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.

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








29 comments:

  1. Way to go Julia! My goodness you had your work cut out with that hedge. So nice you had a neighbour's help too. Love your abstract rug. Looking forward to following your progress on this piece.

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  2. Wow, I can't believe what a difference you made to that bush!!! Very well done!
    I'm glad you won some giveaways, they are well-deserved prizes.
    Your flowers are looking just beautiful and seriously, that rug is Amazing!! I can't wait to see when it is finished! So lovely to hear your news .Xx

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  3. I know from experience that work is hard. Also, working on a ladder can be dangerous. They yard looks remarkable.
    R

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  4. Your gardens and yard are gorgeous but you've exhausted me just reading about the hedge trimming. Yup, that Lauren is a very generous soul and your other win of poems and art provides you beauty inside and your yard outside. But this winter you'll have the beauty still left to keep your heart warm during the winter.

    Love how that married wool turned out and how your abstract is taking off.

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  5. That is hard work to maintain and keep the hedge trimmed and neat. You and hubby have to be careful when working on a ladder. Also it is so good of Ardith to help and keep you entertained while working on the hedge. After all the hard work, the hedge is so neat. You have a beautiful garden with all those lovely blooms, make me happy to see them.

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  6. Hi Julia,
    Your post reads like the Olympics....event after event, and you got the Gold for each one!!! You even won a beautiful paisley medallion!!! Seriously, that hedge was QUITE the challenge and SO HAPPY you conquered it!! Your friend Ardith is a jewel!!
    Love your flowers and your other win!! Bravo! You and Ardith be careful as you tackle the next hedge!!
    Have a great week!
    Warm Hugs~
    Julie

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  7. So happy to have a post from you. I look for one every day. I love hearing about your life. You certainly have a full life and take advantage of every minute. You may die tired but it will be without regrets for any wasted time. The hedge was big project and it looks wonderful. I can never get things that straight and even. Good job, well done! Be careful and have fun.

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  8. Wow! You are an amazing woman, look what a great job you did.

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  9. That's a LOT of landscaping work! I'm not very outdoorsy. My husband does most of that stuff, although I'll help occasionally.

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  10. That is a huge hedge Julia! Good work by the way. It is so nice you have someone to hold the ladder for you. I bet you had a nice time. Your flowers are so pretty. Every thing looks so nice and green.
    I love your winnings from the giveaways you entered.
    No wonder you were tired. Holding my arms above my head always makes me so tired. I love your colors you got. I love marrying colors.
    I love getting caught up with your life. :)

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  11. You and Ardith did a beautiful (and difficult!) job trimming the hedge. It looks great! Your flowers are lovely. You have such a talent for planting the right plant in the right place.
    Glad your summer is going well.

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  12. Julia your yard sure is beautiful and the hedge is so nice! Lot's of work and you sure must sleep good at night!
    Love the broach from Lauren... such lovely gifts!!
    Hugs!!
    Cathy G

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  13. The hedge looks great but I'm sure it was backbreaking work!!!
    It may have been pricey to send you the necklace, but you're worth it :)
    Hugs,
    Lauren

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  14. You did a wonderful job and I could use you to help trim back my pine trees...they are beginning to block the view from our driveway! I'll think of you as I trim! Love all your flowers too. I can't leave without saying that ladders are evil...we have many a broken bone in the OR from folks falling off a ladder...be careful! Congrats on your winnings..very pretty! Have a good week you hard working gal!

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  15. Wow, your flower beds are just beautiful. Great job on the hedge. I'm glad you had a buddy to help. That is hard work in the heat and humidity. I think your new abstract is going to be amazing.

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  16. Trimming the hedge looked like a lot of hard work. I don't know if I could have tackled that or not. Seems like I can hardly weed eat any more without aching shoulders and hands.
    Your flowers look beautiful!

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  17. Congratulations on your wins! Nice items, too.
    I look forward to seeing your creative rug. You are so talented.
    I hope to get back to writing, once the minions are off to their forever homes. Bittersweet.
    It has been a long, hot Summer. Hug.

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  18. You have done great job. Clearing the bushes is not that easy.You can also create many rugs. All the best!

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  19. Wow! You sure did tame that hedge like a professional! Looks so beautiful now! Lovely flowers (as always) and you certainly won some pretty goodies! :-)

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  20. You did an amazing job! Did it smell wonderful? I love the smell of cedar. :-)
    Your flowers are beautiful. I am glad you are able to enjoy them.
    Congratulations on the winnings. Better luck next time with the loto Ha Ha!

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  21. Julia, I admire all your work! The hedge looks great. When I get to thinking I have a LOT to do...I just read your Blog and see how many things you do!!! (and do them well..!)
    Your flowers always look so beautiful...a joy to see!

    All looks good for the little house sale so far, I'm crossing my fingers! and I'm still sewing satin and helping make ivory satin roses along with finishing my latest rug and working on the pattern!!!
    With a sense of humor and determination, somehow we make it through. Hugs to you and family, Sunnie :)

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  22. Julia...I don't know how you do all the things that you do! Your hedge looks perfect! Love the paisley pendant from sweet Lauren. Your flower garden is so beautiful! I'd spend the day admiring it's beauty and never get anything done. You are a wonder!
    Robyn

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  23. Hello Sweet Julia,
    I have really missed you and wanted to come by and say hello. Like you I have not blogged in a while. Most days I just don't feel well enough to be on the computer.
    As always I am in awe of you and what you accomplish when you set your mind to it. That hedge was huge and and I can not image you trimming it like you did. Amazing wonder woman you are!
    It really looks nice but please be careful. Those are tall ladders.
    Our summer is going by fast but it has been terribly hot here. The temps have been in the hundreds most days.
    I am trying to keep my few flowers alive but I have nothing like the beautiful ones you have.
    I think of you often and hate I have lost touch.
    So glad I came by tonight.
    Love you
    Maggie

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  24. I am impressed that you worked on that hedge and made SO much progress that you actually finished. When I saw the first pictures it looked like a task that might not ever end. WOW! Good for you and your lovely neighbor for sticking with it. Hopefully next time it won't be as much work because it won't be as tall and wide. :)

    Congrats on your wins! Lovely and it looks like you have been working on some fun projects inside too. :)
    ~Jess

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  25. Julia, I tell you you are amazing and an inspiration...Every time I just want to sit down and feel old I think of you and all your energy and get back to the task. That hedge was a huge undertaking. So glad you had someone to hold the ladder and watch out for you while you were up that high....Wow it's great to win one thing but to win two....you deserve it....Hugs...

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  26. YOU are amazing! You remind me of the character Louisa in Rosamunde Pilcher's collection of short stories called The Blue Bedroom. The story is called A Day at Home. Look at you go! Yay, JB!

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  27. Holy smokes Julia, trimming a hedge.....on a ladder....seriously what won't you do! We had a tree that was obstructing our neighbors view of the Mountain - with one swift call, that tree was removed and gone before I could say, "remove the tree' haha not to mention the hot sweltering weather we were having. They came in and chopped, sawed, cut, clipped and wah la it was gone. I admire you Julia in so many ways!
    Your flowers look so lovely, you even have a lovely flower bed growing on your stand with all those beautiful cards. Looking forward to seeing how your rug is going to turn out!!

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  28. Holy smokes!!! Those were high hedges Julia & your determination was infectious for Ardith & George. They too had to give it a go! So glad you took photos before, during, & after, wow - what a job that was and oh so pleasing to the eye to see the finished job.
    Love your new abstract rug & looking forward to seeing you colour it with wool worms & wool that you've dyed! You are one creative inspiring woman Julia. My husband has always said that in order to get ahead in life, your either lucky or you work hard for a living - you are both!
    Excellent Karma! I always enjoy my visit with you.
    Don't over extend yourself & it's good to 'get by with a little help from our friends' & you indeed have a good friend with Ardith.
    Hugs,
    Cynthia

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  29. Julia , you are the amazing woman i wouldn't be surprised if you could deliver a baby. I feel like such a slacker compared to you. I love your gardens and that hedge was scary tall . Take care of yourself , hugs cheri
    I like your rug!

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