the calves. I've had lots of calves lately.




Daylilies are almost finished blooming and soon will be making Lady Ashburnham pickles for George. He's loaded up the truck full of cucumbers for the church ladies to make pickles and they have made a lot so far.

The sun came back out just to tease me after the rain got me wet.  Only half and hour before I have to return to the barn. Did I mentioned the flies are bad this time of year. I have difficulty keeping up destroying them. Cold weather should slow them down...

I started this post last week but I'm having difficulty with my old computer as the curser is working in fits. So I'm having difficulty updating the events...  I can't get rid of that s  on the first line... My photo library is full and it's difficult writing a post.
I may just need a new computer very soon. Grrr... My pictures are few this time.

I can't believe that September is here and it feels like October.
Thanks for stopping in.  I so appreciate your comments.
Happy Labour Day
Hugs, Julia
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I'm going back in time here but I wanted to keep a record of our family gathering. Life has been a bit busy for me lately and I'm still playing catch up.

We always celebrate Christmas at Christmas time but this year we tried something new, we celebrated Christmas in July.  We will probably still celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December as it's Jesus' birthday ...

No we haven't lost our mind or got our date mixed up. You see July 25th is Nicole's birthday and it just happened that the family was all together to celebrate and we even played the traditional present game after a big family meal.  After all she was the one who introduced it to the family and it's a fun tradition.









Christine got all the presents for the game over a period of time as she went shopping, she would pick  up some and added to the pile. I think that she wrapped over 50 presents by herself... There was a big pile.  She did this because her and her family will be celebrating Christmas in Ottawa this year and won't be coming home for Christmas as travelling in the winter with small kids can be very long and tiresome drive  flying a family at Christmas is not much fun anymore...


Isn't this a gorgeous smile and the cupcakes are lovely too.

Christine even made a dark chocolate zucchini cake batter and made small and medium cupcakes and made some ganuche icing, oh so moist and yummy.  My son in law Bill,  made his famous Chicken Fettuccine with Sun Dried Tomatoes and my daughter Jackie made her famous toss salad with home made dressing and she also made an appetizer of baked Brie and it was to die for.  I provided the wine and did nothing else since I was working at the farm.

Vaughan was milking and George was baling hay. Since I was a bit late with 7 new born calves to bootle feed plus all the others and  having to shower before the meal, I had no time to take pictures of the meal but take my word for it, it was very delicious and enjoyed by all...


Aren't those most amazing fork jewellery that Jordyn got! She had picked it up at an earlier date and was wearing it in honour of Nicole... unfortunately she left before I could take picture of Cypress and Willow.



Remember the shipment of 17 boxes from Scotland of Nicole's things, the rest of her belonging stayed in Scotland and given away to charity with her mask collection to be donated and shipped to The University Of New Brunswick Anthropology Department.

We toasted our  Nicole with a wee dram of 12 years old scotch whisky again  and after we went upstairs to distribute the rest of her belongings amongst family members.  It was done with the upmost respect for her things and when asked who wants this, someone would say, I want it if no one else wants it. There was no greed.  Of course we all pretty well know each other's taste and everyone would say it's yours, take it. There was jewellery, home decorations, souvenirs from places she visited, and lots of decorative and interesting items she picked up on her many travels to so many countries, clothing, tons of photos,  postcards, and too many things to name here.  It has taken days to organize and there is still lots of belonging to divide or to donate at a later date. It all went so smoothly and everyone got a little piece of Nicole to cherish.

This week Nicole's tombstone was finally installed in the cemetery.  May she rest in peace,
Thanks for your visit and know that I enjoy reading you comments.
Hugs, Julia
  
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A few weeks ago I was all prepared to post on my blog  but Google wouldn't let me open my email account. It asked me to open another gmail account and was pushing me to Google+ and wanted me to start another blog. I couldn't send or receive emails, I couldn't post on my blog or see my Reading List and of course, lost all my contacts. I could read my blog and I could receive comments and I could access my followers by clicking on their comment link on my post but it was a long and tedious job and I was just too busy with work to spend much time on the computer.

I tried to fix the problem but got frustrated until Christine, my techie daughter figured how to get back things like they were before.   I'm back and running so this is history.

I had a lots of appointments booked on my calendar, one at my bank for transferring some retirement investments, one to move the piano, one at my doctor to discuss results of some blood tests etc, one to pick up my granddaughter for her Dr's appointment in another town, and one to bottle my wine.

I got to the bank appointment and after waiting 15 minutes the clerk had to rebook my appointment for Friday because she couldn't access the internet to view my files. She had moved to a new office and lost her internet connection in the process. Wasted morning for me.

When I got home from the barn that afternoon, there was a message on the phone. My piano appointment would have to be changed because the moving men couldn't come until late afternoon instead of morning. I had that appointment booked two weeks in advance...They couldn't give me a specific time, between 1:00 and 3:30pm. so I had to wait for their call. I worked inside  the house instead of working on the hedge.

My granddaughter had to change her doctor's appointment to Thursday, so it meant that I had appointments everyday that week.  It was disappointments at every turn. It all started with Google... hahaha.



Finally my piano is being moved. Three men came and did their work professionally. They were recommended by the music store who sells pianos.


Moving heavy piano can be tricky and one man said, he had one tipping over and crashed once...  I kept my fingers crossed...


They rolled it unto the platform on the ground and lifted the platform up and rolled it inside the truck and secured it for the short trip to my granddaughter's house. Goodbye, piano... Now I'll have to find an alternate place to display my Christmas Village for the Holidays.


I 'm clipping the very neglected spruce  hedge as the tops were growing very fast, but it was much easier than the last time I did it a few years ago. I'm seriously considering removing it and replacing it with a fence. My legs and glutinous muscles were sore but after a few days were ok.

Having all those appointments has made me put the hedge clipping on hold and it's so dry, I'm having second thoughts about finishing my job.  The trees by the very end will have to be removed as they were beyond repair.  I clipped most of the dried  branches off and they are awaiting for my husband time to do remove them. I'll show a picture later...



Meanwhile, these yellow blooms are gone but the rosebush is still blooming.


Some sort of  calendulas also on their way out by now.


Some sedum also on their way out by now.  Meanwhile there are many other  flowers that have bloomed.  I will show them in a later post. They will probably be finished by then, oh well...



My husband is talking of retiring next year but still need another 3rd tarp building to store the hay. We have already 1500 big round bales stored and it's just the first cut.
This is the ditch for the footing.


The men pouring the cement for the footing. To be continued next time as this post is already too long.
I hope that we get more rain in August as the ground ids bone dry.

Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. I really like to read what your thoughts are.
Hugs, Julia
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I've been complaining about the rainy weather lately. It reminded  me of a poem I wrote on November 18, 2005.  All this rain has played havoc with our hay harvest and we are not alone. Many of my outdoor plans had to be put on hold until the rain stopped. While we have frequent rain, somewhere on our beautiful planet, there are places where it has not rain for a long time.  Thursday was sunny and dry with a beautiful breeze,  and today is starting out sunny as well but we're supposed to get showers and a severe thunder storm so I got a lot of yard work done already this morning...

In November 2005, I was at a retreat at Villa Madonna Retreat House in St John N.B. and I was looking for some guidance from my spiritual advisor at our first one on one meeting. I had some expectations even though I can't remember what they were at the time, but instead she told me to write a poem on water.

Prior to the meeting we had a presentation on the misuse of water and the selling of bottled water. Big companies are reaping huge profit from selling water. I wasn't prepared to write a poem. I wanted something more earth shattering. None the less,  I reluctantly obeyed and retreated to a rather small bedroom which had a single bed, a chair, a desk with lamp and a sink.  There was a crucifix on the wall  and a window.  No distraction there so I took pen to paper and one word came at a time. Just like a slow drip, drip, drip. I was trying to think of anything that had to do with water, more like brain storming...

I wasn't impressed in the least. When it was time to meet with my spiritual advisor again I said downheartedly,  I'm sorry but I just couldn't come up with much.
She asked me to read it to her anyway. So I started to read. After a little while I look up to read the expression on her face and I saw that she had her eyes closed and her hand was flowing in rhythm to her heart, taking it all in. I felt a bit more encouraged. I had never written a poem like this before so it was all new to me. I'll share it with you today for those who have oo much rain and those who don't have any.

WATER, A GIFT, A RIGHT, A COMMODITY
Oceans, seas, lakes, rivers and streams
Babbling brooks, water falls, puddles, wells and pools
Geysers, clouds and rain torrents
Currents and waves, drip, drip, drip
Glaciers and ponds, hot springs, cool springs, juices, ice

Who will give me water for my tears?
Who will provide water for my precious cargo? Dehydrated womb
Who will provide water for my blistered hands and feet?
My tongue is cleaving to my palate. Thirst

Who will provide water for my pused pimples, for my sweat?

Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink
Contaminated, dehydrated, salty, dirty, mineral
Gurgles, spittle
Who hears my cry? I have no tears left.

Lines and lines of bottled water,
Profit margin, stocks and bonds, truck loads
Warehouses full.
Soft and hard, clear and fresh. Who will buy my water?

Soaked, drenched, down pour
Going under, swimming
How will I get across?
Where will I go for a cruise?
Mirror image, glass full or half empty

Water, a gift, a right, a commodity

Baptism, Holy, shared and poured
Come bathe in my pool.
Come and get the water of Life, refresh yourself
Pool of miracles, well of salvation

Here, let me wash your feet

Millions of snowflakes falling, glistening and not two the same
Snow angels, foot print to follow, season of hope
Frozen breath, storms, ice pellets and snow banks, slippery, thawed
Smiles on children's faces, skating, sliding, building snowmen
Curses from grumpy old folks, chilled to the bones

Flushed down, sewers, gutters, lagoons
Muddy trenches, face down, drowning, sinking down below
Foggy night, sandy deserts
Dams, submerged land once fertile
Obstruction in my path, lack of water

Open the flood gate, widen the canal, built a power plant
Irrigation, heavy water, nuclear waste
Floating, drifting, message in a bottle, tossed over board
Lost at sea, watery grave, tidal wave
Boat wrecks, desperate family waiting, hoping

Parched land, cracked, wilted green
Merciful gift from heaven, drizzle, rain, coming down
Renewing, refreshing, life giving
Renewed resources millions of years old
Thankful hearts, dancing, quenched

Drunken stupor, bloated, swollen
Caffeinated, decaffeinated, coolers
Spirited water, tea, Coca Cola
Can I offer you something to drink?
Something hot, something cold?

Water fountains, washing machines
Golden faucets, whirlpool bath, hot shower, sauna
Which one to choose,? Water bills, hydro bills
Which one to pay?

Luxurious eau de toilette, bubble bath, dish water
Soapy water, boiled, distilled, potable, deep shallow
Come fill your bucket, come fill your jar
All this for you at no cost
Gift from the creator, oasis, clear blue

Douse the fire, put out the flame
Rinse your hair, sprinkle the kids
Cool your drink, hose down the lawn
Bucket empty, well dried up
Desperation, smelly armpits


Water, a gift, a right, a commodity
By Julia Bourque
November, 18, 2005
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On Monday I  was asked to look  after my great grandson Cypress for a few hours. He got his first haircut and he now looks like a little man...  Cypress loves to have his picture taken and always wants me to get my camera out and then he wants to see the pictures of himself.
For the benefit of the family, I included lots of  Cypress photos, so bear with me.


As some of you know, Cypress is obsessed with roosters and every time he comes for a visit, he wants to see the laughing roosters on Youtube. He watches it over and over.



He's eating some corn puffs that doesn't have any additive and it's my snack of choice.



It's back at watching the laughing roosters and munching.


It's now time to feed the hungry bear.


He's giving me the sign of peace I hope. I wonder where he learned that. He stuck his fingers in front of the camera and my camera is set on auto focus. The fingers are clear but not the face...


I told him to smile and instead he's hamming it up for the camera, the little toot. He's got snack of clementine, banana, and corn puff and great grandpa says that I'm spoiling him. I think they are healthy snacks...


Climbing on the coffee table with his cat and bear. He thinks it's cool to have the cat on the bear's back.


Great grandpa wants to have his picture taken too. Cypress looks so serious when he gets his photo taken sometimes. He looks right into the camera.


He climbed on the chair and saw some grapes on the counter and wanted some.


Now it time for a sip of milk. See the frame on the table. There's a rooster inside, what else. He got a little ice cream cone too but I didn't take a picture of that either.
     


Cypress loves to clean and I gave him a damp dishcloth and he scrubbed the fridge door and he was also scrubbing my cupboard doors. They really need a good scrubbing.
I missed a good shot of him sweeping the floor and using the dustpan. I was busy making soup.


Last summer when I was babysitting Cypress, he was getting tired and I turned the music on my laptop to  Canon in D, by Johann Pachelbel; Original Version Youtube and he listen to the soothing  music and he fell asleep. Now he still love that music so much and he watches the ladies playing the violins and will listen to it for a long time. I find it very soothing too.


He was busy scribbling  and started with one and then with two pencils he found on my desk.

I hope you enjoyed this little bit of vignette with my little great grandson Cypress. I had a great time although I didn't get a lot done.
Thanks for visiting my little blog and know that I really appreciate your generous comments.
Spring isn't very far away. Stay healthy and safe.
Hugs,
JB
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When my daughter Christine was here for Christmas she asked me for the salad dressing shaker she had bought me the Christmas before. I told her that I hadn't used it and frankly I had totally forgotten about it since I had tucked it in the cupboard way back then. Christmas time gets pretty hectic for me...

I searched in the cupboard and found the shaker and she wanted to show me how slick it makes salad dressing.  I opened the shaker and as quick as a wink the little heavy ball flew out and rolled under the fridge. We both tried to retrieve the ball with all sorts of contraptions, but try as we may, we just couldn't reach it from it's hiding place.

Today I remembered about the lost ball and I had the idea to bend a metal coat hanger and see if I can retrieve it. In a few seconds I had the ball out from under it's hiding place.


   This is a pretty neat gadget and my daughter uses her all the time. I'll be using it too since I don't eat bought dressings unless they don't have soy by products.


I might have to wait till the price of lettuce goes down to try my new found ball. lol.
It took me a long while to come up with that idea of using a coat hanger. My mind is slow but I guess it still works.

Thanks for visiting. Please leave me your comments, they cheer me up.
Hugs,
JB
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Just a quick post... This past weekend it was George's 72nd birthday. I had intended of baking a cake and making a big pot of Chili.  My daughter Nicole Skyped from Scotland to wish her dad Happy Birthday. We talked for about an hour and with the time difference and our schedules it's difficult to make time to Skype.  I ran out of time to bake the cake in time for lunch and decided that I better rush to the Co-op and buy one. It just so happened it was also Reid's birthday on the same day. For those who don't know,  Reid is our employee.



Here is Reid and George bending to fit in the picture,  getting ready to cut the cake. It's a bad picture as my camera was set on Closeup and I didn't noticed.


A closeup of the cake.



Again a bad photo because my camera was on the wrong setting. We had just sat down to lunch with a bowl of hot Chili on a cold day when some acquaintances were returning a rope they had borrowed to secure bales of hay on their truck the week before.

They were invited to come in and we shared a meal together to celebrate George and Reid's birthday.
I had even toyed with the idea of baking a corn bread but had to settle on regular bread.

It was very nice sharing some stories.

My daughter Christine sent me these photos of the boys. James is a very picky eater but he just love the burger at Five Guys in Ottawa.


That's a big burger for James. Daniel ate all those fries.


This was the last bite.  I can't believe he ate the whole thing.

Thanks for visiting, my blog friends,  I really appreciate your comments.
Stay safe and warm.
Hugs
JB
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