Change of plans, and a new crib

So it looks like my plans to plant the potatoes today is not going to happen. We were expecting rain, but it has turned out to be colder than forecast. While the rain has been light, it has been pretty constant. Which is fine. It just means we have to spend less time soaking the area we’ll be planting the potatoes in, tomorrow.

It might be cold and dreary outside, but Sarlac, the aloe, is enjoying things just fine. That flower spike is just inches from the ceiling!

Of course, one of the first things in my morning routine is to check on the kitties. We’ve been talking about how we wanted to change things up for them, as they get bigger and more active.

In the top right corner of the photo, you can see the crate we’ve been using to put their little nesting box in.

You can also see the dampness, under it.

With the rain today, and more forecast here and there over the next week, this will only get worse. While the crate keeps the kitten’s box from being directly on it, the increased humidity is making the basement feel noticeably colder. We do have a heater down there, but it’s not something that should be left on, unattended, for long.

We had already considered using one of the large boxes my husband’s new computer came in, to make a sort of “play pen” for the kittens. On seeing how much larger and wetter the damp spot is, I started thinking of alternatives. We had intended to place the box itself over a sheet of rigid insulation, which would have prevented any sort of damp puddle from forming at all, in the first place. However, the larger space would be harder to stay warm. The current little nest is well wrapped and small enough that Beep Beep’s, and their body heat alone could keep it nice and snug. Not so, in a larger space.


They are now upstairs. Just a couple of feet from me, as I type this!

We’ve got two boxes set up, one inside the other, so half the space has a “roof” over it. There’s lots of padding on the bottom to keep them soft and warm. Beep Beep wasn’t sure what to make of things when we walked off with all her babies, but once we showed her the new set up, she settled right in.

The babies were very quick to explore their new space, which is about triple the size of what they had before. Then they went right back into a pile on their familiar little bedding. 😀

So far, the other cats have been curious about the new set up, but easily discouraged away, so they won’t jump in. With the box set up between my desk and my crafting table, I can keep a close eye on them.

This means we can start leaving the new part basement door open all the time, and slowly start moving all the litter boxes, food and water bowls, downstairs. There’s plenty of space to store the cat food and litter, too.

I’m looking forward to not having cat litter and kibble tracking all over the house… 😀

Since working in the garden was out, I went into town to run some errands. Since I was in the area, I stopped at the garage to see if they’d been able to look at my mother’s car.

Yes, they had.

Yes, it does need a new differential.


The owner was in the process of trying to track down a second hand one for me. Until then, though, I booked an oil change for Saturday, then asked about tires for our van. Being May, we should be able to safely rotate out of our winter tires by now. 😉 I have our summer tires bagged and waiting, but I would kinda like to get new ones, so I asked for a price on that.

It turned out to be quite out of budget, so when I bring the van in for the oil change, I’ll also bring our summer tires, and get those switched over as well.

One of my other stops was at the hardware store. I was hoping to find replacement hinge kits for the gates in the chain link fence. I was showing a photo to one of the staff when the guy who’d helped me get what I needed to fix our sump pump hose walked by with another customer, and paused to ask how the fix went, and I was happy to tell him what a success it was. He then took a quick look at the photo I was showing the other staff member, who was new enough to not know they don’t carry anything for fences and gate, and was able to recommend other places in town I should be able to find them, then continued on with the customer he had been helping.

With that question answered, I went into the paint section. We have decided to go ahead and paint or stain the old picnic table. It’s not in the best shape, but we could probably get quite a few more years out of it, if we treat the wood. After talking to the lady in the paint department, I decided to go with paint, rather than a stain. My daughter and I had been talking colours, so with that conversation in mind, I chose a bright teal blue. While a quart would probably have been enough, I figure we’ll be painting other things, too, so I got a gallon. It was funny to see how excited the lady who was helping me got when she saw which colour I chose. Apparently, bright colours are not typical choices people make, but it’s something she prefers herself. She asked to see pictures of the table when it’s done! 😀

I got a business card for one of the managers, and have already emailed her to tell her how great the staff has been. I know stores get complaints all the time so, if I can, I try to make sure to give credit and commendations, whenever I can!

While there, I was also able to pick up some peat and composted manure. I want to put some of that down first, then put the potatoes on it, add a thick layer of straw, then add some peat on top, more to keep the straw weighted down, but also help retain moisture. None of the videos I’ve seen about this way of growing potatoes has suggest this, but we have definitely noticed that wind can be an issue and figured, it at least couldn’t hurt!

Hopefully, I will be able to get this done tomorrow. We now have rain forecast for tomorrow afternoon, but it’s also expected to be much warmer – and staying warm – than today, so the potatoes should be fine.

Over the next day or two, I hope to get those carrots and parsley seeds in, too.

Weather willing! 🙂

The Re-Farmer

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