About Me

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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 49 years.

Friday, August 28, 2015

IT'S PICKLING TIME AGAIN

Fall is at the back door waiting to come in and it's pickling time again.  I love pickling and love the aroma that waif in the air around in my kitchen.

My supply of Lady Ashburnham pickles have run out and they are my husband 's favorite and also the rest of the family's favorite. Since the cucumbers are plentiful, I'll be adding to my stash. Well, I only have 3 large bottles at the moment...

Here's what I've bottled so far.


From left to right, Mustard Pickles, Bread and Butter Pickles and Lady Ashburnham Pickles



Some of my first serious tomato harvest. My tomato plants are loaded with lots of green  Roma tomatoes  so there will be more to come...  I made some dehydrated  Roma tomatoes in olive oil but I didn't take a picture of the result. It made  half a quart and I put it in the fridge.



I use Roma tomatoes as they have thicker  flesh and less seeds and moisture.



I roasted some tomatoes with basil and garlic in Extra Virgin Olive oil. So very yummy. Apparently since they are concentrated they can be used instead of Sun dried Tomatoes.




Beet pickles



 My first Jalapeno peppers harvest  and this year they are hot.



I made all these pickled Jalapenos from that little harvest.



I've managed to hook a bit at night before bed time. I'm not liking the dark chocolate brown line in the middle and some other shape I don't like that I will change later.



The  brown upper segment I did last night.  The colors are a bit less bright  in real life and the off white is a dirty beige. Night photos are not the true colors.


This is my new Hydrangea I bought  on impulse at Cosco last year. They only grow 3 to 4 feet high.



 Some late summer bloomers


Some Heliotrope I started from seeds this past winter.  I  had tried them before and was not successful before. They require some bottom heat to sprout better.



Some sweet potato vines I'm trying for the first time also



What's left of my late summer flower garden that is still blooming. The rest needs to be tidied.


Again, these Geberas are  a first time experiment this year, also started from seeds. Rather expensive at $1.00 a seed but very pretty.





Another Gerbera



 and another pretty pink Gerbera



An off white  Gerbera,


And another assorted colors of Gerberas. Apologies for a long post but you know me by now.

That's it for now friends, it's past my bedtime and I hope that you all have a good sleep. Sweet dreams...
Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, I so appreciate it.
JB


Sunday, August 9, 2015

WHERE TO BEGIN?

I always find when I haven't posted in a long time, it's difficult to know what to blog about because so much has been going on.

Each day is different and brings it's own gift. Flowers have bloomed and gone and some other have their turn doing their magic, family members come and go, calves are born, the farm is a busy place, haying is still going on between rain drops and I'm busy on a continual basis.

My biggest summer project was cutting the very tall and neglected cedar hedge. It was so tall that I couldn't see the neighbour's house when I was in the backyard and was creating shade on my neighbour blueberry bushes and the morning sun on my side. It was also so wide that it was taking too much space on both sides. Last winter had dumped tonnes of snow and it really damaged the hedge even more. I considered having it removed and replaced with a fence.

My husband has always been the one to clip the hedge with a hedge trimmer. It wasn't trimmed enough and the branches grew wider and higher over the years. It has become a challenge for my husband to look after it and so I thought I could give it a try. At first I trimmed only what I could reach from the ground with a small hand pruner, one branch at a time.  Then I got up on a 4 ft. ladder. I used my long handle pruner and also my ratchet anvil with extendable handles. The only thing was that to clip way in the middle on top was very heavy work. Holding that heavy anvil at or above my shoulders for a long time  was difficult with a sore shoulder but I worked till I was too tired and moved to an easier area and would return to the heavy work when my muscles were ready, doing a bit every day.


This is a photo showing how wide the branches are reaching especially near the arbor. Sorry, the photo looks washed out because it was taken on a sunny day. On the left, you can see how high the back deck is...

This photo was taken from my deck in the back. The deck is quite high from the ground. The hedge was so high, I could barely see the neighbour's roof even after cutting some tops on my side of the hedge.


Some of the ladders I was using. The taller one was very heavy but too much at an angle so I couldn't reach deep on the top. I used a small rake to pull the branches in order to cut them and retrieve the cut branches and a long stick to guide me for the height.


My neighbour Ardith is two years older than me wanted to help while I was working at the farm but it proved too heavy work for her. She can lift heavy and her legs are strong but her upper body strength wasn't strong enough so she helped with the clean up, she handed me the tools and steadied the ladder when needed.

 It saved me for running down the ladder constantly to get the right tool. We laughed and joked and had a great time working together. It surely made the task much lighter. Thanks Ardith. Seeing Ardith on the ladder gives you a perspective how high the hedge was.  That stick to the left is 8 feet hight.


This photo shows the tops I couldn't reach  way in the middle of the hedge with the two ladders and my long tools. George came to help cut a few impossible to reach branches and got an asthma attack and had to give up. The heat and humidity has been so high lately.


Here is the finished hedge at long last...
Canadian Tires had a sale on ladders and I bought a 6 ft. fibreglass yellow ladder (not shown) and I could reach much better to cut those impossible branches. Too bad I didn't had that ladder when I first started. It was so much easier to work with... but I'll have it for next time...

 George made me a long tool to reach and pull branches with a rebar that he bent the end in a hook. Worked like a charm.  So here is the hedge all finished cutting. Can you believe I cut off  about three feet on each side. The hedge is still a tall and wide hedge but now the sun can go right through so some new growth is possible hopefully.


Just a sea of blooms to keep me happy



And more blooms.


Here my winning from Ripplespeak blog.  Jennifer is a landscape artist and such an artful  poet full of wisdom that she make into Zines and she always send my soul soaring with her poems. This is my second time winning one of her arts which she sells on her etsy shop. Thanks so much Jennifer and so sorry in being late in acknowledging your thoughtful gift. You're the best...



Winning once is lucky but  winnings two giveaway in a row is very lucky. I bought a loto ticket but didn't win, hehe... I won this lovely wool  Paisley broach made by Lauren of Pugs and Rugs  and it's my third winning from Lauren. She makes silver spoons and forks jewellery. She is so generous with her give aways.  Look at how much she had to pay to mail that pendant to Canada. Thanks Lauren. You're the best too.



I married some wool with a small piece of dark brown wool and  I didn't stir the wool when I applied the vinegar and got this beautiful marble effect.



This is the abstract rug I've been working on and using lots of wool worms left over from my grandfather rug and dome dyed wool. This rug was inspired by a rug from Saundra L. Brown called Sycamore but it doesn't even holds a candle to hers. This is my way to relax at night. It would help if I dip dyed some wool in gradation like she used in her rug. I'm wondering what it will look like when it's done. There's no planning in this one.

What I'm planning to do is attacking the back cedar hedge next and Ardith wants to help again. There's a garden on both side of the hedge so it may be a big challenge again but I'm game for it.

Thanks for reading my life story. I love your comments. Please stay safe and healthy and enjoy what's left of summer.
JB