We had ourselves a very pleasant surprise today! Company!
I got an email from my older brother, asking if he could swing by this afternoon. Considering that it’s a 1 1/2 hour drive for him, this was a welcome surprise!
I got his message after doing my morning rounds, which included changing the batteries on the new camera with ones that weren’t frozen. The camera still couldn’t show a display on the screen inside, though; more than the batteries was frozen! So I had no way of knowing if it was even working or not. At least I was able to confirm how much easier it is to change the batteries on this thing. I did not have to take it down to do it!
Then, after things warmed up a bit more, we brought out Spewie, our little electric snow blower, and gave it a workout!
With a daughter helping by controlling the 200 ft of extension cord, so it wouldn’t keep getting hung up on the snow and unplugging itself, it was done much more quickly! We got the area needed to drive the van to the house, with turning space, widened the path to the compost heap, and even managed a path around the house, in case we need to reach the septic tank. I didn’t try to make a path to the fire pit or the barn this time, though.
Of course, it’s now snowing. We’re expected to only get a centimeter or so, so it should be fine. Even if it’s more, it’ll be easier to clear, later! It does seem funny to rush to clear away snow, before more snow arrives, though. 😀
The great thing is, when my brother got to our place, he was able to drive right up to the house, like he normally prefers to do. 🙂
He didn’t come into the house, due to the restrictions still in place, but we were able to exchange our Christmas gifts. 🙂 We gave him and his wife the olive server and cutlery I’d carved, using maple I’d cut away from the pump shack so I could reach and fix the window.
I will have to get a picture later, of what they gave us: a fire pit cooking grill! One that is mounted on a post, and can be swung off and on the fire! We are so excited! It can be used above the set up we have now, or replace it completely. I can’t wait to try it out! The ground it too frozen to install it now, though, so it’ll have to wait until spring. *sigh* 😉
While he was here, my brother took a look at my mother’s car. I had not hooked the trickle charger back up, because 1) the battery does not have + or – symbols on it, though I was pretty sure which was which, and 2) I could not figure out how the clamps would go on, while being flat enough for the cover to be put back in place.
While he was there, he ended up completely moving how the cords for the trickle charger, battery warmer, block heater and extension cord were set up. I had set it up as it was before, across the front, with zip ties holding things in place so nothing would drop onto the belts below (which had happened already, and I had to buy a new extension cord). This was not how he’d had it before, but how a mechanic had set it up, after some work was done. He’d had it set up tucked under the frame by the battery. He was able to get it to all fit into there again, and there are no moving parts they could fall onto in there!
While he was setting it up, and even double checking with a volt meter to ensure it was working, he searched and searched the battery for something to show with side was positive, which was negative. He did find the letters POS hidden under one of the clamps. I’ll have to take his word for it, because while I could see that something was under there, there was no way I could tell that it was letters!
So that is now done, and the trickle charger is finally hooked up. I try to use my mother’s car as much as possible, but over the winter, who knows how long that will be. We hardly use our own vehicle, this time of year!
Speaking of which…
After my brother left, I headed out to the post office – one of my husband’s Christmas gifts finally arrived! LOL – then into town to pick up a few last things before New Year’s. Normally, we would have done our monthly shop by now, but between the holidays and the weather, the end of December just doesn’t work out for that! With all the restrictions happening right now, we haven’t been able to stock up as well as usual, so we’re running out of things more than usual, too. Nothing essential, really, but I still prefer to stock up at least a little bit, just in case we can’t get into the city as planned. Last month, I didn’t even go to the city at all, but went to the Walmart of a smaller city, instead. It’s not as well stocked as the bigger stores in the bigger city, but at least I knew I wouldn’t be harassed for wearing a shield instead of a mask. As far as I know, 2 of the 3 stores we normally go to for our monthly stock up are safe for people with medical exemptions, and I’ve heard the one Costco location we usually go to is actually offering both masks and shields to people, and when people have gone in mask-less, they’ve only been warned if the mask nazi’s … er… inspectors where in the store. The inspectors are threatening stores with fines, even though the mandates expressly stipulate medical exemptions. But then, one store made the news for kicking a woman out for not wearing a mask, and she didn’t have hands to put one on. The exemptions clearly state that people who cannot put on or take off a mask themselves are exempt. It all seems so very arbitrary, which makes it difficult for people who can’t wear masks to know, from one day to the next, if they will be left alone, harassed, kicked out, fined or arrested.
I’m just thankful that we are isolated enough that it doesn’t affect us as much on a daily basis. Just in our own extended family, we’ve got people dealing with everything from trying to figure out how to get to work with the day-cares closed, to job losses, home losses, and dealing with severe depression as a result. I’ve always been grateful that my husband has such excellent private health insurance when he went on long term disability and, for all the challenges, happy that we left the city to live on and take care of the farm. Now, I am even more grateful for it. I honestly don’t know how we would have managed, if we were still living in the city we were in before. Our daughters could have stayed behind, too, but they chose to move out to help take care of the property, and their father, instead. They gave up a lot to do it, but it’s now turning out to have been worth it, for reasons we never imagined.
What a crazy world we live in, right now!
But I digress!
On a more fun note, after I got back from town, I was able to bring the van into the yard to unload it.
We were being watched.
Creamsicle Jr. was not alone at first. By the time I got my phone out to take a picture, Nostrildamus had come out to say hello. He had been sitting behind Creamsicle Jr.
Directly under the terrarium heater bulb.
In front of the light sensor on the timer.
I think they’ve figured it out.
If a cat is siting under the bulb, it is blocking the light sensor, which turns on the heat. While it’s unlikely that they made any sort of connection to the timer, it would be easy for them to figure out that if they sit in just the right spot during the day, that thing above their head starts getting warm again.
One thing about the yard cats; they do have to be smart, if they’re going to survive! 😀
I’m happy that the littlest ones are handling the cold as well as they are. Being born so late in the year, they were the ones most at risk from the cold. Not only are they doing all right, they’re downright playful in the snow! 🙂 They’re even regularly following me out to the gate when I check it, and switch out the memory cards. They still won’t come close to me, but they will follow me! 😀 (I’m happy to say that, while showing the new trail cam to my brother, I found it had thawed out enough to start working again! I didn’t even have to reset the date and time. 🙂 )
For now, judging by how often I’ve seen the red bar across the top of my browser, warning me that auto save didn’t work because I’m offline, I’d say the weather system has hit us quite thoroughly, and it’s taking our internet out in the process. That, and my weather app will not reload! The temperatures are still relatively mild, but I can see the snow falling on the security camera’s live feed. It seems to be enough to mess with our satellite. That secondary dish may have started working again after we pruned more branches, but it still doesn’t have a good signal at the best of times. It doesn’t take much to make it worse!
At some point, I’ll be able to post this… 😉