What a day.
What a long day that started really well…
I had a very enthusiastic crowd waiting for me this morning. Including the new edition. I was even able to pet her a few times, though she kept moving away when I did.
But yes, I was able to confirm. Our new addition is a she.
I just hope that, wherever she came from, she’s already fixed.
In the end, I counted 19 cats this morning. Only Rosencrantz was missing. 🙂
My morning rounds now include going to the very corner of the property to check on the sign. No vandalism! (yet?)
What I found interesting is that the squash tunnel was shaded. It is only this time of year that the shadows from the spruce grove reach this far. In the summer, the squash tunnel gets full sun, all day. The main garden area’s beds, meanwhile, are now in pretty much full shade all day. What a difference, time of year makes!
The transplanted mint is looking just fine; not at all droopy from being moved.
One of the empty blocks, however, seems to attracted a critter. Possibly a skunk digging for grubs. Whatever it was, it lost us some of the soil in those openings around the edges! I want to fill those with sand or gravel.
After I finish my rounds, I spend some time going over the trail cam files. We had a long list of things to work on outside, while it is still relatively warm in the afternoon. I was going to head out right after having lunch, then calling my mom to arrange to bring her to see the sign tomorrow.
She called me first.
She wanted to come today.
I told her I was thinking of tomorrow, because it’s such a warm day, and we have lots to do outside. She said the warm day was why she wanted to come today, because it would be harder for her when it was cooler. And I could spare an hour for her, couldn’t I?
Which would mean just driving her over to see the sign, taking some photos of her next to it, then driving her home. Was that what she was wanting to do?
So off I head to the town she lives in, and when I get there, she is cleaning out her purse and preparing a list of things she needs.
Since I’m there with her car, anyhow…
Okay, so we’ve added grocery shopping to the list. No worries.
We head back to the farm and as we come to our driveway, my Mom suggests we go straight to where the sign is from the road, not in the driveway. As we get closer, however, she suggested we keep going to look at the other quarter section, first. Just a drive by. This was something she had talked about wanting to go before, so I was expecting it. We did the drive, saw that it looks like the renter has moved his cows to that quarter, since there is a hay bale, salt blocks and a feeder set up near the gate. At the far end of the property is an intersection I can turn around at, then back we went to the sigh. I pulled over on the road, and there was thankfully a nice level spot she could go over with her walker. We got several pictures, and then back to the car.
Did she want to see what I did with the outhouse? I ask.
Oh, yes! was her enthusiastic reply.
I am such an idiot.
First, we drove over to the old workshop that is now completely filled with all my parents’ stuff we cleared out of the house. There was an old framed print she wanted. This was something else that had come up in past conversation, so we too the opportunity to grab that. Then we drove into the yard, and I backed up towards the outhouse.
My mother being ticked off that I did that, instead of parking further ahead, as usual, should have been my first warning.
To make it short, because I really don’t want to relive the experience, my mother decided to tour the inner yards, starting with the newly finished brick lined bed where the tomatoes were (she liked that, at least), but not until after making snide comments about the newly framed low beds where we have two types of garlic planted (so this is where you’re putting the garden now, is it? Uhm… no, Mom. It’s just the garlic).
I tried several times to redirect her to the outhouse, and she ignored me every time. As she worked her way around the yard, she made sure to give me a hard time about the garbage pile, which we need to hire someone to haul away for us (she didn’t have much to say when I pointed out this was garbage we found all around the yard that’s now in one place), acted surprised about the tire planters being moved, even though she’s been here since they were moved, and had just walked past the one that isn’t wrecked and could be used again), made sure to tell me to leave the spruce tree she planted at the chain link fence (I’s talked about transplanting it, before it gets so big it tears the fence apart, shortly after we moved out here, and she went ballistic on me, so I didn’t say anything this time). I commented on the second one that had been there dying, and she lectured me on how I should have watered it (it was killed by the cold, two winters ago), made numerous comments about the things I should have done around the yard (things I would have been doing, if she hadn’t asked me to bring her over), asked why I’d cut down the crab apple tree by the old compost, and when I told her it had died of diseased, lectured me about watering things again. Because, in her mind, if you water the trees, they won’t get disease. Then she mocked and laughed at me for building the high raised bed, the squash tunnel, the trellises and the low raised beds. No one does things like that, you see. They just plowed the whole thing.
Then she nagged me about various other things as she worked her way around the yard. When I thought she was finally going to the outhouse, she ended up going to the back door of the garage. She wanted to see the wood chipper.
That door leads to where her car is parked.
I tried to get her to go around, but she wrestled her walker through to door, so she could snoop in the garage. Which was have not even come close to cleaning up. I got the chipper out for her to see, and she really liked that, but then complained because there were still branch piles. Then she complained about how ugly they looked, and how ugly the post pounder my late brother built looked. I’d covered it with a tarp I’d found in the barn that was big enough, but after several years, the wind has torn it to shreds. We don’t have anything else big enough to protect it. But it looks ugly, and people can see it from the road, so it needs to be covered.
Eventually, we made our way back into the yard and…
She went to the car to leave.
By then, I’d opened the door to the outhouse, but hadn’t put the mat back because I wanted her to see how nice the floor looked, too.
She wouldn’t go near it. She just glanced over and said she could see it through the door. Then got into the car.
So, I put the mat back, closed up the outhouse, put her walker into the car, then we headed out.
Along the drive home, I tried to chat and mentioned the electric chainsaw we got. She mocked me about it, but in such a way that I didn’t understand her “joke” at all. Which then led to a whole slough of mockery.
I shouldn’t be using a chainsaw. I shouldn’t be doing men’s work. I need a man. Also, I’ve done nothing at the farm at all. Apparently, I’m a weak, useless, stupid woman who shouldn’t do actual work, except for the stuff that she used to do on the farm (while everything else magically did itself, apparently), which I am not doing right, because I haven’t done it yet, but she thinks I should have done it by now, or I’m not doing it the way she did, therefore I’m doing it wrong.
Oh, I forgot. At one point, when I told her that I’d lost a day of work by having to drive her around, she told me, what work? I don’t have cows to milk! What work am I doing? I don’t have any work.
Well, I called her on her behaviour, and pointed out that she shows no appreciation, gratitude or kindness. To which I got a sanctimonious, “yes, yes, get that off your chest” response. Because, clearly, I’m the one with the problem, and her cruelty and insults are neither cruel nor insulting.
Still, when we got back to her town, we were civil. I helped her with her grocery shopping, though she brought up getting an apple pie to have with tea when we got back to her place. I told her I didn’t have time to stop for tea, but she could get one if she wanted.
Once at her place, I put her groceries away and she was going to give me some money for gas, which I do appreciate. She then brought out a bill (almost enough to cover the amount of gas spent in driving, but I do still appreciate it!) and told me, if I’d invited her inside for tea, I would have gotten more.
I told her, I didn’t realize that was an expectation.
By the time I left and put some gas in the tank, it was so late, I couldn’t even stop at the post office to pick up a package. My day was wasted. There was no time to even start anything when I got back, because I wouldn’t have enough time to finish before the light was gone.
I’m just so ticked off right now. After talking with my husband and telling him some of how it went, his response is, not to have her back here again. And at this point, I can’t disagree.
My mother is why we are living here. We came here to take care of the place for her. Now that the ownership has been transferred to my brother, I still try to respect her wishes as much as possible, and keep her informed of how things are going. In the end, though, she doesn’t own this place. My brother does. And he is very happy with what we are doing, and with our various plans for improving the place. He is our “landlord”. Not my mother. She has no actual say in how this place is run, and she certainly has no right to verbally abuse me.
I am lost past the stage where she can actually hurt me anymore, but my goodness, she can drain every bit of energy out of me. I feel more exhausted from a few hours with her – and it wasn’t even an unusually bad visit! – than I would have felt if I’d spend those same hours doing manual labour. Mental exhaustion is far more difficult to recover from than physical exhaustion. Still, to look at the bright side, at least there wasn’t a single racist rant or shouting about political issues she doesn’t understand, either.
Thank God my brother now owns this place. He and his wife more than make up for all the trouble my mother causes. They are such awesome people, and make it all worthwhile.