About Me

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I'm a mother of four grandmother of seven and great grandmother of three. I live with my husband in the house that we built with the help of my brothers and will have been married for 57 years this February.

Thursday, May 31, 2018


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.

Daffodils underwater

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


  1. Oh Julia, I'm so sorry! All that extra work in an already busy time of year. I wish I could come help you to clean up!

  2. Hi Julia,
    I'm sure those pictures don't even really capture the terrible damage done by the flood!!! How happy I am that you all made it through safely and even had some calves born during that time!! High Water is such an appropriate name, too! Take care, dear friend, and just take one day and one project at a time!! I also wish I could help!!
    Sending Big Heart Hugs~

  3. Oh Julia,
    Still its hard work. I am so sorry, that just makes me sick to see all of that damage. I am glad that you are all safe. You always have such a wonderful attitude. Thank you for sharing today. I have been praying for you and I have wondered how you were.

  4. Wow!!! What a sight! I live in dry desert so I get uncomfortable when it's too wet. Your photos made my skin itch. I can't imagine what the cows went through. Only once in my life time did we have a storm so bad that grandma had to pray to spirits to lighten up. Grandma said she'd never do this but it was for our poor sheep, goats, horses, dogs, shivering and some freezing that she went out with salt in hand to say her prayers (we are Native Americans-Navajo in AZ). Granny said by doing this chances are we were going to go into a drought...a chance she had to take to save ourselves and animals. The rain stopped and we went into the worst drought forcing us to drive our herd long distances to get them watered. Eventually, we had to move to a temporary camp closer to water for years before some of the water holes were refilled by rain.

    Now I live in Phoenix, AZ and when my kids were young, we use to get afternoon thunder storms every day but not any more. I haven't seen rain for almost a year and what rain we do get is sparse.

    Wishing you a speedy recovery from the flooding and all goes well...yes time to clean out all the clutter because you're forced to. Have a good summer.

  5. Holy Smokes Julia!! This is why I love connecting with people through blogging although I only wish I could be there to help you with the clean up. You are such a strong hard working woman but man oh man what a mess. I'm glad your cows made it with the exception of High Waters mother. The flooding in your area makes our basement flood we had awhile back not worth mentioning :). This takes spring cleaning to a whole new level.
    Hang in there my friend and know I'm thinking of you.

  6. What an amazing amount of damage!!! I am so sorry Julia what a job you have.
    so sorry

  7. Oh I do feel sorry for you having to deal with the mess. You can never catch a break.

  8. What an awful mess. I would be tempted to sit down in a big puddle and cry. You seem to be able to go on with so much hope and fortitude. Your strength is amazing. Glad you and your family are safe and most of your livestock has been saved. Take care.

  9. Bless your hearts. I have no point of reference. We have wind and lightning damage, but thankfully we’re high enough that the chance of any significant flooding at our house is small.
    I knew it was bad there but I no idea how bad.

  10. My goodness, Julia...what a time you have had! So much extra work for all of you...please take care of yourself...and George, too. That's one way to clean out the basement! I am glad you were able to get all your critters to safety...and even have a few new ones. I have no doubt you will have your gardens blooming again soon.
    Take good care...sending a big hug...Robyn

  11. Oh my goodness Julia! I know that you said don't feel sorry for you but I do feel sorry that you've had an exhausting time (more exhausting than usual) time. It's never nice when things are ruined and I'm sorry for the lost Mother. Hope that you will get through it! You are an amazing, strong person, I am ever in awe!Xx

  12. Sweet Julia seeing these pictures just breaks my heart. So much damage and destruction. I am just so sorry the flood happened and you have so much hard work ahead of you still you to do. I am thankful as I know you must be to have had what help you had and have. It was a miracle that the calves and heifers were feed and came out okay. Sorry the one mother cow had to be put down. Thank you for keeping us posted on how things are going. You are right, I know you and it will all be beautiful again in time. Holding you close in my thoughts and keeping you all in my prayers. Hugs

  13. Hi Julia, you have so much work to do because of the flood. It’s heartbreaking to see what has happened but you will eventually sort it all out. The flood has come when you least expect it but you’ll sort it out and be back to the way things used to be. Life is never easy and it will always find a way of testing us if we let it but the spirit we have inside of us will never give in.

  14. I guess I really didn't know how people clean up after such a drastic flood. Wow. You're such a hard worker anyway, Julia. Please don't exhaust yourself. I hope the stove in the basement will still work.

  15. This makes me so sad. You work so hard anyway and then all this. You are a dedicated farmer and have such strength. It will be beautiful again. Glad that you are safe and your livestock. Sorry about your mama cow. Take care of yourself. ❤️

  16. Hi Julia...I am absolutely speechless...what a huge mess to have to clean up...all the while taking care of your regular responsibilities...sorry to hear about High Water's mom... but, grateful that you and your family are ok (though very exhausted).... hugs!

  17. Oh Julia, I'm so sorry you and your family are having such a mess to clean up and all the stress and hard work just getting your farm animals to safety and the basement cleaned out. I'm worried you'll exhaust yourself trying to get it all done. I'm sorry you lost the momma cow too. When I look at the photos my mouth just hangs open in disbelief..holy cow, what a disaster. I hope it gets better soon and the area can recover. I imagine all the families there are in the same pickle! I wish I lived near you and could be of some help! Please take care and I'm sending some prayers up for you tonight!

  18. Wow, I'm so sorry to see you and your family having to go through this. Please take care of yourself dear Julia.

  19. Julia,,,
    Wow,,, those pictures are un real!!
    What a time,,
    Cant believe we complained last week with the heat!
    And we need rain, dry dry here ,,,,
    No more complaining after seeing what ur dealing with,,,
    So sorry, julia!
    You are one strong woman,,, amazing woman,,
    Take care,
    Thanks for sharing,,,
    Enjoy ur blog!!

  20. OH JULIA! This is just wretched to look at! I'm so very sorry. You are so busy anyway and then to have this happen.

  21. I really appreciate your professional approach.These are pieces of very useful information that will be of great use for me in future.


  22. Sending you hugs. Hope the clearup is going ok.xx

  23. Hello my Dear Julia,
    I have been thinking of you and praying for you. I am sorry about #600's mom .. how is High Water doing today? I bet growing up .. was it a bull or heifer calf?
    Lots of love and prayers,