Got it done!

This morning, after finishing my morning rounds, I headed over to a town north of us to pick up our freezer pack of beef that we ordered from a local rancher. I had a chance to chat with her about the flooding this spring. The town had some massive road damage, and it’s still being repaired. Their farm, however, is slightly elevated from the town, so they had no flooding. The way she put it, if they ever got flooding where they are, the town would be under water.

The moisture and rains have been both a blessing and a challenge. Because of the weather, their cattle got put out to pasture later than usual, but for the first time in many years, the grass was already high. Last year at this time, there was almost no pasture at all, and everything was crispy. They grow their own feed as well, and her husband finally got out to finish seeding just today. It’s late, but if we get another long fall, that should be fine.

We also talked about our arrangements to get a quarter beef in the fall again. Ordering so early helps them plan things out. As for the monthly payments, my thing is, if I’m going to have to set the money aside anyhow, I would rather the money go to them, to help feed the cow we’re going to be eating! 😀 It’s a win-win, for sure. 🙂

Since we met in the grocery store parking lot, I quickly popped in to pick up a few things. We are confirmed for company in a couple of days, and I’m still hoping for a cook out. Then I took the opportunity to go to the hardware store. I’m happy to say, I was able to find the trellis net I was looking for!

I got three, just in case, and I’m glad I did.

The nets are 12 ft long, but these rows are about 20 feet long, at the centre poles. The actual planting area and the A frame uprights are a bit less than that, but not much. With the second trellis I wored on, on the right, I’d had one trellis to lay out on one side. It’s long enough to reach across 4 upright poles, with twin to lash them taught. With the first one I worked on, on the left, I hadn’t had enough poles to do the cross pieces on the bottoms at first, so I put two on each side, alternating which pair of poles they were attached to. When I put up the 2 nets we had left over from last year, so that they were attached to the bottom poles, that meant the empty gaps were at opposite ends.

For the trellis on the right, I was able to put up a new net across from the one I’d put up before, leaving the space between the last poles open. That allowed me to take a second net and wrap it around the end, where the big rock is.

With the other one, I had to got the last net in half to cover the gaps at opposite ends. I’d much rather have not had to do that, but the alternative would have been to undo and move one of the trellis nets that were already up.

They are VERY thoroughly lashed in place.

I wasn’t going to do that. 😀

The trellises are now ready for the pole beans, peas and gourds to start climbing!

One of the things I did while in town was pick up a package of green bush beans. The ones we planted with the sweet corn are not coming up at all, so I decided we can replant them. With bush beans, we can get away with planting this late. That’s something I’ll be doing later today.

My other project outside was to see if I could get my daughter’s old market tent frame useable again. A couple of summers ago, we had it set up near the fire pit in preparation for a cookout when we suddenly got high winds. A couple of pieces that were joined in the middles at a pivot point, snapped. It’s a really good tent, so even though it was broken, we kept all the pieces.

We used the frame to support the surface used to harden off our seedlings. I’d made an insert to join the snapped ends and keep them from bending too far, then duct taped the ends together. Today, I took a couple of very short metal pieces from the canopy tent I dismantled once things thawed out enough to remove the tree that fell on it, and taped them to the broken bars to support them even more. Then I dug out the tent roof and set it up near the fire pit. Once the roof was on, the tent fully set up and I confirmed the patch was holding, I folded it all closed again. It was too windy to leave out. However, it is now ready for us to use near the fire pit. I want to set the picnic table up inside it, and have at least two of the walls hung, so we can set up some citronella candles to help keep the mosquitoes at bay!

The big problem with that plan is, the picnic table is on it’s last legs. Every time I’ve moved it, some other part either bends, or pops off it’s screws. Which is to be expected. We cleaned it up and painted it, but it was still very rotten, and we knew it wasn’t going to last much longer. We can still use it, as long as we’re gentle with it.

Which means no more moving it around with just one person!

The Re-Farmer


I am just amazed at how the pink rose bush is doing this year!

There are dozens of flowers, and dozens more buds developing. This is the first year we’ve had more than just a couple of flowers!

The leaves are looking awfully yellow. I don’t know much about roses. I’m not sure if that’s from the type of rose, if there’s a nutritional deficiency, or if there has just been too much water this spring. It could also be lack of sunlight, still. We’ve pruned back the ornamental apple above it, but unless we take it out completely, it’s still going to have shade for at least half the day.

And to think, when we first moved here, it was in such poor shape, it could barely be seen against the stick that was supporting it. The same stick you can see in the photo above! I’m so glad we were able to save it. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Looking a little round, there…

I was able to get a picture of Rosencrantz while feeding the outside cats this morning.

She is looking decidedly round.

I’m positive she lost a litter of kittens, when things were still frozen and I couldn’t get into the old freezer in the junk pile where she was. Not that things are thawed out, I haven’t tried to getting into there. I don’t want to find what I’m sure is there.

So I’m not surprised that she is looking pregnant again.

Caramel is also looking really round. I would have expected her to have had a litter at around the same time as the other cats, but who knows.

While feeding the cats, I made sure to put some kibble into the cats’ house. The bowl is just inside the entry, for as little disturbance as possible. The kittens are still really close to the entrance, so I did end up startling them a bit but, so far, the mother isn’t looking like she’s going to move them away because of it.

The other kittens are out and about and playing a lot more. While they are usually under the cats’ house, I don’t think that’s their “nest”. I saw their mama calling them and leading them off – well after they’d all had time to eat. They didn’t go far, though, as I saw some of them playing on the laundry platform again.

The one downside of the kittens hanging out in or under the kibble house is that it means we can’t open it up to clean it out without disturbing them.

No matter. As long as it gets done before winter, it should be fine. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Look what I found!

The kittens that hang out under the cats’ house are getting more active and exploratory. When I came out this morning, there were three of them, playing rough and tumble on the laundry platform. As I did my usual back and forth, they would run under the cats’ house, but come out again more quickly.

This little one is being seen more frequently.

This one, we see most often. I wish I’d been able to get a photo a few second before. It had been playing on the step, and when it turned to look at me, it still had a dried leaf in its mouth! So cute. 🙂

Lately, while putting the kibble out, one of the cats basically starts growling at me – and other cats. She certainly is happy to see the food, but just seems angry about it, too. Very strange.

As soon as I could, I was back outside to start mowing. I focused on the areas I wasn’t able to do before, starting with the west yard and around the fire pit area. I was even able to mow paths to and around the Korean Pine, in the outer yard. I had to raise the lawn mower way up to be able to get through! After doing the north yard, I was able to keep on going and redo the south yard, including the area that had been under water in front of the outhouse. It started to rain while I was out there, but it was a light rain, so I kept on going.

When I got to mowing near the kibble and cat houses, I saw no cats or kittens arounds, so I paused to move the water bowls away. The heated water bowl was still plugged into the extension cord leading into the cats’ house, even though there is currently no power to it, so I started unplugging it to move it away.

I got growled at, from inside the cats’ house.

I sometimes put kibble just inside the entry, but I knew the bowl had been knocked upside down. Once I unplugged and moved the water bowl, I looked to see where it was.

I found kittens, instead.

I held aside the strips of carpet to take a quick picture, then left them alone while moving the water bowls. I then made a point to quickly mow around the area, so I could be away from them faster.

When I was done mowing and ready to return the water bowls, I grabbed one of the cat beds I’d crocheted and left in the shelf shelter and brought it over, along with some extra kibble. Looking inside, there was one kitten near the entry. The others had been moved away. I put the kitten in the cat bed, straightened out and moved the food bowl, then put the kitten back, bed and all, further in from the entry. The mama was growling at me while I did this, but then I put kibble in the bowl, and left so I think she was happy with that.

Looking at the picture, I can spot 5 kittens. They look to be just barely old enough to have opened their eyes, so I’m guessing about a week or so. Which actually ties in to how long the mama has been growling at me when I do the kibble in the mornings!

So now we have 4 kittens under the cats’ house, and 5 inside the cats’ house!

And there are still the oldest of the kittens, which had been born in the cats’ house then moved away. We don’t know where their new nest is, other than somewhere beyond the pump shack. Honestly, I would have expected those ones to have been brought to the kibble house first, given their ages. I do hope they are okay. There’s really no way to find out, one way or the other, until they start showing up for food!

I do enjoy seeing them when I come out in the mornings. They really brighten the day! 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Garden tour video – finally!

Oh, my goodness, what a pain.

It took until just past 2am for my video to upload – only for YouTube to end processing, because it was longer than 15 minutes. I’m sure I’ve uploaded videos longer than that in the past. Worse, to fix the problem, I had to give them a phone number to verify my account – then delete the upload and start all over again.

Five hours later, the upload is done, but YouTube is still doing their checks, including HD processing. I’ve never had any troubles like this before!

But, it’s up! And here it is. I hope you like it, because it was a real pain to get it available! If there are any troubles viewing it, please let me know.

The Re-Farmer

While I’m waiting…

Yesterday, I finished up a garden tour video I made, using my recently acquired software. I’m getting the hand of using it, and quite liking it. It has been a while since I fired it up, though, and there was an update waiting. I have no idea if that’s related or not, but when it came time to export and upload the video (which is does in succession), it saved the export file, but failed the upload. Which is fine. I could just do that manually.

It was incredibly slow to upload. So slow, I thought something must be wrong, and restarted it. When that didn’t work, and it still took forever, I finally had to shut down for the night.

Today, I made a trip into the city for our first monthly stock up shop. When I was finally able to settle in on the computer, I started uploading the file again.

It was just as bad. It shouldn’t take almost 2 hours to reach only 14%.

I ended up re-saving the video at a lower resolution. It’s almost half the file size now, but it’s still slow as every to upload. I’m at 51% right now, and it’s telling me it’ll take just under 3 hours to finish uploading.

I’ve uploaded large files before, without having this much trouble before. I’ll just have to leave it alone and let it do it’s thing. I meant to post the video today, but it’ll have to wait until tomorrow.

While I’m waiting for that to upload, here’s how the day went. 🙂

I was able to do almost all of our stock up shopping today. There are just a few things left to pick up later. I wasn’t able to get the spare sump pump I intended to. They were out of stock.

It was another day of sticker shock, too. Yikes! Some things may need to be dropped from the list this month. About the only “good” price I saw was when I got gas at Costco, where it was at 196.9 cents per litre, instead of the 208.9 cents per litre locally. The city was mostly 207.9 cents per litre.

I was able to get more of the 6′ bamboo stakes, in packs of six, for the garden at a better price than the last ones I go, so my splurge of the day was to get 4 packs instead of 2. I also found one package of trellis net of the same type we are using from last year. The problem is, I need 2 of them to finish both trellises, and there were no more to be found. Hopefully, I’ll find another one when we do our second city trip and go to different stores. If I can’t find any, I’ll just have to use twine.

We have a beef order made, which will tentatively be ready for pick up in a couple of days; I’m just waiting for confirmation on that, as they put the pack together. It’s their largest freezer pack on their regular orders, and they choose what’s in it. Since we’re going into summer, they like to put in more cuts suitable for grilling. I find I quite like not knowing what’s in the pack ahead of time. It’s like Christmas. 😀

On another note, while I was in the city, I got a message from my sister assuring me that my mother’s apartment was locked up after getting treated, so I didn’t need to check it on the way home. Which I’m extra glad for, because on the way home, I drove through my mother’s town and completely forgot about it. I do wonder how much of my mother’s stuff they had to put into the hallway before they could access where they needed to spray. Hopefully, the smell will have dissipated before my mother gets home tomorrow. She has become extremely sensitive to chemical smells.

On yet another note, we are thankfully staying dry enough that I should finally be able to finish mowing. We have extra reason to get the area by the fire pit done. We’re actually going to have company this weekend! We still haven’t worked out exactly when, but my husband’s brother and his family will be coming out. With my husband hardly getting out of the house at all anymore, they have seen each other only a couple of times in the 4 1/2 years we’ve been living here. We used to be able to get together regularly, but with my husband’s pain levels, he just can’t make the trip to the city for any length of time anymore, and their work schedules keep them from coming out here. It’s Canada Day weekend, though, so they have some extra time, for a change. 🙂

Ugh. In the time it took for me to write this, the upload has only increased to 58%, and it says there’s still another 2 1/2 hours before it’s done.

I’m going to leave it and go to bed. I’m sure I’ll be awakened by something during the night, and can check on it then!

I will have it posted as soon as I can. I hope you enjoy it!

The Re-Farmer

First scything

Well, I just got tired of it. We haven’t had a chance to do a restoration job on the scythe blade, but I really wanted to use it. While I was working on something else, my husband got a start on sharpening the blade for me.

The cutting edge has dings in it and likely needs to be peened, but I haven’t see any of the peening supplies I thought we must have somewhere. Not even the right type of hammer, which I was sure we had somewhere. So I made do with pausing to sharpen the blade frequently.

I started in the grass with a path on either side, forming a V. What you see in the middle of the photo is my first pass.

I then made a second pass on the other side of the path to the burn barrel. Since I was going in the opposite direction as before, the grass from both passes ended up on the path, forming a windrow.

I scythed part of the path to the garage, too, before stopping. This was something I could do while tending the last of a burn. We’ve got stuff too big to fit in the burn barrel, so I set up a fire ring next to it. When the burn was done, I waded through the tall grass to get to the barn, where I found a sheet of metal that felt heaving enough, it would take some pretty severe winds to blow off, to use as a cover. When the burn was done, so was the scything for the evening.

It is far from a neat and tidy job. With many pauses to sharpen the blade, most of the the time was spent trying to get that correct angle to cut the most efficiently. A scythe should have two handles on it. Ours just has one makeshift handle, but I was able to control it pretty well. As for how good of a job it did, it’s a toss up over whether the messy cuts are because I’m not quite using it right, or if it’s because it has a bag edge on the blade. It could well be both!

Still, it does the job. As we are able, I hope to get the outer yard between house and barn, and along the driveway (where there isn’t any standing water), slowly done with the scythe. Once that’s done, using the mower will finally be an option!

We’ll see if the weather will be co-operative!

The Re-Farmer

Making chive blossom oil

Last night, I found a large enough, liquid tight jar that would be great for making chive blossom oil.

It’s big enough that all the cleaned and dried blossoms could fit into it. The jar was saved from some Christmas nuts that were available at a local grocery store. Buying the nuts and keeping the jar was cheaper than getting the same type of jar (without the decorative glass) on its own!

After putting the blossoms in, the jar was filled with olive oil, then gently muddled with the handle of a wooden spoon to get out any air bubbles. A label on the top has the date and a reminder to turn the jar a bit, at least once a day. It should be stored in a cool dark place, but with the temperatures we’ve been having, we’d got it in a dark cupboard that is just a little bit cooler than the rest of the house. Thankfully, we aren’t expecting any unusually high temperatures for the next while.

This should be ready to use in about 5-7 days – or longer, if we want the flavour to be stronger.

Making infused oil can be quite easy!

The Re-Farmer

Brave baby

When putting kibble out this morning, I put the kibble for the kittens on the frame of the sledge under the cat’s house. Partly to entice the kittens a bit further out, and party to not have kibble on damp ground.

Not that it stays there long enough to be an issue.

One of the kittens is much bolder than the others, allowing me to get a bit closer. I still had to zoom in for the photo, but was not so far away that the digital zoom on my camera just messed everything up. 🙂 It will even sit there and watch me as I move around. For a little while, at least.

The Re-Farmer

Messing things up

I ended up not heading over to my mother’s today. She had already started packing and bagging, so there was progress. She was feeling tired after church, though, and wanted to rest. So my sister and I will both head over tomorrow and get things done, in preparation for her apartment to be treated the next day.

I decided to start trying something out.

When we first started this blog on WordPress, we posted all sorts of photos without any thought to space limitations. Eventually, we figured out that there was a limit and started resizing them before uploading, but we still quickly ran out of storage space with the free account. We went ahead and paid for an upgrade. It did take longer, but we are starting to run low on space again. WP has changed their plans and the one we are on right now is no longer an option, and the next level up is way too expensive to justify, just so we can upload more pictures.

So I’ve been cutting back on how many pictures I upload – my apologies to those who have been coming here for the cat pictures! I’ve also started uploading resized photos to an online album to store the images, but WP still uploads them into my account’s media storage, so we’re still taking up more space with every photo.

The alternative is to go back to old posts and replace the original images with resized versions that take up less storage space.

I’ve finally started to do that.

It’s messing things up.

Oh, the posts are still working. I’ve figured out a way to just run through, post by post, removing and replacing images in a way that doesn’t have me losing track of which are done and which are not.

No, where things are being messed up is in the background stuff.

I’m starting in 2017, with our first blog posts. Which means finding the original images in our media storage, going through the posts, replacing the full size images from 2017 with resized ones, the deleting the original full size image from the account.

WP organizes files by the dates they are uploaded. Which means these resized images from 2017 are now the first images that are showing up in my media as new images, ahead of 2022 images. That will make it take longer to find more recent images, but there’s no way to sort by, say, file name. The original images have the dates as file names, and when we started resizing them, I continued to use dates in the file names as one of the ways to keep them organized. So now my media images are going to be all chronologically messed up.

On top of that, it’s messing up my stats. As I changed out the images, I have to view the posts in order to make sure they are still working. WP stats do not have the option of not counting my own visits and views. Which means that my stats for today are now artificially high.

What hasn’t happen is any reduction in the percentage of used data. It may well be because these old images aren’t as large and high resolution as more recent ones, after my phone was upgraded. I think where I will really see a difference is when I start resizing photos taken with the DSLR camera. Those are huge files. Still, considering how many images I resized, and how many full sized images I removed, I would expect to at least see at least some difference. WP’s percentage tracker goes to the first decimal point, and that hasn’t even changed. Even with re-uploading the smaller file size images, it’s hard to believe that all the larger original file images I removed still don’t make up a tenth of a percentage point! Especially since a couple of the original files were duplicated for some reason.

I think I’ll stop for today and continue the next time I have a bit of time to dedicate to it – probably about 3 days from now, at the earliest. :-/

I’m rather annoyed that all that time spent resizing images today has apparently made zero difference, though!

The Re-Farmer