Thursday, December 31, 2009

Blue Moon and the End of a Decade

Tonight, there will be a second full month in the same month and this phenomena is known as a "blue moon". This doesn't happen very often and of course, it is the end of the first decade in the 21st Century.

I am very happy to be celebrating both these events. Ten years ago, it was a different story for me as I was starting my battle against a health monster. It was hard, it was frightening and it was the most intense time of my life.

Looking back is always easier than looking ahead as you know the outcome. Since that time, I have lost friends and family to the same monster; Mary Ellen, Mike, Kim, Donna and Martha. And I think of fellow bloggers Jane and Sherri who are now taking on the same battle.

I am grateful every day of my life and I will be celebrating and remembering all my dear friends and family this New Year's Eve and always.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Over for Another Year

Well, I stayed home and enjoyed myself on my days off. Having finished the Santa's, it was back to the Icons of NL project.

Here is the second to last of the icons, an Orca whale and her baby. Living in the middle of the North Atlantic, whales, porpoises are certainly all around us. I can remember two autumns ago, watching the porpoises put on a little show in the bay. Jumping, twisting and playing. Better than any show with animals in captivity.

One more icon to go and then, the top border to complete this project. And already, thinking of the next one.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas to All

With everyone so busy and no time for blogging, we wanted to wish all my friends and family a special and warm Merry Christmas.

I have enjoyed meeting so many new and wonderful people, connecting through our mutual love of all things fibre.

Anne Kirby, Cathy G, Kim, Phyliss, Lynne from Jersey, Shawn, Jennifer, Wendi, April, Gene, Cindy, Deanne, Jane, Mary from BC, Corinne, Dulcey, Heidi, Sherri, Tammi,Cara and Pam, Urve and all the people who drop by to have a look.

You have all made my rughooking life special and I think of all of you as friends.

Merry Christmas from our house to yours.

Love and Blessings,

Julie,P, Maddy the Jack and of course, the birds, Henry and Lily!

Monday, December 21, 2009


This is the scene on Sunday morning from my deck overlooking the beautiful Humber Arm of the Bay of Islands.

Gorgeous reflections which always remind me that we should reflect on the past year and give thanks to the Creator for all the gifts and challenges we have had. Sometimes, I marvel at how fast time passes and wonder if I am on the right path to the place where I am supposed to be headed.

Everyone, sensing their own mortality, dreaming of Christmases past and future. Reflections of lives lived.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Newfoundland Christmas

This is a lovely presentation of NL Christmas and there are certainly some ideas for rugs here!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Don't shop, Adopt!

I always believed that hOOkwOrM would maintain its overall interest in rug hooking and stay clear from any political or personal opinions. But it is at this time of year, that I strongly urge people to consideration adoption of pets and not purchasing.

I have had six beautiful dogs in the past 25 years and I used to obtain my pets through breeders and/or pet stores. There were my two Doberman, Babe and Bonnie, my two mini schnauzers, Heidi and Pepper, my first Jack Russell, Weezie and now, my second Jack, Maddy.

Weezie was my first rescue dog and her life, a tragedy of abandonment and starvation. We only had this darling dog for five years and lost her to kidney disease likely as a result of her earlier malnutrition.

Maddy has never been mistreated but she was just "too much" of a Jack Russell for a senior in Lewisporte. She is almost three and has turned out to be a beautiful and intelligent little darling and we love her very much.

With so many abandoned animals in our communities, consider not shopping, but adopting a suitable pet. These are two lovely pets available at our local shelter.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Answers!

First, before the answers to the latest NL Quiz, here is the view from my deck looking out to the Bay of Islands.

Can't you see the bay? No, neither could I and only this morning, were the lights across the bay visible. We have had continual snowsqualls since Wednesday.

Now, the answers.

1) Jig house: A boarding house for mariners which usually sells illegal alcohol.

2) Pampooty: Kim's answer was the best ever but pampotties are soft shoes for children, usually made of hide.

3) Gut Foundered: One right answer from very, very hungry.

4) Lassy Bug: This is a Ladybug and when you catch a ladybug, a child says the poem...lassy bug, lassy bug, give me some lassy (which is molasses). And when the ladybug leaves a brown spot on your hand, you got your molasses. (Or at least, a dirty hand!)

5) Toutin: Another right answer from anonymous, fried bread dough from the French word, toutin which is pancake.

I think I enjoy these quizes a lot especially the answers!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Another Newfoundland Quiz

Here it is as per the many requests, another Newfoundland Quiz to test your ability to define NL language.

1) Jig House

2) Pampooty

3) Gut foundered

4) Lassy Bug

5) Toutin

Good Luck with this one and everyone, enjoy the weekend and take time for yourselves!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's Here!

Well, the snow has arrived this morning with such ferociousness! And I suppose that it had to happen some time.

Here is the first of the small gifts, a table mat. I put on a black felt backing and will make the tag tonight. It is a good thing as it will be given to a co-worker tomorrow in our gift exchange. I have a day or so hooking and the other 3 will be finished and ready for whipping etc.

Oh me nerves, the days are flying by!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Scenes

This Christmas scene embodies the Christmas Spirit of days gone by.

Most of us are busy this time of year with ideas of gifts, shopping and baking. I finished the first of the Christmas mats and steamed it last night. Tonight, I will finish it off with a felt backing and a tag.

Hopefully, I will complete the hooking on the final one and start the whipping of the other 3. I am guessing that by tomorrow, we will be buried under by a snowstorm coming from the East.

Monday, December 7, 2009

What's Going On?

Well, the time flies at this time of year and I don't really seem to be getting much done. I did zigzag around the Santa in preparation for their completion. As I am giving one away this Friday, I am working on the whipping of the edge.

Hopefully, I will have a picture to post of the completed mat. Christmas hosts a whole lot of opinions and feelings, doesn't it? The stores are so busy with shoppers and screaming children, I try to keep away.

I don't know if Christmas will ever hold the charm and sweetness of days gone by.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

From rain to snow!

Ignore the date stamp on this picture as it was borrowed from a technically challenged person who doesn't know how to change it to 2009.

It rained all day and on the way home from the dayjob, it started to snow and the temperature dropped.

I said good morning to almost 15 cm of snow this morning and drove to work in 4 wheel drive. Newfoundland! How quick the weather changes.

Put it this way, poor little blogger Maddy was chest deep in snow for her morning outing.

Monday, November 30, 2009

My Favourite things to do!

Hello all you peeps! My mommy has left for the day and I have decided to try out this machine thingy.

My name is Maddy Petunia Brown and I am two years old and they call me a Jack Rascal , whatever that means.

I would like to share my top five things to do.

1) Squeek my squeeky things especially when the tv monster is on.

2) Sleeping and getting enough rest for my evening of running around with my squeeky things.

3) Sitting beside mommy when she is doing that hOOking thing and then, quietly, grabbing one of the little wooly balls and making mommy run after me. Loads of fun!

4) Being very picky about foods and turning on my heel when any food is presented with my nose held high...this one drives them nuts! You expect me to eat that! Just like a cat!

5) Going in the big truck and sitting up high and watching the road for mooseys. I used to hate this but now, I love it and want to go everywhere.

Well, I better go have a nap to rest up for this evening's fun.

licks, snuffs and hugs



Sunday, November 29, 2009

Coming Along!

Well, I am coming along with the small table pads for Christmas gifts but I definitely overestimated my completion of 10 by Christmas. Anyway, I will have to improvise for sure!

Weather has been unusually warm but we went from 15 C to about 5 today and with some snow activity. I guess it won't be long now before IT comes to stay.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Answers to the NL Quiz

I am still laughing at some of yesterday's answers to the latest NL Quiz. Here is a picture from the Grumpy Goat with Mummers in the design. Here are the definitions.

1) Mummers: A person who dresses up like a fool and participates in Christmas activities. Although, this isn't done very often anymore, people used to disguise themselves and go from house to house during Christmas, putting on a little dance and expecting a drink of something, in return.

2)Ugly Stick: This is a homemade musical instrument usually topped with a mop head and has lots of bottle caps and bells to jingle. It is usually made out of a skinned tree branch and is 4-5 feet height. It is then tapped with a small baton and bounced up and down to the beat of a song.

3) Mamateek: A Beothuk winter wigwam. Beothuks have been extinct for many years in NL.

4) Sod: A cap or a flat hat.

5) Quat: Just like it sounds, to crouch or squat down.

More to come in the future as NLers have their own unique vocabulary, thats for sure, b'y

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Newfoundland Quiz

Here is the next NL Quiz for all you Mainlanders. Let's see what interesting definitions we get this time.

1) Mummer
2) Ugly Stick
3) Mamateek
4) Sod
5) Quat

Stay tuned for the definitions later in the week.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Whirlwind Weekend!

Not the weather fortunately, just the business of the weekend. Cleaning, vaccuming, dusting, playing cards with friends, making sausage and blueberry jam and grinding up the last of the moose. Oh yes, and a little rug hooking for good measure.

Taking a rest this Monday on the day job!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Seed Catalogue Therapy

What should be in the mail box last night on the way home. The Stokes Seed Catalogue. The garden gods must have heard my whining and tears about the weather and the darkness.

So I had a good read and circled some potential choices for next year's garden. I will be making some changes as any good gardener does; sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't but at least, the gardener hopes for the best!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Garden Withdrawal!

I am having serious garden withdrawal. Last night, on the way home from the day job, it was almost dark by 4:45. Between the H1N1 pandemic, lack of sunlight and too busy a schedule, I think I am starting to look forward to seeing some seed catalogues in the post.

I still hook at least for a half hour or so everyday and almost finished the second Santa this morning. I saw this beautiful quilt on someone's blog, and thought it was a great idea for a rug. Interesting the way the four seasons are presented.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

In the Distance

These are the Blow Me Down moutains which are in the distance. They are beginning to be covered in the horrible white stuff that falls this time of year.

It was a beautiful day yesterday and unlike my dear rug pal, Anne, only got my ten minutes in rug hooking or so. Still a few jobs to do outside and we weren't going to pass up a day with warm sunshine and calm winds.

By the way, anyone wonder why they call these mountains, Blow Me Down?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ho Ho Ho!

I finished the first of the little mats on the weekend and I think he turned out pretty good. I added the "2009" as a last thought as I feel it personalizes the gift even more. I started the second one, but didn't get to far as the continuing saga of NL winter preparations took priority.

The snow that fell is all gone and only a grim reminder of things to come.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Quietly, it came

And quietly, it left again.

Nothing changes faster in NL than the weather. If you don't like the weather out the front door, go on out the back door. Here is a picture of my inukshuk, Gabby, on Saturday morning. By Sunday, morning, it was gone.

It was a busy weekend with final preparations for the winter. Solar lights are put away, plastic sheeting around the front deck to keep the weather out. Only one or two more jobs.

Seems like there is always a job or two left, does there?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cleaning Hand Hooked Rugs

I asked Mary from Victora BC, a question about cleaning our rug hooking projects and as she is heavily involved in the "business", she posted these tips which I would like to highlight in today's post.

The cleaning concerns about hand hooked area rugs are as follows:

-the colours could bleed

-the backing could shrink, making the rug bumpy and mis-shapened

-stitches could unhook

-the stitches could shrink, causing the design to look funny

These are possible things that can go wrong if hand hooked rugs are improperly cleaned.

Since hand hooked rugs are mostly used as wall hangings they don't need to be cleaned very often, about once a year or so. Vacuuming them about once a month with the little brush attachment on your vacuum will remove the dust that the rug collects on a daily basis.
Ask your local rug cleaner if they clean hand hooked rugs and how they clean them. It may be best to use a rug that you don't like or make a sample rug with lots of bright colours and get them to clean it.
A reminder if you don't feel comfortable with the way the cleaner is answering your questions, then follow your gut. You put a lot of effort into making your works of art don't leave it to chance that it will be cleaned properly.

When we get in a hand hooked rug for cleaning I explain the following:

We test the colours to make sure they won't run
We do try to do a wet clean, but most of the time hand hooked may get dry cleaned depending on the types of fibers used and the delicacy of the rug
If our cleaning guy has an hesitation about the cleaning results of a rug he simply will not chance it.
When it comes to your hand hooked rugs find a cleaner you feel comfortable with.

Again let them clean a sample rug and see if you are happy with the results. Not cleaning hand hooks rugs can make a rug look dull and make you fall out of love with it. That is not good

I also learned from Mary's blog which is listed here in hOOkwOrM, is that vaccuming the underside or backing of carpets and mats is almost as important as vaccuming the topside.

Thanks Mary!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Many of the rug hookers I have contact are all over the world and quite often have no idea where Newfoundland is in Canada. I thought that in this dull, grey month, it would be nice to show off my adopted province. It is easy to see where our inspirations come for our rugs in this beautiful land.

Sounds and Sights of Newfoundland

Monday, November 2, 2009

thoughts of Christmas

As I was saying last week, I always like to make small Christmas gifts for a few people in the office. So this year, I decided to use my new skills of rug hooking to design a small keepsake.

I liked this Santa and went ahead started with the first four. This will be small trivets or mats with the year, 2009 on it. I found a great tip from Cindi Gaye and used it to make sure the border was straight by using a pencil and drawing it along the "ditch" of the fabric.

I mounted this little Santas on my lap frame and will work on them. I need a total of 10 or so small gifts, so I better get busy!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Puffin all Finished

Well, another of the icons of NL completed and only two more to do. The weather was very wet and this was a great weekend at home with lots of rug hooking too.

With all the threats of picking up H1N1 virus, it is better if most people stay out of public venues and nested at home.

I am going to stop working on the icons for now and turn my thoughts to Christmas. I have some ideas and I will post tomorrow, the results.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tails and Feathers

Kim of Millie's Mats got me thinking about what common ground most of the rug hooklings have together. The love of our little fur/feathered friends!

It was almost one year ago that Lily, seen in the foreground, took up residence at chez Julie. I shouldn't do this but I always look into various local animal rescues as part of my usual routine. There is one animal rescue in Central NL which looks after critters such as ferrets and rabbits and also birds.

There she was! Lily, a very old cockatiel who was once again being given up. As she was around 15 years old, there was little hope of adoption. We have had cockatiels before and in fact, the last of the bunch, Henry T. Byrd, seen behind Lily is about the same age.

Lily had a bit of mysterious and checkered past. She was found at large on her own in the wilds of NL, rescued and adopted but then, only to be given up again and again. I made arrangements to adopt her knowing that she was a senior with her clock ticking.

Lily is a very quiet, well behaved bird with a penchant for millet and sunflower seeds. She is also very independent and has not succumbed to Henry's whistles, songs and flirting.

Henry and Lily make the trip to the Mainland several times per year in their travelling cage and in fact, Henry has made the crossing more than most people in the province. Never once do they ask "aren't we there yet??"

Monday, October 26, 2009

Simple Pleasures

I was able between naps, coughs and sneezes to work on the puffin icon over the weekend. With all the bad news of pandemics, bombings etc etc, it is wonderful to have a simple pleasure of hooking for distraction.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Down with a Cold

I have been down with an old fashion head cold for the past couple of days. I have always wondered why dogs never seem to catch colds. Maybe scientists should study that fact and we may come up with a cure.

Feeling much, much better now and working on Mr. Puffin and taking my time on the last couple of icons. Starting to think, ponder and plan the next project. Of course, with Christmas two months from today, I may switch gears and hook something for Christmas presents.

I try every year to do something crafty for the people I work with; one year, I knitted those old fashion cotton dishcloths, putting three in a nice basket with Christmas candies. Last year, I tried to make marmalade so I could give a jar of it with some other sundry items. The marmalade didn't set and was a total failure. So I wrote a poem about it and gave chickens instead.

Chickens, you ask?? I donated money in every one's name to a Canadian charity that gives a variety of animals to people in various countries. I bought two lots of chickens to be given to a single mother in Africa. A couple of my coworkers were very responsive and liked the whole idea of giving something worthwhile, instead of things that are nice, but unnecessary, in our land of plenty.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Buying Rug Supplies

I posed a question yesterday about choices in rug backing and got some good advice from Debra, Kim and Corrine. As such, I started to search the internet for rug warp and it made me think about buying rug supplies in general.

As a Canadian, I always try to source out any rug supplies through Canadian companies first. Not just for the exchange but for other reasons such as duty, shipping costs etc. Over the past few months, I have found a great Canadian supply company out in Alberta called Shuttleworks. Cal Harvey is the owner and very knowledgeable in all things fibre. This includes spinning wheels, yarns, fabric, gripper strips etc etc etc.

If you get a chance, have a look at

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pictures of Corner Brook

Nine down, three to go!

Well, nine icons now complete and three more to go. I am now working on the puffins and will take a picture in the next day or so. I tried something different on one of the rocks; combined two different colours of wool and hooked them together. By taking a picture, I will get an idea of how it looks.

I am wondering from my fellow hOOkerS, if you have ever used other types of rug backing other than burlap? I see that some hOOKerS use Monk's Cloth, with its 2 x 2 squares and lines. It might be a nice alternative for something say, geometerical and when you have to stay square and all in line.

I am mulling around the next project and have some ideas.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Rug Progress

My dear mother flew back home very, very early yesterday morning. What a nice visit we all had and shared much good food and chats.

I was able to finish some of the garden chores yesterday and wash the trucks. They are gleaming this morning and of course, as "murphy's law" would dictate, it is going to snow/rain.

Here is the map of NL and I added a couple of cities/towns. The left one is my neck of the woods, Corner Brook. The middle lower is the little town of Lord's Cove, where Anne Kirby, the designer of the project, lives. And the final right one, St. John's.

Friday, October 16, 2009

So Busy!

I have been so busy that I haven't even had the time to post on hOOkwOrM. Well, the Mill is down for two weeks in a effort to reduce inventory but let's face it, the newprint industry is in big trouble. As I am not in production, and as I have no vacation left, I am working.

It is a myriad of problems; from the high Canadian dollar, the economy, the internet, etc etc. I enjoy my dayjob but I do have a Plan B as I am sure all people have or at least, should have.

I have had a really nice visit with my mother who is flying back home on Sunday. I am afraid the weather has been cool and wet but it is warm and toasty by the fire at chez Julie.

I am almost finished the 9th icon...the map of NL and it is simple, straightforward and plain. I am not sure how I am going to "tweak" it up abit; afterall, a map is a map. Having said that, have you ever noticed how many NLers put the map of the province on the back of their vehicle? It is very recognizable to NLers, that's for certain.

When did you last see anyone from B.C. or Ontario, put a provincial map on their vehicle to proudly state their origins!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What's in a Name?

In NL, your last name seems to be an important thing. For years, I have heard people talking at kitchen tables and the one question that always comes up is, "who was she before....?."

At first, I wasn't even sure what this meant. Before what? Maybe like native people, once we are at certain age, we could choose our adult name; usually befitting some great accomplished feat. But no, who was she meant before she was married. Ah, the great feat of marriage!

My surname is not of the island and in fact, I know that I am the only one of my kind here. This tends to un-nerve some people; after all, it proves that I am a CFA (come from away) and have no island history to determine just who I am and where did I come from?

And don't get me started on the term of "maid". Another NL term which seems well entrenched into colloquial days.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I would like to start out by wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States.

In today's fast-paced, high-stress world, I think it is important to stop and give some thought as to what we are thankful for this year.

I will go first:

I would like to pause from my busy schedule to give thanks for the love and support of my family. It has been a good year as we are all healthy and happy, and we are celebrating this day together.

I am thankful for my dayjob which allows me to have financial security when so many do not.

I am thankful for each and every day I wake up and greet the day, whatever, it holds for me. Sometimes the pigeon, sometimes the statue!

I am thankful for my interests in rug hooking and all the wonderful people I have met through this interest.

I am thankful for choosing to live in the most beautiful place in the world and making living more important than sitting in traffic for hours.

Now it's your turn. Let's hear what you are thankful for this year. Leave your comments and lets all take some time out to give some thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Coming Along!

My rug hooking project, We Love Thee Newfoundland, is coming along. Many of my hooklings asked if this is my design. It is from Anne Kirby, a wonderful artist from Lord's Cove, NL. If you get a chance, have a look at her site which is listed on my blog roll. She really epitomizes the NL culture in her artwork.

I will finish the bottom border in the next day or so, and then, I will start on the top four icons and the border with the words, We Love Thee. For those who are not aware, the phrase is from our anthem. The only province in Canada that has its own anthem!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sad News

When I was in Toronto, I had an opportunity to visit with some dear friends that I miss. There were two couples that we socialized with, travelled with, played with and worked with for more than 25 years.

Over the years, we have all had serious illnesses, myself included and we lost dear Mike, a NLer from Stephenville last year. Yesterday, we got a call telling us that quite suddenly, Donna (56) passed away at home. I was shocked to say the least, only seeing her two weeks ago. I thought at first, heart attack but Donna was quite ill and didn't let anyone know, choosing to suffer in silence.

Rest well, dear Donna, you will be missed by all.

Monday, October 5, 2009

When Cod was King!

It felt so good to have my hook in hand over the weekend. This reminds of a time when cod was king in NL. My codfish is hiding in the seaweed and taking a rest. He has an accidental smile which was supposed to be his jawline. I will tweak this later but for now, the cod is smiling.

I have 4 more icons to complete and started the lower border with the word "Newfoundland". I am enjoying hooking so much, I have forgotten that I am back to the dayjob and busy.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I finished me moose!

Well, actually, I had finished the moose icon just before leaving on my holiday. I like the way the mottled yarn turned out as it looks just like the bog where our moose roam.

I was able to continue on with the icons and also, got outside for a couple of hours to work on the garden. This time of year is the dump the pots, clean up and load up the composter for next year's rich soil.

Well, it's back on the dayjob treadmill tomorrow, but will be glad to get back. While I was away, I found out that the mill will shut production for two weeks due to economic problems within the newsprint industry. I will most likely be working during this time but won't know for certain until tomorrow.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Back Again!

Well, we arrived safely back to the Island 4:30 am Thursday morning. It wasn't supposed to be that late, but let me explain. We left Montreal Tuesday morning with the plan to drive at least 12 hours and stay over in Antigonish. Anyway, there was alot of rain and that slowed us down abit but we did pull over in New Glasgow just at dark.

That would leave about 3 hours to make the boat deadline of 10:00 am. Just as we left the motel, I finally remembered to telephone Marine Atlantic to see if the ferries were still on time. With no bad weather, I was sure we would be on schedule to leave at 11:30.

Nope, the ferry was delayed and would leave until 2pm which wasn't too bad but would put us on the island well after dark. To make a long story short, we didn't get out of North Sydney until 3:30 pm. Around 9pm, rumours started circulating around the passengers that the Vision which had left North Sydney around 6:30 am, still hadn't docked and as such, we wouldn't be able to dock until the Vision did. P went to the Purser's office to find out but they wouldn't explain anything at all or even gives us an arrival time.

By 9:30 pm, we were stopped in a fog bank, going nowhere and still no announcement, nothing. By that time, Mom was very tired to say the least, as we all were. We did finally dock at 12:00 midnight but with unloading delays, we didn't exit the Smallwood until 12:45. We decided to head to Corner Brook as it was clear and calm. But as chance would have it, low lying fog made the treacherous drive even longer. You have to watch carefully for moose on the roads too!

We arrived back in one piece. I am very sure it has taken Mom two days to rest up and still looks abit tired today. I did up 8 bottles of beets harvested from our garden and worked on the icons and will post a picture tomorrow.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I confess!

It is very trendy today to confess to some sort of addiction. I have never thought of myself as someone who had an addiction to anything. Impossible as being a Gemini, the two of us keep each other guessing and roaming from one interest to another.

But really, with Charlize Theron's admission of her OCD, I may as well come clean. I too have mild form of OCD. I am not fussy about my cupboards being tidy as Charlize; as long as the cupboard door is closed, the chaos doesn't exist for me. I don't count, I don't avoid cracks in the sidewalk, I don't wash my hands over and over.

But what I do is follow a routine when travelling or leaving my home. If, for one second, my mind goes somewhere else, and I don't remember locking the door etc., I have to start the routine over again or if I don't, worry about it the whole time. Dishes have to go back in the same place, cutlery and linen too.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Gloomy Sunday!

It is a rainy day in Montreal but temperature is mild. We are going to start getting ready for the drive back next week. I just checked the ferry schedule and of course, they are running late and may stay that way until our booked crossing.

The weather looks like light rain all the way but at least, no hurricanes on the horizon. We may go out for a movie and lunch today; only movie that looks interesting is the new Brad Pitt one.

I am not sure if I will have time to stop at Deanne's but will see as time goes along.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sideway Puffins

I have tried all morning to turn the puffins around right side up but to no avail. Anyway, here is the puffin rug I made up for my mother to try out. But first, we will go to Costco this morning. Or as I call it, the $300.00 store.

Weather has been just beautiful so far and let's hope it continues on until, January? No such luck but we take what we can get.

Reservations all made for the return trip early next week and Mom has decided to come along for a bit of a vacation before the snow flies!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Happy Autumn!

What beautiful weather the entire country is experiencing. I feel very sorry for the people in Georgia who are being flooded. I was in Atlanta a couple of times many years ago, and enjoyed it very much.

Today, we may take a short drive to our nation's capital, Ottawa, for a bit of a break. And you never know, we may end up in Hull in the Casino for a couple of hours.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Part of the way that my mother and I keep in contact is through the internet. After a problem with her computer, it was set up again by a "Geek" service. While we were able to communication via email, her computer was acting up and the wireless router wasn't working at all.

I tried last week to reinstall the router but after several hours of attempts and technical support calls, the router firm suggested the problem was with their device and would send a new one.

The replacement router came by courier today and I spent several hours trying to set it up without success. I was about to throw in the towel, but I know how much Mom enjoys internet radio and kept at it.

Finally, I got the modem and the router talking to each other. The computer is behaving beautifully and the internet radio is playing a station from Australia.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Big City

I worked for more than 30 years in Toronto after graduating college. I fully intended to go back to Quebec but due to changes in reciprocity of nurses from other provinces, I ended up staying and putting down roots.

The Toronto of today is not the one I remember years ago. It is more diverse, faster paced and spread out. It is not just me that changed, the city did too.

I will be heading back down the 401 to La Belle Province. I enjoyed time with old friends and of course, family. The shopping was good too and spent some time in Michael's and bought some beautiful yarns to bring home to NL.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Oh Me Nerves!

I have many fibre projects over the years and I was saying in previous posts, I only have kept the scattered one. Here are some petite pointe projects that I have given my mother. I thought that it would be good from now on, to keep a picture history of some of them.

Petite pointe used to be my favourite medium. It is like painting with threads; the tinier, the more detail you get. Taking a picture of a picture is difficult to get the quality of the design but here are some examples.

I am now teaching my mother how to rug hook and before I left the island, I designed a nice, simple pattern of a puffin. We will be working on it when I get back to Montreal as off to the "big smoke", Toronto for the weekend as I will be visiting my stepdaughter.

Kim, of course, I never miss Coronation Street and yes, it is getting pretty good but Stevie is sure going to have his hands full breaking up with Michelle and hooking up with Becky. Oh me nerves!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Red Tape Blues

One of the tasks my mother had lined up for me, was a new car purchase. Her car was older than some of my shoes and that says something. It was in great shape for 17 years old and only had 119,000 kms on it.

With the incentive to "retire your ride" from the Gov't of Canada and deals from car manufacturers, it was time. So off we go. The selection and purchase was simple but it was downhill from there. To get the "retire your ride" rewards, it takes internet experience, reams of paper work and a firm disposition to stick with it.

Once you have your paper work completed, you can wait for weeks for the pick up or drop it off at the recyclers. It took 45 minutes on the telephone to locate the recyclers which was quite a distance but would be a speedier option. The car performed beautifully on the drive there and I kept thinking what a shame to just have old snoopy recycled. But, as with everything, her time had come to go to the great junk yard in the sky.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Family Memories

This is a picture of my sister and I taken so many years ago in the '60s. We are crammed into one of those picture booths in Old Orchard Beach in Maine. We spent a couple of summers there in a very quaint place called Higgins Inn.

So many years have gone by, making me wonder how time flies when you are looking at it from the other side. Today, I helped my mother buy a new car. The salepeople and processes have changed so much, she felt better with us making the deal.

I had a good chat with the accessory saleman about my rug hooking and about the wonderful world of blogging. So, at least, in the run of this day, I thought about rug hooking and all the nice people I have met because of it.

Monday, September 14, 2009

On the Road

Arrived safely in Montreal. We ended up on the Leif Erickson instead of the Vision but crossing was fine. Isn't it funny how technology has made us dependent. I have spent the whole morning trying to sort out my mother's internet/router problems. I spent hours on the telephone to various support centres only to find out that the router is defective.

I think that it was much easier when we only had an on/off button and two channels.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Ferry Service

Part of the problem of living on an island is that from time to time, it requires leaving the island. I have made the crossing many, many times since 1984. On some of the older ferries, the loading and unloading was a major event taking hours and hours. In those days, passengers brought sleeping bags and pillows, and stretched out anywhere they could on a night crossing. Not very safe and not very comfortable.

In the early '90s, the two super-ferries arrived and allowed a roll on/roll off service. And now, the latest, the Vision, has been added. Lovely cruise ship but more designed for a longer voyage, not for a quick crossing of 4-5 hours. Our part of the Trans-Canada Highway, the most expensive and only 90 kms or so.

I will be striking out once again, leaving the island for a few weeks to connect with family on the Mainland. Thanks to the modern world, I will be posting as I go. The only thing I haven't figured out, is how I am going to rug hooking along the way!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Got Your Moose B'Y?

Certainly as I continue to hook the 12 icons of NL, the moose has its place in my rug. Along with the seal, the moose stands out as a symbol of this province. While the moose populations diminish Canada wide, NL is "maggoty" with them.

Here's the history as I have been told. Moose were successfully introduced to the province in 1904 and are presently numbered at well over 250,000. Love them or at least, hunt them, the moose is sometimes, fondly called "government meat" by some of the older folks.

This weekend kicks off the end of trout and salmon fishing and the start of hunting season. The phrase of the next few months until the close of the season in early December is, "got your moose, b'y?"

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Why is it?

We were sitting around the fire on the weekend, looking up at the glittering stars and the play of lights on the bay. We started reminiscing about the places and people we worked with over the years.

Why is it sometimes, people are stuck in your memory banks for years and years after you had contact with them? You seem to remember full names of some people for absolutely no reason and don't remember others that you had alot of contact with. It doesn't make any sense to me.

Oh well, they say it is the memory that's the first to go. I do have a good memory but it seems shorter than it used to be. Now, working on the moose icon and it is coming along nicely. I am preparing for my semi annual trek to the Mainland to be with family in Quebec and Ontario. I hope this time to make a stop in Amherst, NS at Deanne's store and do some pre Christmas Shopping for myself!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Here's the Definitions

What a gorgeous weekend, weather wise and other wise. I puttered and relaxed and mostly, enjoyed. Here are the definitions for last week's NL Quiz

killick- An anchor made up of an elongated stone encased in pliable sticks bound at the top and fixed in two curved cross-pieces, used in mooring nets and small boats

pinchgut- A channel or run of water.

tickle- A narrow difficult strait.

scoff and a scuff- A meal followed by a dance.

figgy duff- A boiled pudding containing raisins

toutans - A piece of bread dough fried in fat

hangashore - A man regarded as too lazy to fish

Friday, September 4, 2009

Sure B'y

Here is the next completed icon, the Lighthouse. I am okay with how it turned out and am learning as I go. I am self taught and if it wasn't for the rug hookers I blog with, I wouldn't have learned as much as I have.

I had to laugh the other day when I used the word, duckish but also put in an explanation of the word. I loved Corinne's comments. It reminds me that NL have a unique way of speaking and using odd words. I am a "come from away" Quebec/Ontario but have been coming to NL for 26 years. I have gotten used to some of the terms but for the first little while, I had trouble.

Everyone in NL seems to use the word b'y (boy) for everyone, male and female. Everything that you use like a tool is a 'machine' and when you say the month, you say September month, not the other way around.

Here are a couple of words. Do you know what they mean?

scoff and a scuff
figgy duff

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Ant and the Grasshopper

There is a fable about a grasshopper who has spent the summer singing away while the ant worked to store up food for winter. When winter arrives, the grasshopper finds itself dying of hunger, and upon asking the ant for food is only rebuked for its idleness.

It is this time of year in NL that preparations are now being made for the cold winter months. Vegetables being harvested, winter wood being cut, split and stored, pickling and making jams, and of course, hunting. We live close to the land here and take every opportunity to reap the bounty.

Rug hooking came out of the this same mindset. Using everything we have around us to make us warm and comfortable. A chore of necessity, a chore of love.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hanging by a Thread

There is nothing more beautiful than a spider; unless of course, you have a phobia to them. Towards the end of the season, we have lots of gorgeous spiders hanging around the screenhouse and decks.

I always think of the children's story; Charlotte's Web when I see a particularly splendid example like this one. Their lives so short and yet, filled with creative genius in the making of their webs. It makes me wonder about the rugs and other crafts we make.

I finished up the lighthouse last night and started the outline of the moose, the next icon. I also tea dyed some natural white Briggs & Little 2 ply wool. It turned out pretty good using April's crock pot technique. Gosh, starting to think in terms of dying my own wool now!

I must have been bitten by the rug hooking spider!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Progress on Mat

Between my ATV trip into the woods, making 24 bottles of marinated carrots and bread/butter pickles, I was able to make some progress on my mat.

Actually, I have completed most of it up to the sky and will take another picture when it is finished.

We are still using the hot tub although, it is getting abit chilly at night. This weekend, the Labour Day weekend, my little hot tub will be put away until next year. I am abit sad as this is the first of the "things" that have to be put away as the weather cools.

It is too duckish in the mornings to sit out on the deck, so I go to the Cheticamp frame with coffee in hand and get my ten minutes in before the Day Job!

PS: Duckish is a NL term for dusk or twilight.

Monday, August 31, 2009


Here are a couple more pictures taken on our weekend ATV trip into the back country.

While we certainly have the beauty of the boreal forest surrounding us on the west coast of NL, we also have the scars of clear cut logging. My Day Job is with a company who creates much of the destruction which, leads to my conundrum!