Final stock up trip, a generous gift, and planning ahead

Today, my daughter and I headed out for what should be our last big stock up trip of the month.

Well. “Big” is a relative term.

Of course, the morning rounds were done first, and I had company!

The ice these cats are so curious about was melted and muddy by the time we got home.

Also, I counted 24 this morning. When we got back and finished unloading, I topped up their food and water, and The Distinguished Guest was there! I’ve been seeing him more often of late, though yesterday, Shop Towel also showed up and there was quite the cat fight. No new injuries on TDG that we can see. He still looks very rough, but he’s no longer limping. Poor thing. He was so hungry, he almost let me touch him while he was in the kibble house!

My daughter and I left a bit later than we usually would have, as we thought we might have company this morning. The timing didn’t quite work out, so while we were gone, my husband got a quick visit from his sister from another mother, who dropped off some gifts. Including this.

His sister had bought it recently, but then got a really good deal on a Ninja, so she passed the Magic Bullet on to us! That was very thoughtful of her. 😊

My daughter and I had only two places to go to. Our second stop was at Walmart. My daughter had her own shopping to do. I picked up two more 9kg bags of kibble. At $34.97 each, it was a better price than the Canadian Tire. I also picked up some more cheese, since I wasn’t able to get what we usually do at Costco. Some Havarti ($4.44), marble ($4.44) and mozzarella ($7.87). We also got a small ham for the Easter basket ($10.97).

My daughter was shopping for clothes, which reminded me that I needed to get a new pair of jeans. Generally, I don’t like most of the clothes in the women’s department. Especially pants. I find the proportions are off, and they are often made with fabrics that feel really unfortunate. They do sometimes have one specific style of jeans in stock that I find comfortable. Today, there were just a few left in one colour, so there wasn’t a lot of choice, but I snagged them, for $22. That put our grand total at Walmart at $130.70 after taxes, most of which was cat food. We should be good for kibble for the rest of the month.

Our first stop was at Canadian Tire where, along with two bags of hardwood stove pellets (they were out of softwood, which is a bit cheaper) at $7.29 each, we got this.

You can see my new jeans in the corner. 😄

We were very happy to see they had the Iron Out tablets in stock, so we grabbed two, at $6.79 each. I also found nice large eco-pots that can be buried directly into the ground. I will test them out when I pot up some of our larger squash and gourds and see how they are. I got 8 of them for 79 cents each. They had even larger sizes, which might be useful, depending on how big the Zucca melon and gourds get, before we can transplant them outside. The other varieties will be started over the next few weeks, and should not get quite so large before it’s transplanting time.

We got an extra caulking gun because it was on sale for $8.97, and the one we have now has a lot of roofing tar stuck to it. It’s still useable. We would just prefer not to have to deal with that when we’re adhering and caulking the tub surround (the plumber never called back; I’ll have to contact him again and make sure he has my number!).

Then there are the bricks.

I got four fire bricks at $6.99 each. This put our grand total at $78.96 after taxes.

The fire bricks are something I plan to buy a few at a time, every month, which will be manageable on our budget. They are among the few things we will need to buy new for when we build our outdoor kitchen. The floor of the bread oven will be lined with these, and so will the fire area that will be under an open grill.

My daughter and I spent some time talking about our plans for the outdoor kitchen, including something we should be able to salvage. We still have that old wood cookstove in the old kitchen. It’s broken and we can’t use it. Even if it wasn’t broken, and we didn’t have the insurance issues, I wouldn’t dare use it. This thing is sitting directly on the floor, and there are no heat shields. No one had any of that stuff, back when this was installed. It would simply be too dangerous to use it.

However, we could incorporate the cook top into our building plans.

There are two main things broken on the stove. The hinges on the oven door are snapped. Which, I suppose, only matters if you want to use the oven. The thing that makes it unusable is the damage to the firebox.

You can read about how cleaning this old stove went, here, but this is the damage I discovered after emptying out the ashes. The oven hadn’t been used in many years, but no one bothered to clean out the fire box or ash bin.

That’s cast iron, and the space behind it was jammed solid with ashes, which you can see in the picture. It was really sad to see the results of how badly this old stove was treated.

Also, it’s a wonder we didn’t burn the house down, back when this thing was still being used!

So we’ve got this big cookstove in the old kitchen that can’t be used and is taking up space.

Which means that once we’ve got the shelter built, we can dismantle the cookstove and set it up again in the shelter. As long as it’s protected from the weather, and not sitting directly on the ground, it should be fine. Then we can look at incorporating pieces of it into the cooking area we will be building, and it would give my daughter the set up for a wok that she was thinking of, though the openings might be a bit small for what she has in mind. That’s okay. We will have plenty of time to modify our design ideas before we actually start building. The main thing is to get the shelter built, first.

Once we get that out of the old kitchen, we’ll have more space freed up. The chimney will still be there, though, so in the future, we can get a smaller cookstove and set it up with all the proper heat shields and floor protection in place.

After fixing that room up. The floor condition in particular is … fascinating.

All in good time.

Until then, we can do things like slowly accumulate the materials we will need, like the fire bricks I bought today.

On top of the expenditures listed there was, of course, the cost of gas. We were at half a tank on my mother’s car when we left. We stopped at the town my mother lives in to get gas, where we found the new carbon tax brought the price up another 4 cents per litre (we now pay 14 cents per litre in carbon taxes altogether), bringing it to 156.9 cents/L. Because of road dust getting into things, the gas pump nozzle keeps shutting itself off, as if the tank were full, so I never know how close to full I really am. I just put in a little over $20, which at least got me above 3/4 of a tank.

On the way home, we took a different route and stopped at the town we do most of our local shopping. My daughter had an errand to run, and I decided to try a particular gas station on the way home. This place had been closed for a while, but when the reopened, their prices were much lower. I figured, even with the price increase, they might still be the best price. Their sign read 151.9 cents/L, which was better than the old price in other stations – but when I put gas in, I noticed the pump was reading 145.9 cents/L! I put in $25 and actually filled the tank!

Okay, my mother’s car has a small tank and has terrible mileage, but I’ll take what good I can find!

I think I’ve found where I’m going to be buying gas regularly, as much as possible, now!

So that’s been our rather expensive day. Other than things like fresh produce we buy locally, we should be good for the rest of the month!

The Re-Farmer


2 thoughts on “Final stock up trip, a generous gift, and planning ahead

  1. I thought of you as I started veggie seeds today… the black tomato you recommended, a crazy yellow tomato, red lettuce, and sime free/old bok choy and snap peas that I don’t expect too grow.

    Now I need more soil for flowers and, hopefully, transplanting the veggies soon!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s