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.

Sunday, May 22, 2022


 Finally a post... Last week I was as busy as a Canadian Beaver. I went picking fiddleheads four times. At first, the picking was very slim, but in a few days, the picking finally got better. I didn't bother counting how many hours I spent by the peaceful river. It was so peaceful and I just love picking this free bounty.  My back was in so much pain but I kept at it until all my bags were full. My husband George saw that I needed help to process all these fiddleheads and asked my son Vaughan if he would come and help clean the fiddleheads, with some fiddleheads as his pay. His answer was affirmative.

George and Vaughan are cleaning fiddleheads until the brown thin covering is removed and bits of leaves, twigs, and sand are gone and they are ready for blanching for freezing. It takes about three to four water changes for this. We worked as a team and I had two big pots on the stove for blanching and George was busy fillings the double sinks with cold water and cooling the fiddleheads as fast as he could. The fiddleheads need to blanch for two minutes in boiling water and then cool immediately.

 Vaughan's job was to spin them dry in the salad spinner and then we both filled ziplock bags. I weight the bagged portions. My portions were half a pound and his portions were a pound. So he got 2/3 of all the fiddleheads. Not a bad deal for a night's work.

This is a lot of fiddleheads to freeze. I have no idea how many pounds I picked. I just didn't have the time to weigh and count. When all was processed and the kitchen cleaned, the floor mopped and everything put away, it was past midnight. I went to bed and slept like a baby.

 The next day, was busy as well with cutting the front lawn,  spreading soil on the front lawn, seeding it, and rolling it down so the seeds would make good contact with the soil and it was so dry that I had to water it three times a day. Although I spent a lot of time watering, the wind kept drying the top of the soil. I also had to water hundreds of seedlings out on the back deck and was planting in my back garden, and also planting potatoes at the farm. This time I got help again.

These two rows are about 100 feet long each.  I've started some of my potatoes in little pots and most were already growing leaves and needed to be planted.  This is what Vaughan is doing.  George and the hired hand are digging the trench 8 inches deep.  I planted the rest of the potatoes and covered them with three inches of soil. The next day, we had rain and so the potatoes are growing well. I had to hoe the taller one already on Saturday.

 Sometime during the day, I opened the front door to see if the newly reseeded lawn needed watering again and I found a large framed portrait of Madonna of the Street with glass, in between the doors. An old dirty lawn chair was propped up against the screen door to prevent the portrait from falling out.

 I was embarrassed that my husband had put the old dusty lawn chairs without cleaning them first on the front porch as he doesn't care for presentations. lol... Nevertheless, I was speechless for a few seconds. There was no note to let me know who left me this most splendid gift. I was almost giddy with joy. A gift from heaven it seemed.

 I tried to guess who would have left me such a nice gift as this. I figured it had to be a blog follower because I only showed my rug on my blog and to my rug hooking group. I had one person in mind but it wasn't her.  Then the next day, when I checked my emails, there was an email from Cynthia from Karotine blog explaining that it was her who left the portrait on my porch. 

She had bought it for the frame but it was too large for the intended project. After she saw my  Madonna of the street on my blog, she thought of me but didn't want to ship it fearing the cost and the possibility of breakage. She was coming to Scott's Nursery a few minutes from our place and dropped it off but I was away at a funeral in town.  Cynthia, I really am grateful for your thoughtfulness and generosity. Thank you so much. It's a perfect gift.

Upon, examining it,  I noticed it's a little different than the picture I got from the public domain. I noticed the headscarf goes all the way to the baby's cheek and the color is more greenish than blue and the background also is a bit different. I like the antique look better.  I'm now stalled for the background. I may have to wash the rug in a coffee stain to change the color,  but I'm not sure if it will do more harm than good. I haven't had time to dye wool anyway this week.

Here is the rug with the framed version of The Madonna of the street. On the rug, the headscarf ends at the madonna's throat, and in the framed picture, the headscarf ends in the middle of the baby's cheek. There are other minor differences.

My spring flowers, Azelisa are blooming and so is my crabapple tree but I'll spare you the pictures for now. I may post more photos next week if I can find the time. The new lawn seeds are growing fast and the bare patches are starting to disappear. A woman's work is never done.

Thanks for visiting and reading my ramblings. I hope that you leave a comment.

Pray for peace and love. It is so needed at this time.

Hugs, Julia


  1. I have neve eaten fiddleheads but my goodness they must be delish for all the work that goes into that harvest! I bet if you look up the phrase "worker bee", your picture would appear! When I saw the size of your garden for potatoes I think I gasped! Makes my little raised bed look ridiculous! Ha! I bet your yard is a showplace in all seasons even if hubby doesn't care about how the chairs look. You are so darn cute. Your rug looks pretty close to that picture. How sweet of your blogger friend to deliver such a wonderful gift. I know your really appreciate that. Wish I lived closer...and in the same country... I would love to bring you little gifts too! Plus my Chiropractic hubby could fix your back when you over do it with fiddleheads! Have a good week and take time for a little rest Julia!

  2. My yard is never perfect as long as floods, weeds, bugs and critters are around to destroy my work and my husband's tractor tracking on the lawn. lol... It'a a constant battle.

  3. You have been busy. And productive.
    Gardening is one of those chores which is never finished isn't it?
    And what a lovely gift. I have often been blown away by the kindness of bloggers.

    1. EC, blog buddies may be a diverse bunch but it has been my experience also that most are very generous people with gifts and comments. I also have been blowned away with their generosity.

  4. I have only just recently heard of fiddleheads. What do they taste like? That is a lot of work. You must have a lot of energy!

    I like the simplicity of the painting.

  5. Julia!!! My mouth dropped open I am in complete awe!! I love fiddle heads and my husband does not. I was at a farm stand this weekend and I was going to buy some 18.99 a pound!!!! you have a fortune there! Your veggie garden is so large good for you I am not sure what kind of supply is going to be available this year especially when winter rolls around. Such wonderful satisfying work.
    I think your Madona looks wonderful do you think each print maker put their own spin on the coloring?

    1. Now I'm not sure which is the original, the first picture I got online for the rug or the one in the frame. One of them has been altered a little but they are both beautiful.

    2. Wow, $18.99 a pound, that is absolutely ridiculous. The highest I saw them at the store was $7.99 at the start of the season and last week they were $4.99 a pound at our Co-op.

  6. Quite a thoughtful gift from your newly acquired friend for the framed picture of Madonna. You are one hard working woman!!! I've never had fiddle heads, and only learned about their existence thru a post you did some months/years ago. What do they taste like? Asparagus maybe?

  7. Saundra, fiddleheads taste like a cross between asparagus and green beans.

  8. I was going to ask about fiddleheads, too. So do you saute them or ??? What a lot of work. Your son must really love them. So generous of you to give him the majority of the bounty.
    You are the hardest working woman I know. You could run circles around those half your age!!!
    What a lovely surprise to find Madonna. It will be fun to hang your rug next to the picture.
    We do need to pray, pray, pray. What is happening to my great country and yours is just heartbreaking!

    1. Lauren, you can saute them but you still need to blanche them first. I want to try a salad recipe that Kimm sent me but I've been so darn busy every day working outdoor that I'm always in a rush to get food on the table as George is always in a rush too. You can't eat them raw as you could get sick but once they are boiled you can saute them. I must give it a try.

  9. What a fun surprise, a fun story to go along with it.
    You did well with the fiddleheads. And that is great to have help!
    I will be doing more planting this week. We had a frost watch the past nights, it looks like we are to warm up, so I think it is safe to plant out. :-)

  10. What a fun surprise and a great story to go along with it. You did well with your fiddleheads. That is great you had help.
    I planted potatoes and onions last week. This week I hope to plant most of the garden. We had a frost watch the last two nights. It is to warm up, so I think I can start planting more of my started plants.

    1. Yes, Carla, it was quite a pleasant surprise to find the beautiful framed Madonna.
      The fiddleheads came very slowly at first but them it got so hot that they were unfurling very fast and that's why I was trying to pick as much as I could while they were available. One day can make a difference. I went to check the river bank two days ago, they were all unfurled.

  11. My goodness, that is so many fiddleheads! That is wonderful. I love your potato field. That is such a gift, I think. I really love that picture that lady left. It is just beautiful. Your rug looks so incredible too. You are such a hard worker.

  12. Well, I think it's settled then: You will fix us curious bloggies who have never had fiddleheads a sampling. Along with dinner of course. 🤣 I, too, am curious how you prepare them.... I am also curious if the harvesting of them destroys the plant? Or does the plant just throw up new fronds?? And, are an incredibly hard worker. No wonder your back complains. My mother was much the same way. I love both renditions of Madonna...what a sweet gift. And I hope you look at the photo you posted of your rug next to the picture... Now, tell me you are not pleased by your work. ~Robin~

  13. Robin, I usually boil fiddleheads like green beans, and put a little butter on them. I love having them with salmon and baked potatoes. When I cook them from fresh, I boil them for about two minutes and change the water as the water turns brown as there is a lot of iron in them and boil them again until soft like beans.

    The plants keeps growing. They send long runners under the ground and they spread everywhere. I went to check where I picked and the whole area was covered with fully developed fernes. You can never pick them all. It was very pretty.

  14. I was also going to ask if the picking of the Fiddleheads harms the plant at all but I see your replies above. I'd love to try them as I adore green beans abd asparagus anyway. I have ferns in my garden but not this variety sadly!
    You worked very hard. Does anyone else near you pick them or do you have no competitors?
    Well done on all your potato-related endeavours!
    The Madonna painting was a really thoughtful gift. It's got beautiful colouring. Your hooked rug is looking wonderful to!

    1. Years ago, the fiddleheads were plentiful before all the devastating flooding started to erode the shores of the river, and there used to be a lot of neighbours who would pick fiddlehead on our land but most would ask for permission. Now we still have people who pick but they don't ask permission. On our first day of picking, we met one guy who we didn't know who was carrying a back pack and a pail. He knew where the good picking was and didn't leave any for us. We went home with an empty bucket.

  15. Thanks for sharing the fiddleheads. I have not heard of these. Such a thoughtful gift that Cindy gave you. I so love the colors in your rug. Also you have been a busy beaver! I It will all be worth it though. Janice

  16. Yes, Cynthia gave me a thoughtful gift, and so unexpected.
    I know you work hard too Janice. I hope we don't grow long flat tails, lol...

  17. I was happy to hear that I was able to pleasently surprise you with the Modonna picture! I was hoping to breifly meet you after talking to you via blog since the blog I read of your Marilyn Monroe cake episode that went sideways when you fell out! You had me hooked & then your gardens were so inspiring to me that I have mimicked many of your plants! Your hard working eithics & passion for the postive life for others is heartwarming Julia. The picture looks so at home in your home!
    Now, that was alot of fiddle heads to prepare & the trio of you will have many feds on those. Yum!!
    My blog address is or as you remember it Kyrotime, that is me, a word I made up with the meaning 'suspended time'. That is the time you will frequently find me creating in my kyrotime space.
    Do pace yourself Julia as it takes longer for our bodies to mend so glad you nap & give it down time!
    The days are moving into summer, spring has been so glorious this year.
    Your rug rendering of Madonna & Child is beautiful!! Not only do you see the love, you feel the love in each hooked loop!
    So glad I made you giddy & had a positive spin to your day, you have given back to me in so many blog replies with you positive words. xXx
    Hugs, Cynthia

  18. Thanks Cynthia. It's so nice seeing a comment from you.
    I'm glad you found my blog way back then when I jumped out of the cake for our old friend Lorenzo. Sadly, we lost him this year after a stroke.
    I just came in from weeding another flowerbed in the back of the house. I almost finished it but had to quit when it got dark. It's suppose to rain tomorrow. I hope I can seed the lawn on the left side by the cut dow hedge before it rains. My son spread 5 large buckets of top soil for me yesterday.

    Take care, Hugs back at you.

  19. I had always heard that you can eat fiddleheads but never knew anyone that did. Sounds like you got a lot. (I had to look up how they are eaten.) I enjoyed reading about planting has been years since I have planted potatoes...probably 40 yrs.