I'm a mother of four grandmother of seven and great grandmother of one. I have many hobbies and interests but gardening and rug hooking are my main interest at the moment. I live with my husband in the house that we built with the help of my brothers and have been married for 51years.
It's been quite a ride but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. For all those of you who emailed me, asking how I was progressing with the flood clean up. I have to say thank you for your concerns and caring... Things have progressed slowly but surely.
I approached the problem by prioritizing and the clean up at the farm was priority one as we needed to get the cattle back to the farm. The other farmer who shared the exhibition barn with our farm, only got their cattle back home today. Can you imagine? A flood that started on April 27th has affected that farmer so much and today we are June the 9th.
For those who asked about High Water, the heifer calf who was born during the flood, she is doing really well. I may take her picture when I get a chance. Life is really busy still.
The gazebo was all cleaned up by a volunteer and I pressure washed it, but the swings will have to be painted later...
My next priority was the perennial flowerbed and the path to the shed... I dug up so many wheelbarrows of sand with weeds. I finally got the path to the shed cleared and I started to unearth my peonies that were buried under all that sand. In places, I had to use the pressure hose to dig the peonies without damaging them.
Digging out the path from all the sand and weeds that came in.
This is what it looked like before I dug out the path from under all that sand and mud. You can get an idea by looking where the shovel is...
Even this flowerbed was under water but is still doing well. I need to clean out the brick border;
I pressure washed the bricks around the flowerbeds and also the path and seeded the bare areas where the sand was. It's been hot during the day and I've watered the seeded are well but in no time it dries up.
Tjis shoes the path cleared of sand nd mu and weeds.
This is the path to he shed, after removing the sand and mud off of it and pressure washing it and the bricks around the flowerbeds.
The daylilies flowerbed has had the topsoil replaced and so far they are doing well.
The next priority was cleaning out the garage where I had stored a lot of damaged stuff and the carport. Now my husband can park his truck in there. My son helped me to bring a whole bunch of rusty shelves and metal scraps that could be salvaged for recycle to the farm metal heap for recycling and brought all my waste to the dump. Now the garage and carport are all cleaned up.
Last evening, my son Vaughan tilled the back vegetable garden for me and today I planted the potatoes, onions, and peas. I also repaired the flowerbed by the driveway that the flood removed the topsoil.
We got a frost warning tonight so I didn't plant flowers yet... It's kind of late for frost in our area but nothing is as it was with this crazy weather but life is good and the spring flowers are still blooming as if nothing has changed. I'm getting a farmer's tan again.
In the meantime, flowers continue to bloom as if nothing happened.
There are still flood clean up to do in the farm office but that can wait until I have the time to deal with it. So far, nobody else has offered to do that cleanup. There are still a bunch of papers in the drawers that got wet and are probably moldy by now that has got to be taken care of. So is my life. I have to prioritize and all is as it should be.
Planting the rest of the garden is next and then the lawn that needs to be fixed. Thanks for stopping in for a visit and leaving a little comment. I so appreciate it. Hugs, Julia
It's hard to know where to begin. It's been over a month and I've been cleaning up ever since, starting with priorities to the less important and I'm far from done and it's planting time already.
The water rose quicker than expected and caught everyone by surprise, even the flood forecasters. A combination of factors was to blame. The full Moon brought the high tide, warmer than the normal temperature causing a lot of snow to melt, lots of rain, high winds and the dam upriver. We were prepared for a big flood but this one was just bigger than expected.
The milking cows were moved to a safe barn, 6 at a time to the main road by the tractor and then taken by truck to the show cattle barn at the Exhibition ground in the city. This went on into the night.
The heifers and calves stayed at the farm and my son Vaughan and his son-in-law had to use a big tractor to go to the farm and use hip-waders to go bed and feed them. They used so much hay just to keep them out of the flood water. The bedding was getting so high that they had to strap boards in front of their pens to keep them from jumping over and drown. This job of feeding and bedding them was almost an imposible task but they kept the calves and heifers all safe during the long duration of the flood.
There was hay floating everywhere in the barn. They really should have been moved but my husband never realized that the water would get so high. I had one calf that was born one day before the flood, one during the flood and she was called High Water, and one right after the flood. They are all doing well. High water was our first brown heifer calf and she was #600 and became a big celebrity across Canada. She was born at the exhibition barn but the vet had to euthanize her mother three days later because of a muscle injury she received during the moving and couldn't get up.
I don't have photos of the barn and the mess there. It was unbelievable anyway.
Moving the cattle by a tractor, on the road in front of my house.
My granddaughter's husband's boat on my front lawn.
Garden debris that was to be mulched last fall was still contained by the gazebo and my two swins on their side. At least, this time they didn't float across the yard.
All my long daylily bed lost all the topsoil and the plants are bare roots.
The current was so strong that it tore up the road in front of my house.
A big tree on the road. The water came to almost the highest spot on this rock by the lilly garden.
The path to the old shed as the water was receding.
As the water recedes we can see there is a lot of my son's topsoil in my tulip bed. He's not a keen weeder and I inherited all his weeds and a lot of topsoil and sand as well. That is still not cleaned.
The water was over the top rocks and a lot of sand is still on the steps.
There are driftwood and debris everywhere. I can't show it all because there are too many pictures.
More sandbars on my back lawn.
Topsoil and sand in my tulip bed and yard.
My clematis is wrapped in debris. You can see the water mark on the shed. There is a mess in there and my lawnmower was under water. Thankfully our mechanic got it going again.
My tall lilies are in those cages but not out of the ground yet in this photo.
Debris surrounding my peonies cages.
A peek in my basement. My grow lights toppled over. I sprayed a little to show the green floor for contrast.
Stuff floated everywhere all over the basement. This is only one section.
Muck all over the floor
The new stove my husband bought last year for the basement
My ceramic pouring room. Workbenches on their sides. The Studio Star slip reclaimer was on the shelf and it was heavy but it floated off the shelf. I wasn't using any of these since I stopped doing ceramics.
I pressure washed the floor and lots of the paint came off. We tore off the wall covering in the last flood and we decided not to refinish the basement then, a good thing. We use the basement mostly for storage (of stuff we don't need) and lots of holiday decorations.
A small portion of the stuff that was removed from the basement for disposal.
A volunteer cleaned up the debris from the gazebo. That was a big help. All it needs is a good pressure wash to make it look good again. I hope it doesn't peel the paint off the gazebo.
There are so many more photos but this gives you a bit of an idea what I'm dealing with. It's a year of purging and I've been forced to start early. So much damage but it will all be beautiful again, one thing at a time. It's way past my bedtime and I'll stop here. Thanks for looking. Don't feel bad for me, for us, we had way too much stuff. Hugs, Julia
I've been putting off posting in the hope the water would go down so I would have good news to report but now they say the level will stay high until Friday. We are in a major flood situation since April 27, and on Sunday we got false hope as the water went down but it was back up higher in the morning. This morning it was even higher.
A lot of my spring bulbs are under water.
but these are high and dry.
On Sunday, I worked at the church supper cutting pies and had to be brought to the road by a tractor, then by truck. I could walk over the barricaded bridge to the other side where someone picked me up to take me to the church, otherwise, it would have been a very long detour.
My Lilly garden is under water. My husband built a carport and now my Lilly garden on top is in the shade and they are barely growing. They are usually first to bloom.
We've managed to milk the cows twice a day since the flood started and they had a dry place to lay down in their beds but now even their sand beds are wet. There is water everywhere in the barn.
This morning when I went to feed my calves, I went by tractor but when I tried how deep the water was by the barn door before putting my feet on the ground, it was over my boots so George drove me back home. It was 1/2 an inch at the top of my boots and my foot was not touching the ground.
Friends lend my son two pairs of hip-waders so they at least can get around without getting water in their boots.
Water is now around the front hedge.
They haven't been able to milk the cows yet and it's 10"34 am but now they think that they can milk the cows one at a time in the portable milk can they use for colostrum milk and the milk will have to be dump outside. It will take a long time but at least, there is a solution to a major problem. They can put more sand in the beds.
I didn't go around taking pictures at the barn but it's a huge mess right now.
View for upstairs of the backyard and filed behind the hedge.
The flood warning came 48 hours prior to flooding but we got more water than predicted and because of the effect of the full moon on the tide, the water came faster than predicted.
My backyard was greening up and the bulbs were growing, now all is under water.
A pair of Mallard ducks gingerly enjoying a visit in my backyard.
I managed to put things on high shelves in the basement before the flood so nothing would get wet downstairs. I have all my little seedlings on the floor in the sunroom but they are not getting enough light.
In hindsight, sandbagging around the openings around the barn might have been beneficial. There are lots of big doors so I'm not sure if it would have been possible. Water always finds the lowest spots.
Now they are telling us that the water will stay high till Friday. A week of high water is a long time.
On a happier note, I won a very generous giveaway from MoosecraftUSA. It came so soon after it was sent by priority post and the shipping was $46.25 US. I was so surprised at the size of the package. Sharon is a very generous friend. Thank you, Sharon. I have a Thank You card all ready to go but we have no mail delivery because of the flood so it will be sent as soon as the water goes down. I'm so grateful for the beautiful wool. I'm already hooking the stripe one in the second row on my Julia hen chairpad.
When I took the first photo I forgot the applique gift and the notepad, so they are in the next photo. I''m looking forward to working my first wool applique but I need thread first...
Again, thank you, Sharon for the generous gift. They are all beautiful gifts. The little sheep is adorable.
I hope everyone is staying dry and safe. I'm sure trying. Thanks for your comments. Hugs, Julia
When my Husqvarna sewing machine jammed I tried to remedy the problem but this time I couldn't fix it. The bobbin holder won't sit tight and the needle managed to pierce the plastic bobbin holder three times. The people where my machine was bought have since gone out of business and several businesses who used to repair sewing machine have moved also.
For straight sewing, I can still use my old Singer sewing machine but the zigzag disk is missing.
I needed to zigzag the backing for my rooster rug to prevent it from fraying so I went and bought the simplest serger overlock sewing machine I could find and lucky me, it was on sale. It's a discontinued model but exactly what I was looking for. I just wanted basic. So here it is.
It has a little tray to catch the cut edges that fall after sewing, leaving a neat serged edge.
I've been wanting one of those for years but just couldn't justify buying one.
The machine looked a bit intimidating at first but after reading the booklet and viewing the DVD that came with it, I was amazed at how wonderful it is.
I know that you are probably tired of looking at Mr. George the rooster by now but for those who want to know how he was finished, this is the best I can do, step by step so bear with me.
I cut out my backing a little wider than I wanted the finished edge and started sewing and the extra backing just fell in the little tray. So enjoyable. That's it, a neat finish that won't unravel.
I folded the backing, leaving about a quarter inch beyond the hooked rug edge and I pinned the cotton binding tape carefully burying the end of the pins to protect my fingers. Then I whipped around the edge with a double strand of Briggs and Little wool using a tapestry needle and it was easy to whip around without having to baste the tape.
I make sure that I don't whip the hoops but close to the hoops. I know it's difficult to see exactly how I whipped because I didn't take a photo of how I did it but this photo shows the backing isn't all hidden under the tape. It's out about a quarter inch.
For this round shape, I pulled three thread in the tape to pucker it to make it fit better so I didn't have to make wedges I pulled one about 3/4 inch from the edge, then another one a little further down and the last one near the bottom of the tape. It made fitting the tape so much easier.
To make a smooth whipped edge, I hold the yarn with my left index finger to make sure the double yarn isn't twisted or get tangled as I whip and it also prevents me from pulling on the yarn too hard and making a hard hedge. I'm right handed so I always hold the right side of the rug against me and start by inserting the needle from the back, hiding the two ends of yarn under the tape or backing, making sure to have one end going one way and the other going the other way. I try to whip the end of the yarn to secure it. I like to cut very long lengths of double yarn for whipping so I won't have to thread my needle so often but that's just me.
Now here is Mr. George the rooster on his perch. I used a large wooden hoop to draw a circle on my pattern and I was pleased that it fitted the bistro chair perfectly. Now I need to hook a Julia chair-pad for the other bistro chair. The poinsettia was given to me two Christmases ago by my daughter Christine. One of the plants in the pot died from neglect but when I paid attention to it, the rest of the plants recuperated and is still blooming.
Thanks for your visit and I hope you'll leave a comment to let me know you were here. I hope your weekend looks like spring has arrived where you are. It was a beautiful spring day here today.
I thought it's about time I give you an update on my rooster rug chair-pad and on my seedlings. I finished hooking Mr. George the Rooster yesterday but I still haven't finished binding the edges. I'll do that on a rainy day. He measures 14 inches from side to side. My rug hooking friends all tell me that I should hook a Julia hen chair-pad to keep George company. lol... That might have to wait a while.
Next an update on my seedlings. All the seeds have sprouted except the pepper seeds but I saw a little sprout coming out so they shouldn't be too long. Soon it will be time to transplant and that's another job. I have to scrub a bunch of little pots before transplanting. I like to see how fast the seedlings grow more than I like the work. It always amazes me every time I see the tiniest seeds of the lobelia sprouting green leaves.
I couldn't show all the seedlings in this shot
The geraniums had a head start because they need longer time to bloom and once they get their second sets of leaves, they really grow fast.
Now for signs of spring: On my way home from the barn, I finally saw a flock of Robins on Saturday and I was so happy that I forgot to make my wish, lol... a few daffodils and tulips are out on the south side of the house. We still have lots of snow in places but we can see patches of brown lawns everywhere.
A view from my front door. The St John River is fully opened.
Daffodils poking through on the south side of the house
Tulips eager to grow
A bleeding heart plant poking through by the front steps.
I hope that you are all seeing some signs of spring even if they are slow to show up in places. No green grass here yet.
I was in the process of uploading pictures for my blog post yesterday afternoon and we lost our internet connection in our part of the city. It was still out when I went to bed last evening but it's back this morning. That's it for my update today. Thanks for visiting and leaving comments. Hugs, Julia
Every year for as long as I can remember, I bought seeds and started to plant them to get an early start on those that needed a longer season to grow. We have a large plant nursery only a few minutes from where I live but being on a tight budget when I first started gardening made me conscious of spending my money wisely. I must confess that I enjoyed seeing the seeds sprouting and seeing the miracle of growing plants blooming with a little care.
I get more satisfaction from doing it myself and I can read about how every variety behaves and I make my choice accordingly. Seeds used to be very cheap but not anymore.
There is over $133. worth of seeds on the table. Hard to believe how expensive seeds are but if I was to buy the plants, it would be so much more.
In January, I look through the seed catalogs and I make my selection then in March I take my selection to our local Feed and Need store and gave them my order and in a few days, I got my seed order shipped from Vesey's Seeds for free. I got a call that my order is ready and I just went to pick them up at Feed and Needs and paid for them. I love this arrangement. My favorite seed catalog is Vesey's Seeds from PEI.
Many years ago, my husband George made me a grow light stand. I have it in my basement and I also have a grow mat that I use to keep some seedlings that need heat to sprout. I have to turn my lights on in the morning before I go to the barn and I turn them off at night before going to bed. I can put a timer on but I like to go check up on how they are doing.
So far I only have Geraniums growing but I planted my begonia seeds yesterday... My geranium are getting their second sets of leaves but I didn't take photos, but I have 11 seedlings growing.
My new scrappy rug using leftover small pieces of wool from other projects.
I've been hooking a chairpad as a challenge from our hooking group on Rug Hooking Daily, an online forum for fibre artists and I'm using little pieces of leftover wool from other hooking projects. Our group is called GREAT STASH DEWORMING MARATHON and we're always having so much fun. The worms I refer to are thin strips of wool that we use to hook with as seen on my new worm holder.
As you can see I took out several rows of hoops to make his neck slimmer. This is George the Rooster, by the way... I'm debating on changing some too bright colors or over dying them. I'm just having fun with this. I can do that later if I decide to do it. As you can tell, not too much effort and thoughts went into designing the feathers.
The turquoise color you see on the breast feathers come from a piece of wool I marbelized not long ago. You can see it drying on the left. It's always fun to find a use for a strange piece of marbelized wool. I had no idea what I would use it for as I was experimenting marbelizing for the first time
Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. Have a great weekend and stay safe. Julia
In April 2011 I attended an Annual Fibre Art Festival in Mahone Bay Nova Scotia with Jackie my daughter and her friend Sarah. It's hard to believe it's been that long ago... I really enjoyed myself and met a lot of nice fiber artists.
One thing that got my attention was a tabletop size wooden rack to hold wool worms for rug hooking that a fiber artist was using and it was totally covered with wool worm. I've been wanting one ever since and I looked everywhere online but couldn't find one, so the other day I decided to try to make one myself. I purchased 3 oak lats at Home Depot and I already had a package of small dowels from the Dollar Store. I wasn't sure how to start but I did some measuring and marked the lats using a soft pencil and dressmaker ruler, I marked precisely where to drill holes for the small pegs and I also marked where to cut lats and the small pegs. It took me quite a while to do this and I showed it to my husband and he said, "Oh I'll take that to Lorenzo and he can cut that for you. He also took a thick piece of pine board for the base.
I had shown how tall the worm holder was approximate, using my hands. Later on that day, George arrived home with a floor model of the wool worm holder. It was beautiful but it was so wide that I had difficulty getting it through the door in my hooking room. Do men think that bigger is better?lol...
This evening, George said I'm sure we can make a table size one. I think that would be nice. So maybe bigger is OK but smaller is more practical for me.
So here is a photo of the floor model. The top can turn so I don't have to reach to the other side.
Even though I wanted a table size model, this one will work just fine for home but if ever I retire and want to go to hook-ins, I may want a table size model. Now I got to transfer my next challenge chairpad rug design to the backing and start hooking. It will be nice having my wool worms handy.
It's looking more like spring although we are bracing for another snow storm tonight. As I was driving to town today, I noticed the river was open for a good stretch although it's still frozen in front of our house, but it won't be long before we see open water here too. I'm still on the lookout for my first Robin but I imagine it will be a while yet.
Today I scrubbed 4 calf gates, a chore which I don't enjoy but it must be done. I still have some time before returning to the farm to feed the calves so I thought that I should do a post about the rugs I designed and hooked. Some need binding and they all need labels. I haven't tried making my own labels yet.
My very first rug, Cow in the grass, all done with recycled wool. I dyed a white and black plaid wool skirt and it turned out perfect for grass. My daughter Jackie gave me some yellow and green dye powder she used where she teaches weaving.
This rooster was to remember the kindness of my many friends who supported me during my fight with breast cancer. Anne bought me a big crowing rooster and together with my woman church group they made me a huge basket of sunshine. It was filled with small gifts that I had to open one every day, for a whole month. I called it Sometimes you have to make your own sunshine.
I used all recycled wool and unknown fiber for the tail feathers.
This was a challenge from Sunnie Andresson Rug Hooking Daily. We had to use a ring, a rock, a forest and the color purple. My first thought was to hook a king sitting on a rock with a golden ring on his finger but it didn't appeal to me so I went back in my childhood as I love the forest behind our house and I was a bit of a tom-boy, hanging upside down from trees. The ring was an old tire swing, the rock is beside the tree and some little violets for the color purple. Everybody's rug was so different from each other and it was a most enjoyable exercise to get us out of our comfort zone.
My Childhood Memories rug was something I wanted to do ever since I took my basic rug hooking lesson as I saw one our teacher did but hers was totally different. My first idea was to make a twisted ribbon border. It started out nicely but the ribbon got a bit wonky as I went along and I left it like that to show that the journey isn't always smooth.
This was another challenge from Sunnie Andress on Rug Hooking Daily. It was called My Grandmother's trunk. It was to depict what our grandmother left us. I didn't inherit anything from my grandmother but her love of flowers. The grey background was dyed grey to mimic the shingles on her house. It was done using a photo of my grandmother.
Sunnie Andress and I became good friends on Rug Hooking Daily and together we started the group called Great Stash Deworming Marathon and it's still going on today. I made a hit and miss rug and this one went incredibly fast .
Still deworming my stash of extra wool worms I made this chair pad for my hooking room. Using only precut wool worms in my stash. I even married a bunch of worms to get this green border. Marring wool is to simmer wool of different colors or tone together so they all blend together.
I called this one, Ode to Joy because of the happy colors. Still, on the same challenge of deworming the stash, I did this one using kitten's paws pattern and joined them with stems and leaves for my other chair.
I was inspired by a rug I saw in Rug Hooking Magazine and called this one, Geology.
My grandfather was done using a very overexposed black and white photo and I struggled with shading the face features.
Another challenge rug using only leftover worms from our stash. It was called All Around the town or something like that. I would have to go back and check the name of the challenge. All these challenges were subject to our own interpretation which makes these challenges so enjoyable.
Another challenge rug using a song theme. I'm dragging my feet on this one but I have some small pieces of wool to marbelize for the bottom, just not enough spare time to hook.
This was my very first primitive rug and it was a blogging giveaway from Lauren of Hugs and Pugs. She had included everything I needed to hook this cute kitty rug, including a primitive size hook. Lauren is such a great blogging friend. This project went astoundingly fast as compared to my regular # 5 or 6 cuts and I really enjoyed this little project. It is always beside my hooking frame to place my scissors, hook, and tweezer on to protect my table top. Thanks, Lauren. It's a gift I really cherish every time I hook.
Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment. Your comments are very precious to me. Julia
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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