This evening, I headed back to the shed my brother and I patched up, so clean up the maple I had cut away to make it safer for him to get to the ladder.

Normally, I would have just dragged the whole thing over to the still growing pile of wood we plan to have chipped.

I do, however, now have carving tools, and I’ve been reading some articles about the difference in carving with green wood.

Now, when I looked at that tree coming down, I saw it in a completely different light!

I saw cups and small bowls, and spoons, and other such useful things.

So I went back to salvage as much as I could.

It also gave me the opportunity to finally test out my new long handled, ratchet pruners.

Oh, those things were a dream to work with! I easily cut through thicknesses I’d had to use a saw for, previously.

After trimming away and cleaning up, I brought the pieces I wanted to keep to the house.

I had one large piece, and a couple of smaller ones.

With the wood so fresh, I wanted to debark the pieces right away. I wanted to get that done right away, as I figured even waiting until tomorrow, they would be harder to debark At this point, the bark came off so easily, I used mostly just my fingers, with a knife to get the odd bits started.

When I got to the big piece, my daughters came out to give me a hand. 🙂

That wood is just so beautiful!! It’s incredibly smooth, and such a lovely colour. I look forward to figuring out what to do with them.

The pieces will sit outside overnight, and then will be moved to the basement. On days when I can’t work outside, I’ll see what I can come up with!

I have an old friend that has been carving for 30 years. He carves things like faces onto walking sticks, and the most wonderful, life-like birds, he later paints. After he found out I got a carving kit, we talked shop for a while, and one of the things he recommended was to start with basswood.

That would be the smart thing to do.

Starting with a hard wood like maple is certainly not recommended!

Aside from the spoon blank that came with my kit, though, I have no basswood, and my reason for wanting to take up carving is to use the wood we have.

Right now, that’s maple!

My brother visited our mom on his way home, and filled her in on what we did here at the farm. She was quite excited about it and phoned me later on. As we were talking, I mentioned having to cut away part of a tree that’s growing out from under the shed, telling her that I hoped to use it for carving, rather than letting the wood go to waste. She asked what I planned to carve, and I told her maybe some small bowls or cups, etc.

She requested a mushroom! 😀

So when I next have a chance to practice carving, I will try and carve a morel mushroom for my mother. 🙂

It should be fun!

The Re-Farmer

What a job!

My brother, being the wonderful person that he is, came over to remove the rusted out screws on the trailer frame with an angle grinder.

I told him about the box for an angle grinder I’d found in the garage. The one with human teeth in it. He figures that is probably the strangest thing we’ve found, since moving out here! Though I admit, there are some things that are still competing for that top spot.

I had to pop over to the house while he was working on the trailer frame, and he was done by the time I came back! I did find one that he’d missed, though, so I was able to get a picture of him working on it. 😀

He also removed the remains of old lights at the end, and cut the bolts of a piece in the corner that had been twisted completely around. That corner that you see? Where those squarish marks are? There used to be a sort of bumper there, with a piece on the frame below the bolt hole at the very end. The piece is still there. It’s just now on the inside, instead of the outside.

Some of the old screws he took off still had their heads on them. They were hex screws. Totally the wrong kind of screw for the job.

After he was done, he showed me how to use the self drilling screws I picked up, and we took measurements. Exactly 2 sheets of plywood will fit on there, but we will need to cut openings for the tires and make some sort of fenders.

It is now ready for cleaning and rust removal and, if all goes well, painting.

Then he surprised me.

He had ulterior motives for coming out. He didn’t drive all that way just to take off a few screws for me.

The shed next to the barn, where we found the table saw, has holes in it. I believe it was last year, or maybe our first year here, I’d helped him cover holes on one side, but we weren’t able to do more at the time.

It’s been bugging him, ever since.

We still have sheets of metal roofing in the barn, left over from when the barn itself, and other buildings, had them installed.

Note the piece of equipment with the board leaning on the tank. I’ll have more to say about that, later.

On the left is what we put on last year. We actually dragged them out from a pile outside the barn, and one of them had a piece cut out of it.

On the right, my brother has already covered one hole with a short piece. None of the pieces we had were long enough to cover the whole length, so he put short pieces along the bottom, first, so there would be an overlap.

The scary part was having to go to the peak of the roof and unscrew that top cap, so he could slide the panels under it. He screwed a scrap of plywood we found in the barn down first. There was no way he could have climbed to the top without it.

This was interesting.

There are three types of shingles on here, and so much of one type has blown away, we can see what are likely the original shingles.

What an interesting diamond shape! That roof must have looked great, when it was new!

Here is how the roof looked, at the end.

Bits and pieces, cobbled together, but who cares what it looks like? No more gaping holes!

My brother is just screwing down some pieces of metal we found in the barn that could be used as top caps. After that, he put in more screws as far as he could reach from the ladder, so the winds won’t catch and blow them off.

It was very, very dangerous up there. That ladder on the right was the best place to get up there, but there were tree branches in the way, making it even more dangerous. Once he was safely at the top, I went and grabbed a saw and cut away almost half the tree (one tree at the base, two trunks up the sides).

I’m keeping that wood for future carving!

My brother is really, really awesome. We spent hours out there, working on it, and I couldn’t do much more than pass him things, and hold the ladder for him.

Remember that piece of equipment by the building?

Thanks to ladder holding, I was looking at it from angles I hadn’t, before. I asked my brother if he knew was it was. It belonged to our late brother, and has been sitting there for at least 10 years.

After looking it over, we figured it out.

It’s a boiler system for steam cleaning.

The boiler itself is pretty amazing.

There should be a cover on that round opening.

Just look on the date on that thing!

It had to have been salvaged from somewhere. I wonder if my late brother built it? He certainly had the skills to do it.

The fuel tank is actually part of the trailer frame! On the left, you can see the fender over one of the tires.

Both tires are flat, which is why this end is resting on the ground.

The white tank in front would have held the water. It was most likely used to steam clean culverts or something like that.

That boiler isn’t the only old object of interest we talked about.

As we were putting everything away and getting ready to leave the barn, my brother pointed at a metal object on the floor and told me to make sure to keep that. I had no idea what it was.

It turned to be part of an antique hand pump for a well. A wooden handle would have been attached to it. I was told there was another one, but my mother had sold it to a scrap dealer, years ago.


After all this, my brother couldn’t even stay for lunch. Our mother was expecting him, and by the time we were done, he barely had time to come into the house and say hello to the rest of the family!

Have I mentioned my brother is amazing?

I don’t know what we would do without him! No one living knows this place better than he does! And certainly no one else in the family has the tools, skills and knowledge – not to mention physical ability – to do stuff like this. It’s been many years, since I was physically able to go up on a roof like that! Of course, being a woman of ample proportions, I would have gone straight through a roof in that condition, with or without a sheet of plywood to climb on!

So that was a whole lot of hours in the sun, but the job is done. My brother figures, this probably added about 10 years to the life of the building.

Well. On this side, maybe. The other side probably won’t last that long, and I think we’re out of metal roofing material to do that side, anyhow! It doesn’t get the brunt of the weather, though, the way the side we covered did.

What a job!

While I may not need to do it this year, I should cut the rest of that tree down. It would be a shame to work so hard to preserve the shed from the top, only to have it wrecked from the bottom. The tree is growing right out from under a wall!

Little by little, we’ll get this place fixed up.

The Re-Farmer

I started, and I couldn’t stop! Evening round up

Today was a wonderfully productive day.

Also, I’m really going to pay for it tomorrow. But I don’t care. It was worth it!

The first order of the day, after dropping my daughter off at work and picking up prescription refills for my husband, was the transplanting. I combined the 3 bags of soil mix, plus a bunch of peat, together with water in the kiddie pool (that thing is coming in really handy!), then left it to give the peat a chance to absorb water.

It had warmed up enough by then to uncover the squash. Unfortunately, there was some frost damage.

We might lose a few, but I think most will recover.

I decided not to put the new transplants near the previous ones. My initial thought was to have the two beds near each other, with a walking path in between, but I decided to put the new ones at the opposite side of the area we mulched last year. That left a wide open space in the middle.

I was able to measure, and mark with flags, where the transplants would go before I headed back into town to meet my daughter for lunch. Before coming home, I broke down and picked up something I’d spotted at the pharmacy this morning, but hadn’t picked up. A Pulse Oximeter. My husband has severe obstructive sleep apnea (on top of everything else), so being able to measure his blood oxygen levels at home is a good thing. I’d looked for them about a month ago, but none were in stock. When I saw them this morning, there were two. I wasn’t sure I could justify the cost in the budget, but figured if I didn’t get it today, who knew when I’d find one again.

Of the two that I’d seen in the morning, the less expensive one was already gone.

We now have a pretty high end Pulse Oximeter. 😀

Once back at home, I added the wet soil mixture to the flagged spots, then transplanted the squash. I ended up with another 18 plants in.

There are still some left that are not ready to transplant, and it is looking like most of them are the gourds! Whatever is left will go in one long row along the north side of the area we mulched last year.

I mulched the new transplants with straw, and remembered that I still had those pumpkin seeds my mother gave me. Three little packets.

And there was this wide open space between the squash beds…

I used some of the wet soil mixture to create three mounds and planted several seeds in each. It is really late in the season to be planting pumpkins from seed, but we’ll see how they do!

The pumpkin mounds got mulch around them, too. 🙂

That done, I had time to uncover the other garden bed (no sign of frost damage there! 🙂 ) before heading back into town. I left early, so I could stop at the grocery store and refill a couple of our big water bottles.

While there was no line up outside the store, but by the time I was ready to go to the checkout, the line up was all the way to the other end of the store, and heading up the freezer aisle! After searching for and finding the end of the line, a guy carrying one item came by and ended up behind me. Thankfully, the line was moving rather quickly, but he and I ended up chatting with each other.

The topics ranged all over, but after a while it got closer to home as he talked about what he did. He ended up asking where in town I lived, and I told him I didn’t live in town, but in our little hamlet.

He got a very interested look on his face, and asked where I lived there. I told him, more or less, where the farm is.

It turned out he knows my family. He went to school, and was friends with, my late brother!

Well, that got us talking to each other like we’d know each other for years! 😀

Then I found out that he is a scrap dealer, and also hauls junk.


When we were done in the store, I followed him over to his truck so he could give me one of his fliers. He says it’s not worth trying to get rid of scrap metal right now; nobody is buying. That is a longer term thing for us, though. In the shorter term, I now have someone I can call to get the junk pile hauled away! Someone with a family connection, too.

That was awesome!

After picking up my daughter, it was back outside for me. I wanted to get a path mowed to the barn. We are expecting my brother to come over tomorrow and work on the trailer frame. Knowing him, he will be loading his truck with everything but the kitchen sink – and the only reason he doesn’t pack a kitchen sink is because, while all the useful tools may have disappeared from this place, we have plenty of kitchen sinks all over.

Also, bathroom sinks.

And laundry sinks.

I guess they go with the toilet collection. 😀

The grass in front of the barn is incredibly dense. The riding mower struggles to get through it, and the clippings left behind make it even harder. Now that I can collect clippings with the push mower, that’s what I was using today.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but I really enjoy mowing. Whether it’s a push mower or a riding mower, I just love it. It’s almost a meditative thing, and I get a great sense of satisfaction from it. It was one of my favourite chores when I was a teen, and one my parents never needed to ask me to do.

Once I started mowing, I just couldn’t seem to stop. I kept trying to see how much further I could go, beyond the limited areas I could do with the riding mower. Since it will be easier to move the trailer out the back door of the barn, bring it around the barn and pull it through the “gate” on the side, I wanted to make sure that area was clear. Then, I decided to see how much further I could go along the fence. On the other side, I decided to clear a path to the shed.

By the time I was done, I’d reached the collapsing log building near the old chicken coop, was working my way along the fence to the hay yard, and was even starting to go down the driveway.

Every loop I did, I stopped the mower to empty the clippings. I’m not finished, but when I could no longer pull the cord hard enough to start the mower after emptying the bag, I figured that was enough for the day! 😀

I am so loving how it is looking.

I’m going to pay for this tomorrow. Big time.

It was so worth it!

Also, I now have a lovely, huge pile of grass clippings to help build up our garden beds!

It’s the little things that make me happy. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Final Frost

At least, we hope it is the final frost!

With the sun rising so early this time of year, much of it was already melting away, but there was certainly plenty in the shady areas.

It made the weeds look very dramatic! 😀

Butterscotch took advantage of my checking on the mulched sunflower rows.

She is no longer stand-offish, but now revels in snuggles and wants me to carry her around when I do my rounds!

What a mercurial cat.

Of course, I visited the babies first thing, this morning. Beep Beep was waiting at the door when I opened it, and dashed straight through. I let her be, and allowed David to come down with me for a while.

The kittens were happy to see a human to climb!

At point point, David settled himself down under the worktable, and his doppelganger came over to check him out!

After a while, I managed to catch him and put him upstairs, so I could give the babies some wet cat food. David is a real greedy guts, so there was no way I could do that with him still downstairs! This was also why I was okay with Beep Beep going upstairs for a while; the kittens got a chance to eat some wet cat food before she came back to finish it off.

I think Beep Beep is realizing she’s got a sweet deal going on right now. She hasn’t been trying to get outside at all.

She’s been living pretty rough for most of her life, and was pretty lean and hungry when we moved out here. I think she’s due a spoiled retirement. She’s one of the few yard cats left that my dad used to take care of, so she is also a connection to him, for me. My dad really enjoyed the yard cats. 🙂

Hopefully, my day of rest has been enough, because there is lots to get done. I’ll need to stay in town for a while, after dropping my daughter off at work, most importantly to pick up prescription refills that had been ready, yesterday! I had no idea. 😦 A dump run is way overdue, too. By the time I get home, it should be warm enough to uncover everything in the gardens. The cloches certainly did their job; they still had frost on them on the outside, while the insides had condensation that was not frosted at all. The new garden bed with the carrots and beets is still in shade, but should be warmed up nicely in just a couple of hours, if not sooner.

Along with prepping to continue with transplanting, I’m going to have to switch priorities on the mowing, and at least get the area to the barn done. We will need access to the doors, and it’ll be easier if the grass there is mowed, first. If things go to plan (which is never a sure thing! 😀 ) my brother will be coming over tomorrow to help me with the trailer frame. Specifically to deal with these…

Most of the old screws still stuck in the frame are just bits of metal sticking out. I simply don’t have the tools to take care of it. My brother has an angle grinder he plans to use. I had hoped I found on in the garage, where the lawn mowers and snow blowers are stored, not long ago but it turned out to just be the box for one, full of teeth.

I was able to pick up some drill attachments to clean the rust off. I was hoping we’d be able to paint it, too, but won’t be able to pick up more of the paint we need for a while. We’ll see what’s left in the budget after the van is done on Monday and, hopefully, my mother’s car gets fixed. That can be done after the trailer frame has a bed added to it, which I believe my brother has got what is needed to do that.

I will just have to maintain awareness so as not to overdue things. This time, I only needed the one day to recover after unknowingly pushing myself too hard. There have been times I’ve needed several days.

It’ll be good to see my brother again.

The Re-Farmer

Frost warning

I’m happy to say, that a day of rest seems to be just what the doctor ordered. In fact, I felt so good, and it looked so beautiful outside, I decided to see if there was something I could get started on today.

Because I’m an idiot like that.

The beautiful looking day lied! 😀 It was still cold and windy out there! Those lilacs are looking gorgeous, though.

When I went to check the forecast, though, I found a weather alert. We’re supposed to get frost tonight.

I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t get those transplants done!

The girls and I headed out to make sure everything was covered.

The squash bed was a challenge. I didn’t have very many of the plastic containers I was keeping to use as cloches for exactly this purpose. We did, however, still have the five gallon size water bottles from when I did a complete water change of the fish tank (which, I am happy to say, shows no signs of turning cloudy or that mass of algae growing back; it was definitely our well water that was the problem!). I cut a bunch of them in half, and we got all the squashes covered!

I don’t know that the bricks balancing on the necks of bottles will do much good, but it’s worth a try, to make sure the cloches don’t get blown away.

The girls covered the new garden bed with plastic, as well.

The plastic row covers are sandwiched between pairs of boards, so the sprouts won’t get flattened too much.

We didn’t bother doing anything with the potato beds, since the straw mulch will insulate them just fine.

Based on the long range forecast, this should be the last frost of the year. We’re going to start getting hot again, tomorrow.

Meanwhile, here are some more smiles for you! 🙂

The girls went to visit with the kittens for a bit, but only Big Rig stayed still long enough for a decent photo. 😀

As David does so well with the kittens, the girls let him come down, too.

He seems entranced by his tiny doppelganger!


The Re-Farmer

Looks like I ran out of spoons

For those who are not yet familiar with the Spoon Theory, visit this link.

Today has been turning out to be a very non-productive day. Right from the start.

The first issue was waking up in pain. Particularly in my hands. Every joint in my fingers, stiff and sore. I know osteoarthritis is setting in (inevitable, given some of the jobs I’ve had in the past), but most of the time, they’re fine. Some days, however… well… let’s just say they’re “not fine.”

I woke up fairly early and started getting ready to do my usual routing, which now starts with bringing fresh water for the kitties. My husband was using the kitchen, so I sat down on the couch for a bit to let him finish.

I basically passed out for nearly 4 hours.

It felt more like a few minutes.

My entire body is feeling achy and sluggish, I’m in a snarly mood, and I’m in a brain fog.

Definitely a reminder that I am not really all that able bodied. I didn’t feel like I’d been overdoing it over the past few days, yet I clearly have, and my body is making sure I know it.

Well, at least it’s a good day to go into recovery mode. It’s too wet to finish mowing, and too chilly to finish transplanting. Manual labour outside is not going to be much of a thing, today.

And so, I will share some smiles with you, instead! 🙂

I’ve been posting so many photos of our adopted cats and kittens, I rarely get photos of the two that moved out here with us. Last night, DahBoy got to entertain us!

One of my daughters was in my doorway when DahBoy demanded up.

He did not want up on her, though. She was just a way to get to his real goal.

No, not the top of the door, either!

He wants the top of the linen closet. He knows there’s space up there, and he wants in!

Will a human assist him? No? So how is he to get down, now?

Oh, look! A handy human.

I got that last shot a split second before he leapt onto my shoulder, then vaulted the rest of his way to the ground. 😀

This morning, while visiting the kittens, I had to very carefully step my way around kittens that were determined to climb my legs. They didn’t stop until I gave them some wet cat food.

Even during the feeding frenzy, Saffron and Turmeric were more interested in me than the food! They’re not as into the solid food thing, yet. Especially Saffron, who would much rather climb a table leg. LOL

Once outside, I had another cat I had to dance around. Potato Beetle was quite determined to walk in front of my moving feet and flop onto the ground. That is, when he wasn’t doing this…

What a goof!

At least they’re entertaining. 😉

Ugh. It feels like such a wasted day, today, and it’s only mid afternoon!

Hopefully, a day of recovery means I can get things done tomorrow. I really need to get those transplants in.

The Re-Farmer

What on earth is that?

I spotted a mystery while checking the trail cams today!

Watch closely, behind the deer.

We have a mystery critter!

It’s too big to be a squirrel, and squirrels are not out at night, anyhow. It seems too small to be a raccoon or a skunk. Those are large enough that they would be identifiable, even with the infrared flash.

About the only thing we are pretty sure of is, it’s likely a rodent of some kind. 😀

Any guesses?

The Re-Farmer

Kitten Therapy

Since I neglected to get any kitten pictures to share yesterday, I’m making up for it today!

Here are some furry smiles for you to enjoy. 🙂

In the end, I needed to be rescued by my daughter, who was able to de-kitten me, so I could leave!

Kitten therapy was exactly what I needed. 🙂

We got our monthly shop in the city done. After last month, I was quite dreading it. We didn’t know what restrictions were still in place, or how things would be, and I certainly didn’t want to put up with snarly customers again, so we ended up skipping Costco entirely.

It does mean we couldn’t get some of the stuff we normally do, nor as much of some things. We did, however, manage to get pretty much everything on my list. Except printer ink. There wasn’t any of the type I needed, in stock. :-/ At this point, I think I’m just going to order it online. I need it to make posters of the kittens to try and adopt them.

Only one of my daughters came along, since as far as I know, Costco is still allowing only 2 people per membership, and when we left that was still part of the plan. We were well on the way to the city when I suggested to skip it and try going to Superstore, instead.

After hitting a drive through, then having breakfast sitting in the van in a parking lot, we started at the Walmart. We don’t buy anything that needs to be kept cold or frozen there, so our purchases and stay in the van without concern.

Much to our surprise and appreciation, there was no line up outside at all. There was a very short one when we left, but that was it.

We got most of the cat supplies there; we’d have had to use two carts, if we’d got all that we needed. This time, we also picked up a case of the type of cat food Beep Beep and the kittens like so much.

We had no issues finding paper products, and if we’d needed any, we could have picked up all the disinfectant cleaners we wanted. 😀 I was even able to pick up some much needed work clothes.

Then I got real wild and crazy, and picked up a new garden hose, and long handled, ratchet pruning sheers. I’m so excited to use the sheers! They are going to go a long way in saving my back!

It’s the little things that make me happy. 😀

Next on the agenda was Superstore. We don’t normally stock up there, and I was rather surprised by how expensive some things have become. Particularly beef. I’ve been spoiled by Costco prices, that’s for sure.

It was very confusing when we checked out, though. After scanning everything, the cashier indicated towards the other belt, telling me to “take that”. There was a bunch of stuff, most of it packaging material, but there was also something in a long, blue fabric case. She told me I could take it, but she had to scan it first. It was free.

The whole thing was so out of context, it took me a while to figure out what she was telling me. It turned out we’d spent enough money to earn a freebie. I couldn’t even tell what it was! My daughter ended up handing the tag end over to the cashier, and could see on the label that it was a folding camp chair.

I’ve never spent that much money at a Superstore before, and had completely forgotten they had giveaways for larger purchases. 😀 It turned out to be a rather nice chair, too. It will certainly be put to good use!

Once we finished at the Superstore, we went to an international grocery we really like, for the last few things, then got some Dim Sum for the drive home. That has become a much-looked-forward-to treat, if we can swing it!

While we were pretty exhausted by the end of everything, it was a much better trip than last time. Things are slowly getting back to normal. Some people are still wearing masks. Some were even wearing them properly. Not very many, but some. 😉

The check out lines at the Walmart and Superstore are still organized with the 2 meter circles on the floors, in one long line, with a staff member telling people which tills were open. I rather hope this stays, because that is working out to be very efficient. I’ve seen some stores that, years ago, had checkouts redesigned specifically to work with one line up for all cash desk. No staff needed to run back and forth to see which tills would open next. It does make things go much more quickly! The smaller grocery store doesn’t really have a layout that would allow for it, but things still went smoothly there, too.

Normally, we would have gone to this particular Walmart, then driven a fair distant to the Costco, then back to the same area the Walmart we like is in, to go to the international grocery store. While there are other branches of these stores closer to the Costco, we find they’re not as good, to the point it’s worth the extra driving. I have to admit, though, it made for a less stressful and tiring day, with all the places we needed to go being all along one major thoroughfare. It probably took about 45 minutes of driving time out of the equation, too.

We might try Costco again, next month, though. We shall see.

For now, we are pretty much stocked up for the month again, and I am glad to have the trip over and done with!

The Re-Farmer


First, I must apologize.

I didn’t get a single kitten picture today, to share with you! I never had the chance.

I did visit the kittens, of course. One of the first things I do in the morning is head down there with fresh water for them. When I opened the basement door, Beep Beep was sitting in the window ledge above the stairs, waiting for her moment. As soon as the door opened, she launcher herself into the air and through the door!

In my hapless effort to block her, the door got left open a split second too long.

As Beep Beep raced into the dining room, five cats exploded into the basement.

The kittens, meanwhile, had come running to the stairs, as they usually do.

Fenrir has been the most dedicated at trying to get into the basement, but she does not like the kittens. As soon as she saw them, she bolted back up the stairs, then crouched in the entry, staring at the door, like a hairy gargoyle.

Keith was quite taken aback by the horde of kittens.

Keith is also a bundle of nerves and anxiety.

Next thing I know, Keith is hissing and spitting at a kitten, in total fear. The kitten – Nicco – was busily making himself look big, hissing, spitting and advancing on Keith.

Who ran away and hid under a table.

Two Face was running around, trying to snag a kitten to groom. Every now and then, one would come too close, and she would grab it, do a barrel roll as she wrestled it to the ground, before aggressively mothering it. It would take a few moments before a disheveled kitten would squirm it’s way out, and she would do it again to another one.

Cheddar doesn’t seem to know what to think of them. He kept going from kitten to kitten, sniffing and staring. Once again, it was Nicco who made himself look big, staring him down. Until Cheddar casually reached out with a paw and smacked Nicco vaguely around his head.

David, meanwhile, is totally chill with the kittens. He kept going around, sniffing and grooming and snuzzling, kitten after kitten.

Beep Beep, meanwhile, came down, then went back up, then came down and beep beep beeped at me with her distinctive meow that gave her her name.

Then her daughter, Two Face, started beeping, too.

She has a much higher voice than her mother.

I tried to cuddle Beep Beep, and she was reveling in the attention, but would soon run off upstairs again.

Eventually, I had to grab a broom to try and persuade Keith to come out from under the table. Then I tried to sweep the cats towards the stairs. I was finally able to grab them, one at a time, and toss them into the entry way, closing the door each time, so none would come back down.

Beep Beep ended up upstairs again, and I found myself alone with 5 kittens attacking my feet and trying to climb my legs.

I finally got their water changed, then took advantage of the situation and gave them a little packet of wet cat food. That distracted them enough that I could escape and find Beep Beep. As I suspected, she was looking around the food bowls upstairs. She was looking for wet cat food.

So I snagged her and managed to get her downstairs, where the treat was waiting for her.

By the time it was done, the whole thing left me feeling like I’d been spun in circles! 😀


No pictures of kittens this time.


Today did turn out to be a nicely productive day. I made a trip into town to check out a place I’d seen ads for, saying they did lawnmower maintenance. If I could find a place I could take the mowers to, instead of having to go three quarters of the way to the city, to the place my brother bought our riding mower, that would be great. I never expected having trouble finding a small engine shop locally! There are probably quite a few, but no one that advertises. This place is connected to one of the hardware stores, and carries a lot of the big stuff, and even has a chipper that can be rented. For the amount of wood we need to get chipped, we’re going to go ahead and hire the company that did our trees for us, instead. This place also carries the garden soil, manure and peat that the hardware store itself just doesn’t have the room for.

Walking into the place is like heaven. Everywhere I turned, there were riding mowers, push mowers, weed wackers, all sorts of tools and…

Was that a chain saw display in the back?

Why yes! Yes it was!

I had had zero luck in finding a new chain for the electric chainsaw that we had checked out, last year. We never got to use it, nor the gas powered one, at all last year.

The first thing I asked about, was the lawn mower maintenance. When I told him I wanted to get some work done on our riding mower, his first question was, is it still working? I explained that yes, it’s running fine, but I just want to get some basic maintenance done and the blades sharpened. He told me that I could just drop it off – no appointment needed – but they are really busy with lawnmower maintenance right now. He said that, since it’s still running (not in need of any repairs), to just keep on using it and give them about 2 weeks before I drop it off.

I’ll just leave it for next month.

I then asked him about chain saw chains. He said he would need to see the chain saw to know if they carried the right chain, but they do have sharpening services, too. So I will bring it over one of these days for him to take a look at, and he’ll be able to determine if I just need to get it sharpened, or if I need a new chain.

I then bought a bale of peat and some bag of soil mix. He came out with me to help load it into the van, which was kind of funny, since the lift gate is still broken, and I keep a pole in the back to prop it open. I joked about it being something else I need to get fixed, as he deftly maneuvered around the pole to load the bags into the van.

That done, I decided a stop at the garage would be a good idea.

I asked about my mom’s car. He told me he was going into the city tomorrow, and going to a wreckers. Among the things he’s looking for is the part for my mother’s car. He’d hoped to head out this afternoon, but had too many cars to work on, already. I then asked him if he serviced AC systems. Our air conditioning was working last year, if not particularly well, but this year, nothing. The cost was very reasonable, so we went to book that on his calendar. Then I remembered to ask about the lift gate. Since we’re going to be hauling a lawn mower in the back of the van, using the nice new ramps my brother bought for us, it would be good to not have a pole in the way. 😉 These aren’t very expensive and don’t take long to install, so that’s going to get done, too.

I also remembered to ask him about the driver’s side door hinge. When we bought the van, the original door would drop when opened, and we would have to lift it to close it. Eventually, the latch on the door snapped. It was actually cheaper to replace the door, and the garage we went to at the time tried to find a second hand one for us, but never did. We spent most of the first year we owned the van with a Bungee cord keeping the door shut. Including the drive across provinces, during the move.

My brother had been able to find a door, but because the driver’s side door has the only key lock, he had to take both of them apart and cobble the two together. The original hinge pins broke in the process, but he’d snagged the ones from the vehicle he had salvaged the door from, so that worked out. The door does, however, still drop ever so slightly, and we don’t want to go through all that again. If we can get it fixed now, before it becomes a problem, that would be good.

The problem is, he would have to take it apart and see, in order to give me an estimate. But there are only two possibilities. One, we need new bushings. Two, they would need to take it apart, precision drill a new opening, and weld things back together.

If it’s one, that’s not a problem.

If it’s two, he basically says it would take so long, it might not be worth it, because it would be really expensive, just in shop equipment fees, never mind the time.

So the bushing kit, which is not very expensive, has been ordered, and he will check it and see. I’ll be dropping the van off on Monday morning, and just hanging out in town until it’s done.

It was a rather short trip into town, but it felt like I’d accomplished quite a bit in the process!

Once at home, we were getting into the hottest part of the day, so we stuck to inside stuff until things started to cool down in the evening. I didn’t even bother unloading the van until then. That wagon we got last month is awesome. I was able to haul the bale of peat and bags of soil, all at once, over to the old garden area. Then I started mowing the old garden area with the push mower.

I am so glad my brother was able to get that thing running for us. There is no way we could do this area with the riding mower. It would break in no time!

Also, that drill attachment sharpener I got for the mower blade has made a huge difference! When I sharpened it yesterday, I found it so bashed up, it was hard to tell which side of the blade was beveled, and which was flat!

I’m also so happy we found that bag attachment for this mower. It isn’t very big, and I had to stop to empty it often, which makes for much slower going. However, I am getting so many grass clippings, I decided to keep mowing into areas I would normally use the riding mower for, just so I could get more!

And since I had all these wonderful grass clippings, I decided to use them to mulch around where we planted the sunflowers.

The areas mulched are two wagon loads of clippings. I stopped after finishing this end of the old garden area, and then had to stop. After two hours, I was pretty knackered!

Also, I really need to remember to keep a water bottle with me when I’m doing this!

Meanwhile, after the girls finished what they were working on inside, they came out to remove the logs that were used to frame the area we chose to mulch last year, and where I am planting the squash this year. They have served their purpose, and now they are starting to be in the way as we go around with wheelbarrows or wagon, hoses and soil mixes.

We will not be able to continue this tomorrow, though. Tomorrow is our day to do the monthly shop in the city.

I am really hoping it goes better than last month. Last time was pretty brutal. 😦 Even on a good trip, though, we’re pretty wiped out by the time we get home, unload and put everything away.

As for me, I am done like dinner! Time for a shower and, hopefully, early to bed!

Oh, wait. I should have supper first…

The Re-Farmer