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 51years.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL MY BLOGGER FRIENDS

Happy New Year 2016



I'm looking forward to another great year of challenge and milestones.
I just want to thank my loyal friends for their support and caring comments on my blog during the year. You mean so much to me and I appreciate you...
This New Year's Eve,  after visiting my blogger friends, I'm  planning to take it easy with a glass of red wine or maybe two and watch a bit of TV instead of hooking. I sorted some wool worms earlier but decided  that can wait for 2016.

 My visitors are back home and the house is very quiet.
Good night.
Wishing you all good health, peace, joy, love, hope and a lot of good friends.

Hugs,
JB

Saturday, December 26, 2015

CHRISTMAS CAME AND WENT

Christmas came up so fast, it caught me off guard. I did what I could and ignored what I didn't had time to do... Everyone got presents... I got most of my shopping done on the first day. Got gifts for everyone who came to dinner...

We miss our oldest daughter, Nicole who has been vacationing in Cuba and Spain this Christmas season. We missed you Nicole. Merry Christmas...


Christine arriving on the 19th at night  with her family. I'll have pictures of them later...


Christmas day was a hub of activity in the kitchen.  Here Jackie and Bill are working away.
I prepared the  turkey and veggies and my helpers cooked the food. Jackie made the cranberry relish and the dressing,  yum... Christine made the Broken Glass torte with two different base just so I could eat some. Bill was on the gravy, at least he was stirring it. I know he'll correct me if I'm wrong.  I left the chefs to fend for themselves and went to work at the farm.  My stove started to beeb because the sensors over heated and Bill had to trip the breaker switch to quiet  the annoying beeping...


The meal was served buffet style...
The dressing was made by Jackie and was very very tasty and we had two pans of it.


The brimmed free range turkey was huge, moist and delicious.  It was given to us by Reid's  father, Reid is our young  hired hand.



The gravy was very delicious... It was so good, there was non left...


We had carrots, baked squash with cranberries,



Broccoli, and some green peas (not shown).


Mashed garlic potatoes with cream and butter. Christine prepared the potatoes. On the table there were also assorted pickles.



Christine made the Broken Glass Torte with a shortbread base so I could eat it and


she also made the regular Graham wafer base Broken Glass Torte.  So we had lots of desert.


Here Vaughan is filling his plate . We were 16 for our Christmas dinner and had three tables set up.


George was in charge of calling the card numbers for the present game. This game is a hoot and everyone love to participate.



On the sofa, Christine, Jackie and Bill


Nicole, Vaughan and Liam


Joe  got his card called and wants to pick a present.  This is such a fun game...


Jordyn and Sean. Sean got 5 presents in the end because everyone had ran out of cards.


 The boys wanted to watch a DVD instead of playing the present game this year so they all got presents anyway... Cypress came to be with the adults...



A group hug. Christine, Vaughan, Jackie and Small Nicole.


Cypress was the first one to want to leave. He opened the door and said goodbye Mamoo... He wouldn't wait for mom and dad...and was ready to go out in the dark...


This is grandson Simon smiling for a pose


and Mira,  our extra ordinary artist.  She is so creative.

I apologize that I'm using so many photos for this post but it's for the benefit of my family. I hope you enjoyed a glimpse of our Christmas celebration.

On Christmas morning we sang Happy Birthday to baby Jesus and Daniel was so excited. James and Daniel sang loudly and Daniel exclaimed, Yeah... We sang so good....

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with those you love. My heart goes out to those who have lost  or had to say goodbye to love ones this year.  Their Christmas is forever changed. Warm hugs to to all of them. Thanks for visiting and for leaving a comment.

JB

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

OUR BULL IS A BIG BULLY.

One fine day a  few weeks ago, I entered the calf barn as usual and I was greeted angrily by Mr. Bull with an attitude... He came straight to the gate and flared his nostrils and shook his head back and forth and let me know I wasn't welcome and he didn't like me one bit.

I said "Oh yeah,  you're in my part of the barn Big Boy" I grabbed my hay fork and approached him and he backed up. In the past when he was mean to me, I hit him oh the top of the head with the back of the fork tines and he backs up. He knows enough to avoid being hit now.  He still wouldn't go and was still in his menacing mode. I certainly wouldn't turn my back to him.

The gate separating him and I near the sink, has been damaged and the cement that hold the gate secured is cracked. Someone ran into it with the skidsteer a while back. If he knew this he could probably knock it down. I certainly won't point that out to him.

Since I couldn't reach him with the fork, I grabbed the cold water hose and let him have a blast in his face and held the pressure for as long as I could reach him. He  bucked out of there on full gallop and went back to the other end of the cow barn.

He  has avoided my end of the barn since which is very unusual as he would come down every day. He doesn't like me and the feeling is mutual. Vaughan thought he could smell one of my older heifer calf that was in heat. He's not allowed near my little girls anyway  and that's that.
                      *********************************************************
With the winter coming on, things has been busy around the farm. Windows have been
 covered and and the huge door at the top of the old barn was repaired and bolted shut. That was a big job. It was brought down from it's cables by the last hurricane and just dangled in the wind. It will make a big difference with keeping the old barn warmer this winter during the colder months...

The manure lagoon was emptied and spread on the field but since we use sand as bedding it ends up accumulating  at the bottom of the lagoon over the years.  My husband has avoided removing the excess accumulated sand as it's a huge job and because it's very dangerous and he wasn't quite sure how to go about it...

 Manure gases can be so concentrated that they can suffocate you instantly.  There are Hydrogen sulfide,  carbon monoxide, ammonia and methane. Hydrogen sulfide and carbon monoxide are both heavier than air and settles at the bottom of the lagoon. Making it deadly even at low emission. There's no oxygen in the bottom to keep anyone alive down there. Kind like walking on the moon without oxygen maybe. Having a manure lagoon means that we no longer smell the strong odour of manure when the wind blows in certain direction. I'm sure the neighbours like that a lot better.

A lot of preparation and study about safety precaution was done by George prior to doing this job. All the safety people were contacted including the fire department. The workers were briefed and the air was blown into the pit to remove the gases. George wore a special gas detector like the firemen wear.  The  skid-steer was lowered in the lagoon with the excavator and George gingerly descended into the lagoon on a ladder. He got into the skid-steer and moved the sand around and the excavator scooped big buckets in the waiting truck. A the bottom there was manure and sand all mixed up.

I fed the 5 workers a hot beef stew with dumplings and blueberry pie. I was busy at home cooking and baking so didn't took pictures at the beginning of the job, but managed to get these pictures after lunch.


This is the back of the old barn where the liquid manure lagoon is. It doesn't look big from this view but it measures 90 feet by 60 feet and is 13 feet deep. Cows poops a lot.




George is driving the skid-steer and scooping up some of the slushy sand and liquid for the big scoop.



Truck load after truck load the manure and sand mixture is carried away. It didn't smell as most is composted. It had been raining the night before so everything is muddy.


It show about 3 feet of sand and muck at the bottom of the lagoon,  This was carried by truck and wagon to a spot in the field to be dealt with at a later date,


The operator of the big excavator is doing his job.




George salvaged the dumping mechanism of an old farm truck and made use of an old abandoned wooden wagon to help carry off the soupy muck.




This is the liquid manure tank that my husband uses to spread liquid manure in the field.

Sorry if this post isn't your cup of tea but farmers will go to great length to keep dairy products on your table without smelling the neighbourhood.
Thanks for your visit and please be kind and leave a comment just to let me know you came for a visit. A one line will do.
Stay safe and happy.
JB






Friday, November 20, 2015

PROCRASTINATION, PLEASE GO AWAY....

Why is it getting so difficult to write a simple post lately? My posts have been very far in between. I have plenty to say but just too darn lazy to share.  Oh my gosh, I just realized that old age is setting in. That's it... It happens to everybody and it will happen to you too...

Talking about old age... Most of you know that I injured my foot on November 3rd. It swelled up and was too painful and too tight to put my work boot on. As a matter of fact, it wouldn't fit in my boot even with a thin sock.

This past Monday, Nov 16, I had a doctor's appointment for a regular prescription renewal. I was limping and  my doctor insisted at looking at my foot and was concerned enough to order X-Rays and sent me to the hospital.  I got X-rayed right away but waited in emergency for 4 hours just to see a doctor. It was not how I had planned to spend the day...

After an eternity people were called in one by one and I patiently waited for my turn to be called in.
I saw this doctor holding a piece of paper walk in the waiting room. He looked at the piece of paper and looked around the room and I thought he was going to call my name. I was getting pretty famished by now and my guts were letting me know just how hungry they were.
The doctor didn't called any name and went back in the emergency room...

I waited some more....
After what seamed like a long time, he came back out with his piece of paper and again he looked at it and looked around the room. He even glanced at my foot but again he didn't called any name and went back in. Suddenly, he reappeared with his paper and called my name. I got up and said, "That's me" and walked in.  He looked at me and said, "It's BROKEN, it's broken and you're walking on it? I can't believe this, you're walking on it... You are one tough lady, one tough lady. "  I said, yes, I've been walking on it for 13 days. He showed me the X-Ray and it was very broken. The swelling had gone down and I was wearing my sneakers and looked like everyone else. He was expecting a senior in a wheel chair with her foot up.. lol

He thought I was doing so well that he opted out of putting a cast and a walking boot.  I was pretty glad not to get a cast on. They are horrible... I know because I had one on the other foot  but that's another story...

I'm back at wearing my work boots and caring for the calves. I baby my foot and I'm not climbing ladders yet... my son Vaughan is helping me at the farm and George is milking for my son.

During my resting period I have finished edging all my rugs and I finished edging my grandfather rug. It's about 24 x 24 inches. Now I'm all caught up and I'm feeling lazy and spoiled.


Of course, my grandfather was a very handsome man and I couldn't capture his real portrait but I'm pleased that I, at least got this far. I wish I could draw like my granddaughter. She's an amazing artist...

Stay safe and happy everyone and welcome to my new follower.
Thanks for your visit and comments. I really appreciate them.

JB

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A QUIET KIND OF OF DAY ON REMEMBRANCE DAY.

Today was a kind of quiet day as we remember our veterans. I worked at the farm, I watched the National Remembrance Ceremonies in our Capital on TV as I sewed the binding on yet another rug and rested my foot on a pillow.



This was another challenge rug I did again with Sunnie Andress.  It was again subject to our own interpretation. The only requirements were that we needed to hook a forest, a ring, the color purple and a rock.
This idea came from a childhood memory.  Yes, I used to hang upside down  from trees, wishing I had blond hair and blue eyes.  The ring is a tire swing, purple violets, a beige rock by the tree and of course some forest trees. The hair was proddy wool strips from which  I pulled out  all the short wool fibres...

This chair pad was finished yesterday. This challenge rug was hooked entirely with extra wool worms.  The chartreuse green comes for marrying some assorted green and light color wool worms.

It was such a dreary day today that I was craving some scones.


This is what's left.

 I don't bake often lately but today I felt like some scones. I needed some solid butter but the unsalted butter was frozen so I cut up the amount needed and put it to defrost in the microwave by using 10 seconds at a time. After the third time I assumed it was about right.  

I proceeded to mix my dry ingredients and I also mixed the wet ingredients and found the dough a bit dry. I added another bit of milk and kneaded it 10 times and I was ready to put it in the oven.

George arrived home and poured himself a cold cup of leftover tea and when he went to heat it up in the microwave, he took out my butter.  My mouth opened wide..... I can't believe I forgot to mix the butter in. They will be as hard as rocks. I know because the grease is what makes them tender...

I'm not one to throw food away. Sometimes I learn by mistakes and I eat crow. 

The butter was still pretty solid so I shaved some butter slices with the cheese slicer and spread them on top of the dough and folded it repeating this until I had used up all the butter  and then flattened the sticky scones to an 8 in circle and cut them in 8 like the recipe asked for. 

I stuck those suckers in the oven fearing the worst but they came our so high, fluffy and tender, I think I'll use this method again next time. 



I had a bit of apricot jam with it and a fresh cup of tea... Very yummy.

I hope you're having a good day. Thanks for your visit. I enjoy all your kind comments.'Stay safe and happy.
JB


Saturday, November 7, 2015

WHIPPING AND BINDING AWAY

Just a short post this time, are you surprised?
I've been rather still after hurting my foot and have been whipping and binding rugs that have been on my long list of To Do for a long time.



I accidentally hurt my foot climbing on the first step going into the house from the garage on Tuesday  carrying groceries. My foot caught the corner of the step and came down with a thump,  I manage not to fall but I was in excruciating pain. I hurt the outside of my left foot close to the two smaller toes, but I had to pick up my granddaughter Jordyn and went back to work at the farm that afternoon.



The next morning around 6:15 AM., I went to put my work boot on and I couldn't even fit my foot into the boot. My foot was too swollen and sore. I remembered Christine had left her size 10 low cut rubber boots in the closet for her next visit. I wear a size 7.5 . They look the same size but my work boot has some steel toes which adds to the bulk. It was a bit tight but I could walk with her boot. So here I go with an unmatched pair of boots. To cut down on my walking I used the van to get to the barn. Who's counting steps on a morning like this?

After work  I had some time sensitive banking to do across town and I couldn't wear those boots for sure . I couldn't even wear my sandals... and had to loosen the shoelace on my sneaker as it was so tight and walked into the Credit Union with a heavy limp. When asked what happened to me I just gave them the short story " I twisted my foot" I said.

Vaughan my son has been doing all my barn work and George has been doing all the milking. I sit with my foot up all day and I've been whipping and binding three unfinished rugs I hooked some time ago.  I still have three more to do and need some dark forest green wool. I still can fit my barn boots on but I can wear my good sneakers as the swelling has gone down a bit. I might just go to the Coop store and get some wool and finish those three other rugs and I'll finally will be caught up with that chore.


This is my grandmother's portraits and I even hooked in the accents that were missing.
For those who know nothing about rug hooking, the whipping is a whip stitch with wool yarn around the edge for a neat finish.


And the binding is sewing a binding tape around the edges on the back to finish off. This is a job that I really don't look forward to do but always feel good once it's done.


A large chair pad made up of leftover wool worms in a kitten's paw pattern with stems and leaves added to use up more leftover wool worms.

And finally,  my Hit and Miss rug also made up entirely of leftover wool worms

Thanks for visiting and encouraging me with your comments. Stay safe and happy.

JB

Saturday, October 17, 2015

38 YEARS IS LONG ENOUGH...

This week I continued cleaning out flower beds and cut down the stems of my Peonies right down to the ground. Then on a whim, I decided to dig up those Peonies I'd been wanting to dig up for so long... The weather was summer like but the ground was saturated because of the heavy rain we had the day before. The mud was sticking to my boots, making walking very clumsy.

Had I known I would dig them out, I would have left the stems on to make handling easier.

At long last I dug up my old clumps of Peonies after 38 years in the same spot without being disturbed. It was difficult mowing around the Peonies  because I had three little flowerbeds instead of one continuous one. In 1977, I had just dug three small holes and buried three small pieces of Peony roots that I got from my mother in law. One white and two red. They have bloomed every year since, giving me  fragrance, beauty and abundant joy.


This is an old picture. You can see the three green flowerless little clumps of Peony by the shed in the fall. They were growing right in the lawn.


Although it's hard to make out, there are two red peonies side by side. See how the weeds are keeping them company.



And here is the white Peony. The fragrance is incredible when in bloom. They still bloom every year even though they're not in full sun as they should be...

I was really surprised at the size of the roots under the ground. It was a man job but I decided I was WOman enough to do it myself... The ground was sticky and heavy so I purchased a large bag of potting soil with perlite to lighten it up. It will make weeding a bit easier in the Spring.



My boots were getting heavy with mud sticking under so I had to use cardboard to walk on while digging.


Here are the divisions of the white Peony.  You can see the buds for next year.



This is the roots that are being discarded from the white Peony. After choosing a few good specimen, I even threw more roots away.

When digging Peonies, it's better to leave the stems on so you can see where they are when you dig them out  and it's easier to grab them by the stems to pull them out.... I don't think that I'll ever  dig these out in another 38 years though... I would be 107 years old. hahaha.




This is a picture of the finished border by the shed this morning. Notice our first heavy frost... I still have some sod to remove by the lilac tree in the middle of the flowerbed. I stuck red reflectors where the peonies are planted. I might stick some tulips in the new dug soil if it stop raining long enough next week before the ground freezes.



All that hard work made me hungry so here is a nice ham and broccoli quiche, Very yummy. I rolled out some pie dough I had in the fridge and as quick as a wink, my quiche was ready for the oven. I set the timer on and ask George to take it out of the oven when ready. A task he didn't mind doing...



Cypress wanted me to take a photo of him so  he got the step stool and set it up and waited for the camera to flash. Quite the little ham. I love his pumpkin shirt. He wiped out on the rug at his home and got a rug burn on his chin, poor little fella.



This is my front yard today and now it's raining again. At least it's not snowing.

Today I'm keeping my friends in Bakersfield California in my prayers as they are dealing with closed  out roads and mudslides after heavy rain. Keep safe....

Thanks for visiting and leaving your comments. I always appreciate your point of view.
Have a safe and good weekend.
JB