Snow, snow, go away!

Things continued to warm up today, so after I finished my morning rounds, I headed to the city for our monthly shop.

Got some major sticker shock, even though I was well aware of prices going up.

I did a quick stop on the way to put a big of gas in the tank. Normally, I would have grabbed some fried chicken and wedges for breakfast, but I was too early, so I just grabbed a snack. My first stop in the city was Canadian Tire. We usually get our wood pellets for the cat litter there, but the pellets last so long, we didn’t need any. What I did find was a new garden fork to replace the one that broke last fall. I hope it is a decent quality one, because the only other fork they had was a pitch fork. Which we do need, but not as much as a garden fork. I also picked up a new cat scratcher. Butterscotch and Nosencrantz still don’t leave my office/bedroom… well… Nosencrantz does explore once in a while, then dashes back again. Which means they don’t go to where the scratching posts for the other cats are. I did get what I thought was a small scratching post last month, only do discover I should have read the label more closely. It was a replacement post, so there was no platform with it. It’s still available, and the other cats sometimes scratch at is, but not Butterscotch and Nosencrantz. Nope. They are going after one of the suitcases stored in my closet, instead! That closet doesn’t have a door, just a curtain, so they have free access to it.

I had also tried picking up one of the cardboard cat scratchers the other cats love so much. They tear them to shreds and made a huge mess of them, but I’ll take that over them going for the couch, any day. Nosencrantz and Butterscotch did use that one – but Nosencrantz was also using it to pee on, instead of in the litter box, so that went away.

This time, I found one that is made out of carpet, and has non-slip bumpers on the ends, so it can be leaned against a wall. It is also infused with cat nip oil.

So far, the other cats have checked it out and knocked it about. We’ll see how Nosencrantz and Butterscotch like it.

One of the things I checked out while at Canadian Tire were their pumps. I was pleased to see that the sump pumps were not very expensive. As soon as we can work it into the budget, I want to get a spare. I also want to get a spare septic pump, too, but I didn’t see any that I could price check. That’s something I’d have to run by my brother first, anyhow. He knows exactly what our system needs.

After Canadian Tire, I went to an international grocery store that is one of our favourites. They also have hot food available, and the seating area has been returned, now that restrictions are lifted, so I got to have breakfast for lunch. šŸ˜€ There isn’t a lot that we get in this store, but there are a few things that we don’t find in regular grocery stores, plus I like to get fresh produce in non-Costco size packages. šŸ˜€

For the amount I got, which was pretty typical, I’d say I spent about 25% more than last month.

Then, it was finally time to go to Costco, where I can shop with a flat cart. šŸ˜€

I made sure to fill the tank before I went in; I’d added only $20 of gas at 174.9 cents/L (regular) when I stopped on the way to the city, and I was still under half a tank. Costco’s gas was 164.9 cents/L (regular), but it still cost me just over $80 to fill the tank. I can’t remember the last time it cost me that much to fill that tank, even during the rare times it was below 1/8th of a tank. I already had to increase or grocery budget. Time to see what can be juggled so we can increase the gas budget, too. šŸ˜¦ I think we’ll mostly just drive even less than we already are.

Once in the store, I did get a chance to ask about getting an eye test this time. Despite all restrictions being lifted, the eye clinic still requires masks. No medical exemptions.

So no eye exam for me. šŸ˜¦

There were no such restrictions for the rest of my shopping, and I was happy to see smiling faces on a lot of the staff.

I did have a couple of splurges today. Because they were still in stock and so inexpensive, I got another of the shop lights that I picked up last time to use with the mini-greenhouse. This one will be for the sun room, so the seedlings will get light from two directions, when we transfer them over, and the trays won’t need to be turned as much.

I also unexpectedly picked up a new spade. We do have one good spade. We had two other, much older ones, that we found. One broke on a root when I was digging a hole to transplant a haskap bush. The other can still be used, but the handle is broken off at the end (it was like that when we found it), so it has a jagged edge. It’s a wooden handle, so we could cut the damaged part off, but then the handle would be too short for use without wrecking our backs, so we make sure to wear gloves to use it.

Well, now we have another good spade. This one comes to a sharper point than the one we already have – which is funny, because it’s called a “round point shovel”. It’s designed more for uprooting, and where we are going to be planting the buffalo berry and sea buckthorn, there are a lot of roots, so I hope this works out. We will have a LOT of holes to dig!

As for the rest of the shopping, even taking the extras into account, I still ended up spending more while buying less. Not everything was more expensive, but most things did go up at least a little. The Kirkland brand of kibble, which the cats quite like, was limited to one bag per cardholder. Another brand didn’t have an limits, plus are slightly larger bags. Both have gone up in price, as has the canned cat food. Paper products all went up quite a bit, though nothing compared to the increase in fresh meat and fish prices! It didn’t even matter what kind or cut. They’ve all gone up. Some fresh produce, like potatoes, didn’t seem to be any different, but the dairy and eggs all had increases. Still cheaper than non-Costco, though, so it did make the trip worthwhile, still.

Most things were in stock, though some items were missing specific types or brands.

Most of what we get there are not things we can grow or make ourselves, which is why we buy them in the first place, so there isn’t a lot we can do to avoid the increasing prices. At least, at some point, we’ll be able to start raising animals for eggs and meat, and possibly milk (I don’t think we’ll be up to getting a cow, but we might be able to get milk goats at some point), but not for a while, yet. Right now, we’re focussed more on the gardening, and building what we need to be able to raise animals, starting with chickens. That is doable in the shorter term.

But I digress.

By the time I was done at Costco, I was completely knackered, and more than happy to be heading home.

Though overcast and warm all day, once on the highway, the visibility soon started to drop. At first, there seemed to be rain, but almost immediately, it turned to snow. By the time I reached home, visibility was maybe 100 yards (which is a little over 90 meters). I’d been seeing Canada Geese all over on the way in, along with a few grouse, along the roads. On the way out, it was deer. They were grazing by fence lines, though, thankfully, not running across! One herd I saw was at least a dozen deer, probably more.

For all the visibility was down, there wasn’t actually a lot of snow accumulated, when I got home.

The kibble trays were completely empty, so after the van was unloaded, and I parked it while the girls put everything away, I refilled the trays. That’s when I realized I’d forgotten the container I usually use to scoop the kibble and the deer feed, outside. I leave the container at the feeding station as I go to switch out the sign cam’s memory card, and forgot to grab it on the way back.

Which made for convenient visualization of how much snow had accumulated.

It’s not a lot, but everyone is just so tired of snow right now. Yes, we do need more snow for the moisture, so help recover the water table, but at this point, I’d rather have rain instead of snow! šŸ˜€

As I write this, I can see snow is still falling. We are at 0C/32F right now, so the snow is quite sticky. After today, it’s supposed to keep warming up, reaching 5C/41F within the week. In the 14 day forecast, we’re supposed to get as high as 8C/46F, but overall, it should remain pretty level. No extremes. Which is exactly what we need for the ground to thaw out and be able to absorb all that precious moisture. Both rain and snow are predicted, but not much of either, so that shouldn’t mess things up too much.

As much as I know it’s good to have the snow melt away slowly, I am still going to be very happy when it’s finally all gone!

The Re-Farmer

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