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Friday, March 19, 2010


You may recall last summer when I was taking a picture of the first "autumn" coloured leaf on our big MayDay tree out back, and spotted this gnarled dark thing on the branch beside the leaf. I found out that it was "Black Knot" disease and not fun to deal with.

This is the tree in flower later in spring, it is so pretty and the blossoms smell DELICIOUS! We would hate to lose this, that's for sure.

However reading up on how to rid our poor tree of Black Knot disease shows that it is quite the ordeal, and because the disease produces spores it's not easy. It is recommended that when you prune back the affected branches that they must be burned so as not to spread.

This is one of several knots I spotted and photographed this morning. The entire tree probably has a dozen or so knots on it in various places, that's scary.

It is also recommended that pruning this disease should be in early spring/late winter before any budding begins. That would be NOW, and hubby is aware that he needs to get out there soon.

So far, and without climbing up the tree myself to look closer, it doesn't appear that any of the larger, main branches have any on it. I hope not. If we have to cut back a bunch of smaller branches it won't be quite as bad esthetically and maybe won't have to lose as much of the tree as I fear.

However, if we can't get rid of it and it comes back even worse later on, we just might have to lose it regardless. What a shame that would be!

I hope hubby has the time to get at this soon, as it is perfect timing. We just lost most of our snow in warm sunny weather recently, and yesterday it turned colder and we got a "skiff" of snow. It's cold enough this morning that it's icey out there, so this would be perfect timing to get the job done.

My biggest worry is how he's going to get up there to do it. Obviously he can climb up on the garage roof to get at some of it, but the rest of it is not so easily accessible. I don't want him to fall and break his bones, but I can't see him paying a pruning company to come out and do it, either.

This was taken this morning, and you can almost make out several dark "spots" on the higher branches where the knots are showing up.

Wish us luck, I do hope we can save this beauty.

Love Jude

Monday, March 15, 2010


Wow that was a good one folks! All 3 runner-up shots were only ONE vote behind the winner too, that goes to show how close a race it was.

Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all who participated in the voting process!

Stay tuned, at the end of March the next contest, the colour "RED", will be posted.

Love Jude

Saturday, March 06, 2010


Going Out:
Compliments of my best friend Michele who bought us tickets for Christmas this past December, tonight we are going out to hear "Mozart Treasures" at The Francis Winspear Centre For Music here in downtown Edmonton.

We've been there before to listen to our beloved Classical Masters, and this time she bought tickets for herself and her own sister, and myself and my sister Pammie. It's a beautiful place with wonderful accoustics, and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra rocks!

Pet Stress:
It's an especially good time to get out with the girls for a nice evening too. This past week in our house has been particularly stressful, with Pammie's doggie Misty just now recovering from a very bad illness. She spent the entire weekend and Monday night in the veterinary's and they think she had Pancreatitis.

The poor little baby girl started vomiting last Friday night and became so weak. Saturday morning she was still vomiting and even more weak so we took her to the Vet and after doing bloodwork they decided she was very sick and kept her. After being hooked up to an IV for days with antibiotics, anti-nausea medicine and pain killers (not to mention some nutrients as she hadn't been able to keep anything down) it wasn't until Monday that she stopped vomiting and, as the Vet's office put it, "started getting her personality back".

After having her home for the last 4 days she's been improving daily, and is eating again! (she wouldn't eat for days) She's perky again and seems to be almost back to 100%. You may remember that Pammie lost her other dog LadyBugs 4 months ago so this was especially stressful. It's a good night to get her out of the house and help her relax! I'll see if after the performance the girls might want to go somewhere for coffee and dessert. There's a great restaurant here to go for that too, The Cheesecake.

My Owies:
My arm is getting better than it was, the pain levels are much more manageable now. I took myself off of Lipitor (for cholesterol) as I started suspecting muscle degeneration from it, and it started to help. It's not all gone though, and I do still have ongoing osteo-arthritis issues in that arm and taking Shark Cartilage again will help that.

I don't wish to cause havoc in my body being off Lipitor so I'm eating oatmeal daily as that helps with cholesterol levels. I'm just going to see if once the arm muscles aren't hurting anymore and going BACK on Lipitor again if that causes the muscles a bunch of pain again. Then I will know.

Meanwhile I still use my heating pad nightly, and take pain killers before bed so that I can sleep comfortably. Not NEAR as much as I had to before though, so there has been definite headway. :-)

The Workplace:
We've been informed that throughout the province (with the exception of a few smaller centers) all of our Alberta Motor Association (CAA/AAA) offices are to be open later on weekdays. Our center is open until 5:30 p.m. but some are 5:00 and now we will all be open until 6:00 instead. This is a result of a few members complaining that we're not open late enough, but we also have those who complained that we weren't open EARLY enough so a few years ago we changed that too! As of May, our center will be open a full hour longer than we were a handful of years ago. PLUS we're open all day on Saturdays. Ah well, this new change hasn't made anybody happy but there's nothing we can do. Because our "suits and ties" deem that we are a "retail" business if they ever tell us we have to be open on Sundays, there would be a mass exodus of staff I think.

The Contest:
The "Black & White" Photo Contest is still ongoing over at Stardom Awaits! and there is still one more week to vote, so if you haven't already, head on over!

That's about it for news from the Hippie Chick for this time folks. I'm still feeling withdrawals from the Olympics on TV (yay Canada!) but now I can go back to regularly scheduled favourite shows. I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the start of some spring weather like we have been.

Take good care of each other, we're all that we have!

Love Jude