A long and productive day

Today, the girls and I headed into the city for our monthly shop.

We took advantage of the trip to accomplish a few things, and ended up going to 5 different places covering half the city. It made for a long day, but we accomplished what we needed, and then some.

Along with stocking up on groceries and cat food/litter, thanks to not having to get work done on the van, we were able to pick up the supplies we need to be able to prep, clean and paint the gate that was vandalized. We chose a rust paint in dark blue. 🙂

One thing I did not find, however, was a rain barrel overflow kit. It looks like something I’ll have to order online. So getting rid of that weird, long down spout and putting a rain barrel at the corner will have to wait.

I’ve since learned that an unattended rain barrel is why there is such a weird, long downspout to begin with! It was clearly done to keep water well away from the foundation. It turns out to have been done a fairly short time before we moved out there. There was a rain barrel at the corner that was not tended and allowed to overflow. Water got into the basement and started to mold. It’s also why the ground in that corner is as uneven as it it; the barrel had started to sink into the mud! My older brother had to get into the corner of the basement and scour the moldy area with bleach. He then added the extension to the downspout to ensure it would never happen again.

So that’s why that corner of the basement was weirdly empty.

The rain barrel that we found last year that did not have any cracks or holes in it was probably the rain barrel that was at that corner before. Overflow was already on my mind, but now I have even more reason to make sure we get a kit. In fact, I plan to get two of them. The rain barrel by the sun room needs one as well, and we can have the overflow drain right into the small garden by the old kitchen. The one we plan to put at the back of the house will have the overflow draining towards the little flower garden our bird feeder stand is in.

That will just have to wait another month or two. There’s plenty of other things to set up and work on in the mean time!

Speaking of which…

This evening, I headed out to use water from the current rain barrel to water various things around the yard. One of them was the mock orange beside the clothes line platform.

This is what it looked like in May of last year, after pruning.


It did very well after pruning, and bloomed very enthusiastically.


This is what it looks like now.


There are green leaves at the bottom, and I found a couple on one stem higher up, but the rest… nothing! No leaf buds at all.

Now, I can’t say I mind too much. This was planted in a bad location. We don’t use the clothes line much, but when we do, the stuff we hang get caught up in the branches. I will cut the dead branches back, and the surviving parts will have lots of room to grow, but I think I’d rather transplant it somewhere else, at some point. Not this year, though.

After I finished watering things outside, I spent some time in our “maternity ward”, playing with kittens. I also put out another can of wet cat for them.


While the moms went for it, I started grabbing kittens and putting them right in the tray, or as close to the food as possible.

Some of them weren’t interested, but a few stayed and actually got to eat some. In the photo, you can see 3 of Butterscotch’s babies, and two of Beep Beep’s. I was not expecting Beep Beep’s kittens to be very interested, as they are still a bit young for it, but at least one of them was actively eating.

I hope we are able to find good – indoor! – homes for these guys, when they are old enough. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

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