A long day – and yes, I got critter pictures!

It’s the last business day of the month – payday – so it was off to the city to stock up for the next month.  I rather prefer to be able to do that in an afternoon in the middle of the week.  As someone who hates crowds and shopping, it was a LOT less stressful.

But I am getting ahead of myself.

I was actually able to get some photos this morning.  Much to my delight, we had 5 deer visitors this morning.

First to arrive were Mama and the twins.

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Her babies are getting so big!

And confident, too.  I caught on that Hungry Girl and Barbecue had shown up, too, only because I saw the twins chase them into the spruces!

At one point, while Mama and the twins were eating, I saw that something else was making Mama nervous.  Something close to the house…

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Yes, our very own cryptid, the Mothman, showed up this morning!  I saw her a few days ago, going by in the same area between the feed and the house, but other than that, we haven’t been seeing her at all lately.  It never fails; each time I see her, I am again struck by how big she is.

This was before I’d gone out to feed the critters, and so I popped out right away, hoping to see the Mothman.  Alas, she had disappeared, once again.  Not a sign of her, anywhere!

The other cats where happy to see me, though.

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Nasty Crime Boy, Beep Beep and Butterscotch dove right in.  Lately, the food bowls have been completely empty by morning – picked clean.  I’m not sure if it’s the cats that are finishing the food off.  I see enough tracks in the snow to know that some birds are eating the kibble, too.  Skunks come by, but they tend to be rather dormant this time of year.  I recall we briefly saw one before the snow, but not since.

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Squishum and Rolando Moon got a bowl to themselves.  Rolando Moon is why I tend to be surprised by Mothman’s size.  Rolanda Moon is so much bigger than the other cats, with a big round belly – we thought she was pregnant at first, but she is the one my brother had fixed shortly after my husband and younger daughter arrived.  She’s just big.  I see her and begin to think that she and Mothman are close in size.  But then I see Mothman again and… yeah.  Mothman is quite a lot bigger than Rolanda Moon.

Once back inside, I found Mama and the twins had gone, but soon after, Hungry Girl and Barbecue came out of the trees.

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Whatever was making them so skittish in the past week or so, seems to no longer be bothering them.  They seem a bit more relaxed, and tolerant of our movements inside.

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I just really like this picture of Hungry Girl.  Such a pretty lady. 🙂

After this, my older daughter and I worked on our shopping list.  Last month, we got 3 big bags of dry cat food at Costco, as well as a bag of mixed bird seed to supplement the bag of bird seed we got locally.  I opened the third bag of dry cat food just this morning.  We decided to stay with 3 bags of cat food, but not to get more bird seed for now.  The mixed bird seed bag is cheap at Costco, but we decided to wait until we get the bird feeder cleaned out and possibly moved by the living room window (we might just get another feeder), and start getting bird seed in the spring.  For now, the birds we have this time of year are happy eating the deer feed, which has the same seeds as in the big bag of bird seed we got locally.  Last month, we got 2 bags of deer feed and there is still a bit left of the second one, so we’ll likely get 3 or 4 bags of deer feed, instead of both deer feed and bird seed.  At least for the next month or two.

We also decided not to get things like flour, as we can get a really good price locally, and I’d just got a big bag not long ago.  And we still have lots of canned cat food left, too, so we decided to skip that.  We also still haven’t even opened the laundry detergent we got last time, nor the container of cat litter, so a couple more things didn’t need to be added to the list.  We are well stocked up on quite a few things, still, so our list got to be focused a lot more on actual food! 😀

That gave us room to get things we pick up more rarely; a case of Coke Zero and a case of V8 – we don’t have bottle depots in this province to get our enviro fees back, but we’re keeping the pop tabs (pure aluminum) and the cans themselves separate from the rest of the recycling.  When we have enough, we’ll take them in to someplace that will pay us for the metal by weight.  It might take us a long time to have enough to make it worth hauling in, but we appear to have a lot of space to store such things now. 😉

Because I wanted to check out an aquarium store in the area, we decided to go to the Costco closest to us – the one with the pharmacy that didn’t know wtf they were doing, and the horribly designed parking lot.  It’s a smaller one, too.  I just didn’t feel like driving to one of the two locations farther away, then come back to a store that’s on the same street as the closer one.

Thankfully, because of the time of day, it was not very busy.  A relative statement for a Costco, I know. 😀  We filled a flat cart with our shopping, this time using our hard sided grocery bags to help keep the smaller stuff from falling.  That worked out well.

One the the main things we are sure to pick up the most of at Costco is meats, because it’s so much cheaper than the local grocery stores – and mostly pork, because that’s even cheaper.  This time, we picked up a big bag of oranges, too.  Normally, we get fresh fruits and vegetables in smaller quantities at the local grocery stores, but my husband has been getting some dangerously low blood sugar readings, so he asked for some oranges. (Yes, we also have the glucose tablets.)  We got twice as much eggs as usual. I typically get the double trays with 60 eggs.  We go through a lot of eggs, yet never seem to have enough to boil up a whole bunch for quick snacks or to make egg salad. 😀   We also got an extra gallon of milk, to make more yogurt.

My daughter has a birthday coming up, so we picked up a big fillet of salmon for her birthday dinner, as well as a big bag of mixed baby potatoes (we will have lots of regular potatoes, thanks to my sister dropping off another bag).  I look forward to making a special dinner for her. 🙂

All in all, I think we’re well stocked for the month again.  We didn’t even have much we needed to get elsewhere, though we did stop at a Save On Foods in the area.   That was my usual place to shop before our move.  I even used to work there, many years ago, and found it a great company to work for, so I’m glad to support it when I have the chance.

On the way out, we found the aquarium and fish supplies shop I was looking for – it was kind of tucked away from the road, so I almost missed it. *L*

I talked to someone there about finding a replacement for a part I broke on our filter system, when trying to dismantle it for packing.  I was hoping to replace all the hoses, as they are getting old and stiff.  Unfortunately, no one in the city carries this brand, and the other brands use very different hoses, and none of that particular part.  And I’m not about to replace the whole thing, just for a missing part.  For the 90 gallon tank, the size we need cost about $380-$450, depending on the brand!  After talking to him for a bit, he had a suggestion for me to try and use it anyhow – it’s stuck in the hose, anyhow, so since the part broke while I was trying to remove it from the hose, it’s not like it will pop off.  I’ll have to take another look at it and see if it can be salvaged.  I would REALLY like to get our 90 gallon tank going again.  That 20 gallon tank was supposed to be much more temporary!

Which lead me to my next request from the guy I was talking to; to show me to their algae eaters!  I had got 10 neon tetras to provide the oxygen/CO2 balance for the tank I needed.  Unfortunately, after a week or so, I woke up to a mass die off!  I found 6 dead tetras, and there were two live ones left.  I never found the missing 2.  Unfortunately, 2 tetras really aren’t enough for the amount of plants I have in there, though there is certainly enough plants that I don’t need an aerator.  I’m also having a harder time with algae.  Partly because the tank is next to a window, which it shouldn’t be, but I have no place else that will hold it – another reason I want to get that big tank going.

The guy first lead me to some golden plecos.  Now, I love plecos, but they get BIG.  When we got our first pair of little plecos, one of them killed and ate the other.  Then it eventually grew to over a 18 inches long.  Regular plecos can get much, much bigger than that.  I want to focus more on plants when I set up the new tank, with just enough animals to have the right balance.  Long term, I want it so that I don’t even need a filter, and have a self-contained, ecosystem.  Plecos would be too big and active for this.

When I mentioned that I’d had two Siamese Algae eaters before, but that they didn’t survive the move, the guy lead me to the ones they had, and I got two of them.

Here is one of them.

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Okay.  I wasn’t going to say anything at the shop, but I’m pretty sure these are Chinese algae eaters, not Siamese.  They are a lot smaller than the ones we had before, but the mouths are different, for starters.  Siamese Algae eaters do not have the suckerfish mouths to attach to the side of the tank like that.  We shall see as they get bigger to properly identify them.

The main thing is that they are algae eaters, and that’s what I need.  They will be good with my aquatic plants.

I must admit, even with the algae, it’s much easier to maintain a tank with well water than with treated city water.  I almost never need to use additives.

By the time we got home, it was almost evening, and I sure was happy to be back in our home in the middle of nowhere.

I didn’t realize just how much I’d come to dislike the noise and activity of the city until we moved away from it.  I don’t mind visiting it.  I just don’t want to live there.

I got a call from my mother this evening.  She was in the habit of asking me how the cats are outside.  Now she has started to ask me how the deer are, too!  They were never around when my parents were here; at least not regularly.  No one was feeding them, so they had no reason to.  She is really enjoying hearing about the antics of our regular visitors – and got a chuckle out of the names I’ve given them.  😀

I also mentioned to her my thought of adding a ramp to the outside of the house.  I’ve learned that my brother who lives next door was going to build one for my dad, after he’d had so many falls, but then my dad went into the nursing home.  My sister does freelance house designing, so she’s got the code book for that sort of thing and was able to give me the details.  My mom was okay with the idea, which is good, since it’s her house, after all.  It would make things easier for her, too, when she visits.  She has an awful time with those two steps right outside the main door, too.

All in good time.

I remembered to ask her about the stuff we found in the horror tunnel.  It took me a while to get her to remember where I was talking about.  She’d forgotten about it completely.  She said she was storing stuff.  I’m not sure she completely understood what I was describing to her, because “storing stuff” doesn’t describe what we found tossed in there!  Then she went on to talking about how she never threw away anything that might get used.

Yup.  And then some! LOL  Plus lots of things that would never get used again.  Plus things stored in places that don’t protect the things in them very well.  Plus storing things in places where it’s virtually impossible to get at them again!

I’m all for saving useful things, but my goodness.  A line has to be drawn somewhere!

Which, I admit, is much harder to do when you live somewhere that has lots of places to leave things and forget about them.

😀

The Re-Farmer

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