First up, thank you to those who wished me well after my last post. I ended up lying down for a while, and the pain was much reduced when I got up again. It’s still there, but it’s more of a stiffness than pain now. I still have no idea what caused it, but it’s getting better.
Which made things much less uncomfortable while helping my mother run her errands this afternoon. Since I had her car, she took advantage of it and we went to several places. Before heading home, I stopped to fill the gas tank. Talk about sticker shock!
A couple of days ago, gas prices had gone down to 117.9/L for regular gas, and now it’s 128.9/L!
For those in the US, 1 US gallon is 3.78L (1 Imperial gallon is 4.55L, so there’s quite a difference). So this about $4.87/US gallon in Cdn dollars, or $5.90 in US dollars, at today’s exchange rate. And that’s just for regular gas, not premium!
As I understand it, this is still a low price compared to UK prices! Granted, we’re a lot more spread out, and have fewer alternative options to driving.
At times like this, we are thankful my husband no longer has to commute to the city, as he did when we last lived in this province.
Overall, shopping with my mother went very well. A few days ago, she called me with concerns about pains in her chest and wanted me to make an appointment for her with the doctor. In the end, he ended up doing a telephone appointment with her – and instead of talking about her chest pains and other symptoms, she talked to him about the pain in her knees! *sigh* Still, she got a prescription for a topical painkiller to try on her knees for a couple of weeks. The last couple of times I helped her shop, she had some near falls as her knee gave out. That didn’t happen today, but she did get tired very quickly. Thankfully, when I do these trips with her, I don’t have anything I need to rush off to, so I can give her all the time she needs.
There was one thing that had me shaking my head, but before I describe it, some background is needed.
My mother had asked us to move out here a few times, and one of the “perks” she dangled in front of us is that we could grow a garden and never have to spend money on groceries.
Which doesn’t make much sense. Even when she had her big garden, plus we had chickens and butchered our own cows, we still had to buy some groceries. But that was the carrot she dangled in front of us. We’d be saving all that money by having free food.
When we did move out here, and didn’t immediately put in a garden in our first summer, she was furious. Like, actually furious. She was also angry the we let it go to “weeds”, as if we were doing it deliberately, rather than because it was so badly plowed, we couldn’t mow it until one of the push mowers was fixed the following summer. We would have destroyed the riding mower my brother got for us (because the one that was here disappeared while the place was empty.) In fact, it got so bad that, at one point, we were starting to look at rental listings because we thought she would “evict” us and, frankly, we didn’t need the abuse. It calmed down, but took a lot of concerted efforts from my siblings and I.
Then, when we finally did have a garden last year, my mother have very little so say, and what she did say was all negative. She had never heard of mulching before, so that was bad. We didn’t get it plowed or use a tiller (none of the tillers here work), so that was bad. And so on. But, overall, she just didn’t bring gardening up as much.
This year, with our plans for a much larger garden, she was once again furious, because we are going to buy soil. She has even finally started to acknowledge that the soil is not the same as when she had my dad to plow it, 5 kids to help pick rocks, and manure for a herd of cows to fertilize it. However, she had nothing much to say about the fact that we are planning to have a large garden, even though she harangued us about it for our first two years here. I would tell her about the seeds we got, and she would chastise me for spending money on seeds. During one attempt at a conversation about it, she was giving me a hard time for now “allowing” her to have the garden plowed, when she offered to pay someone, but when I told her that if she were still offering, we were ready to say yes, she just said she would think about it. It hasn’t been brought up, since. (But I’m still not supposed to spend money to buy soil…)
So that’s where we’ve been at for the last while.
Today, while at the grocery store, we were looking at some canned goods and I mentioned that we now had the supplies needed to do both water bath canning, and even do pressure canning, so we will be able to do things like can soups and things like that, safely.
Her response was to make snarky comments about spending so much money, spending, spending…
So… I’m supposed to grow a large vegetable garden, but I’m not supposed to buy seeds, not supposed to buy soil, and I’m somehow supposed to preserve the harvest without buying canning supplies and equipment (her water bath canning supplies also disappeared before we moved here)
I pointed out to her that when she canned things, she spent money, too. She had to.
She promptly dropped it.
It is so strange that, with how big a deal she made over us not gardening over our first two summers here, now that we are gardening, and very excited about it (I even mentioned how excited we are about it!), she can’t see anything positive about it. Even when I mention that we’ve started seeds indoors, she expressed surprise (yes, she did start some things indoors, too, so this isn’t even doing something different than she did), but doesn’t want to talk about it. And yet, she had been constantly going on and on about my sister’s garden, and how wonderful it is, and bragging about it every time my sister brought her some fresh produce. My sister has been gardening on their farm for somewhere around 40 years, but you’d think it was all a new and wonderful surprise or something.
So very strange.
But not as strange as the phone messages I listened to.
Yes, our vandal had called her again, a couple of days ago. For the first call, it was an unfamiliar number, so she answered it. She told me about it later, but neglected to mention that he had called her three more times, leaving messages!
He’s changed his story again. Now he’s saying he doesn’t want her money (which is hilarious, since for years, he was constantly after her to pay for things for him), but only wants to “walk freely” on the farm.
Why on earth would he even want to walk around on someone else’s property? It’s one thing to have come here to “take care” of the place, when it was empty (though he was helping himself all sorts of things at the same time). It’s quite another to want to just pop over any time, while there is someone living here, just to “walk freely”.
He obviously has no idea just how creepy that sounds.
Well, his messages were all sorts of rambling diatribes about how my mother has given the whole farm to me (she hasn’t), and why did she do that, when he worked so hard here, and we didn’t do anything at all, ever (he’s including my brother on that one). Then wailing about how we’re trying to put him in jail and have ruined his life.
Oh, and apparently, I go by, waving at him and laughing at him. Laughing!
Also, we’re fat. FAT!!!!
I think the funniest one was his claiming my daughters are holding parties. *snort*
There were some new ones in his messages, though. Now, we’re apparently ruining the lives of my late brother’s children, too. How, I have no idea. He’s also claiming I’m responsible for putting him into almost $200,000 of debt by charging him. Which I’m not doing, because when I tried that after he broke the gate, the courts stayed the charges after he went through some sort of program. I’m applying for a restraining order. How any of that resulted in him going into such massive debt, I have no idea. More likely, he incurred debt in the belief that he would coerce the farm out of my mother and sell it to pay off his own bills.
But that’s just a guess on my part.
Which leads me to the other new thing.
He actually offered to buy the farm from my mother (who doesn’t own it anymore, and he knows that) for…
drum roll please!
Which is what he says my parents paid for the farm (which would be the two quarter sections we’re caring for now, not the third quarter section the younger of my brothers got as an early inheritance).
Which I think might be before my parents were even married. Certainly before any of us kids were born, and only my late brother and I were born after the moved her from the city. I believe my parents bought the property in the early to mid 1960’s, and they certainly paid more than $500 for it! Even the quarter section my younger brother lives on cost them more than that when they bought it!
So where did he even get those numbers?
And what on earth was he thinking, to even suggest buying the property for the price he thinks it was purchased at, almost 70 years ago? Was he trying to be insulting? If he was, it didn’t work.
As my mother put it, he’s just making things up!
The oddest thing (among many odd things) is that I can submit these messages to the courts, both in my application for a restraining order (whenever that finally makes it to court), and in my defense against his vexatious civil suit against me, which still has a court date in July, and he knows this. He’s said as much in some of his past messages.
So why does he keep doing it?
And why is he so obsessed with this property? Particularly since he already has his own farm?
And why does he keep going after my mother, as if she still owns it?
None of it makes sense.
Interestingly, when my mother updated her will, the lawyer commented that he sees lots of people doing stuff like this, so he has lots of experience in making wills that can’t be contested by such people.
How very sad.
Ah, well. We deal with what we have.
In the mean time, I think building nice taaaaalll deer fences around the perimeter of the yard sounds like a very good idea. Something that also gives us privacy from anyone going slowly by on the road and peering through the bushes…
We may live in the boonies, but sometimes I think it’s not quite far enough in the boonies. There are still people around. 😉