This and That

Of course, things have been busy for the past while, even though we try to keep Christmas and New Year’s very low key. I finally have some time to settle in at the computer, so I’m going to take advantage of that and catch up in things.

I’ll be going backwards in time, for the most part. πŸ˜€

Our days are finally getting longer, but on days when I have to do the outside stuff before driving my daughter into town for a full day shift, it’s still pretty dark. I can tell the difference, though! πŸ˜€

We’ve also had unusually warm temperatures lately. Warm enough for this surprise.

This morning, when I started chopping the ice in the bird bath to add water, I found it hadn’t frozen solid! I still added more water, after breaking up the surface ice.

Not the wall of ice that has built up around the edge of the bird bath! The brick is still in there, but I am no longer chopping around it to make room for the water. I can chop a deep “bowl” in the ice for the fresh water, without ever reaching it.

It’s been warm enough, that cats aren’t even really hanging out in the sun room much. When I go out in the mornings, they are more likely to come running from the direction of the spruce grove – or the shelter over the old dog houses – than from the sun room!

They have also been using the swing bench a lot less. I think there is a reason for that, though. The big crochet blanket I’ve got on there has been crapped on. 😦 I’ll have to figure out how to deal with that. Even if I manage to scrap off the mess, the blanket itself it too big and too heavy to put into a washing machine.

I am pleased to say that, while they have managed to bash it apart a bit, the cats are using the insulated cat shelter I rigged up out of boxed.

I had quite a crowd one morning, when I came out late enough for there to be light out. In resizing this image for this post, I realized there is a bit of a family reunion, here!

At the bottom of the photo is Beep Beep. Above her are her babies, Susan and Two-Face.

Above them is Keith, next to his mom, Rosencrantz (we have not seen Guildenstern in a long time, though her baby is still here). Rosencrantz is one of our unsocialized moms, rarely letting us come close enough to touch her, but when things got colder, she seemed to discover that she liked being petted – and will even sometimes allow my daughters to pick her up in their nice, warm arms!

Eating from the pan at the top of the picture are Butterscotch and her boy Creamsicle. Rosencrantz is her baby from last year, so that makes Rosencrantz Creamsicle’s big sister. Doom Guy is Beep Beep’s boy from last year. Beep Beep and Butterscotch are the only outside cats remaining that go back to when my father was still alive and taking care of them. I found photos of them I took when we came out for a visit back in 2015!

Of last year’s kittens, Doom Guy is the only one that is consistently around; I think that has a lot to do with his having some sort of respiratory problem, so he doesn’t wander far. Jim and Bob disappeared for a long time, but a while back, Big Jim returned – and has stayed ever since!

He’s even bigger than ever, though when he first showed up after being away for so long, he was in pretty rough shape. His fur was all messed up, and he was very, very hungry!

He was another one that didn’t really let us get too close most of the time, and rarely let us touch him.

Not any more!

Now, he practically trips us, so eager is he for attention! He not only loves to be petted, but loves to be picked up, and will shower us with affection when we do!

I find myself curious about what happened to him while he was away, that would result in such a change in his demeanor!

When I do my morning rounds, I am often joined by Butterscotch. Beep Beep will come along, too, though not as often. The two don’t really like each other all that much, (they got along well enough, when they were sharing the mothering of all those kittens!), which can make things very interesting when I’ve got Butterscotch in my arms, and suddenly I’ve got Beep Beep climbing up my back, and they discover each other, over my shoulder! LOL

I was out checking the new trail cam one morning, when Beep Beep was insisting on being carried. I couldn’t change the memory card with her in my arms, so I successfully persuaded her to perch on the top of a fence post!

She’s barely got room for all paws on that post! πŸ˜€

Speaking of new trail cams, I’ve been trying out different locations for it, including a tree near where the deer like to jump the fence.

There is our buck!

I now have the camera elsewhere, but the way it is positioned, it looks like I will get regular images of the deer on the road side of the fence. πŸ™‚

While in town, if I have the time, I like to check out the lake, and the village that has appeared on the ice!

As soon as the ice was thick enough, the fishing shacks appeared. The first time I was out and saw them, I counted 33 that I could see for sure – some are clustered together with vehicles, making it hard to tell if I’m seeing 1 or 2 shacks, or if I’m seeing shack and van.

The day after this photo was taken, I was able to go by again and saw there were more! I counted 45 that I could see for sure, in this area. On another part of the lake, on the other side of the marina, there are more, though not in a large group like this.

I went by this morning, and while I wasn’t able to stop long or try and count them, there was clearly even more out on the ice!

Normally, tomorrow would be my day to hang out in town during my daughter’s short shift, and I’d be able to visit the beach – we’re supposed to warm up to -3C tomorrow! – but it’s going to be a long day of driving, instead. After dropping off my daughter, the plan is to go get my mom in another town, bring her back to visit her sister. We were supposed to do that today, but she wasn’t feeling well, so we’ll see if she is recovered enough to do it. Temperatures are supposed to drop dramatically after tomorrow, so if we don’t make it then, it’ll probably be a few weeks before we can arrange another attempt.

With the holiday hours and our usual avoidance of shopping, we did not get to do our monthly shop until yesterday – almost a week later than usual. We were well stocked on most things, but starting to run out of things like cat food, litter and deer feed, so it was good to finally get that done. This morning I was finally able to make a dump run; we haven’t been able to do that since before Christmas, since the days our local landfill is usually open were affected by the holidays.

Speaking of going to the dump…

I recently had a conversation with my older brother about not being able to make a dump run over the holidays, which got us to talking about … people not making dump runs.

Since moving here and trying to clean things up, finding garbage all over the place is turning out to be a big thing – and that’s just in the inner yard! I don’t even want to think about what I’ll find in the outer yard and sheds, when we finally get around to clearing those, and then there is the big pile beyond the outer yard, where the renter’s cows can go. I was telling my brother about various piles of stuff I’ve been finding, like the big pile of glass bottles and jars, out by the car graveyard, that includes baby food jars. Which gives me an idea of who dumped them there and how long ago. The question is, why? My brother had similar questions, long ago. When my parents bought the farm and moved here from the city, my brother was old enough to remember quite a few things from back then. He told me about an area where previous owners would dump tin cans. He remembers seeing thousands of them, dumped in a marshy area he described to me. In the spring, I should go and see if there are any signs of it. Anyhow, there were so many tin cans – and these would have been real tin, not aluminum – he wondered if they ever ate anything not from a can! Which I found really odd, since one of the outbuildings (which my parents converted to a chicken coop) was a summer kitchen. It was used a lot during canning season, so the wood burning stove could be kept going constantly, and not heat the house up in the summer. So obviously, they grew and preserved their own food in jars. Why would they also eat out of cans so much?

And why did they dump all the cans in this one spot? Even back then, there would have been a dump to take garbage to. This would have been when dumps really were dumps, not elaborate, environmentally responsible landfills like we have now. Everything was just dumped in big piles, then burned.

This out-of-sight, out-of-mind attitude towards garbage seems to be a multi-generational and universal problem!

There isn’t a lot to we can do about it this time of year, but we can plan! In another post, I will write about some of the ideas we’ve been talking about. Who knows if we’ll actually be able to implement them, but they’re nice to think about!

That, however, will be for another day.

Thanks for visiting!

The Re-Farmer

7 thoughts on “This and That

    • Yes, I’m aware that those existed for home canners, but they were unheard of in this area. All home canners here used glass jars with either glass lids and rubber rings, or paraffin wax. (I helped my mother with both versions. The wax was a real pain to get out if the string broke! LOL ) This area was pretty left behind, when it came to technological advances. We didn’t even get electricity until the late 1950’s. πŸ˜€


  1. They say to leave the jars alone after they’re removed from the canner…So, I guess it’s not good to jar a jar because it might put the lid ajar.

    English can sometimes jar the senses. πŸ™‚


    Liked by 1 person

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