Dealing with the heat… and family

It’s coming up on 7pm as I write this. We’re finally down to 24C/75F, from reaching 32C/90F earlier. All the thunderstorms we’re getting warnings about are going around us. We haven’t even been getting a smattering of rain.

The house is getting ridiculously hot and muggy. Even the cats are feeling it.

They moved before I could get a picture of Cheddar and Ginger, sleeping with their foreheads pressed against each other. My room is one of the coolest in the house, but not by much. The upstairs has been getting so hot, my younger daughter woke up this morning feeling sick from the heat. Cold showers and baths help, but only so much.

I called my mother last night and arranged for her to come out to the farm, now that the grass is cut and she can actually get around in her walker. She’s been talking about wanting to see the new roof she paid for. When I actually called to arrange it, though, suddenly she was hemming and hawing, as if trying to find some excuse not to. I guess she would have preferred to have my sister bring her out for an unplanned visit again, instead, like that last couple of times she came out here. Then she can get mad at me for being in my work clothes, or interrupt any work I was doing so I would have to drop it to tend to her, then complain because the work wasn’t getting done…

She did finally agree to come out, so we arranged for me to come to her place after church, and have lunch at a restaurant before coming to the farm. She started insisting I not to bring food from the Chinese restaurant like I did last time, so said we could go to a different restaurant and she was good with that. She has gone from really liking the Chinese restaurant, to not wanting food from there anymore, and I’m at a loss as to what’s going on. I did try asking her, and she made a comment about seeing a lot of cats running around lately…

???

My guess is, one of her neighbours made a disparaging remark or joke about Chinese food and cats, and she now thinks they are serving cat meat. And now she’s suddenly noticing cats running around outside her building which, in her mind, confirms it (though you’d think seeing a lot of cats around would mean the exact opposite, but this is my mother, we’re talking about here! πŸ˜„)

I left a bit early so I could pick up some drinks and a snack we could have outside while she was here. While driving out, I passed a farm with a full dugout right near the road. It was full of cows, just standing in the water, trying to cool down!

When I got to her place, she already had the table set and microwaved Costco perogies and kielbasa for us to have for lunch. When I mentioned I thought we were going to a particular restaurant, she just said, “to heck with [restaurant]”.

Aside from not wanting to eat her supply of food, my mother’s cooking habits have always been very hit and miss, and today was more miss than hit. There’s a reason we tend to take my mother out or bring food in when we visit her!

Anyhow.

After a bit of a visit, we headed off to the farm.

*sigh*

Just from how conversation went before we left, I knew there would be issues, but then, there pretty much always are. An odd one was when she suddenly started saying, “we can take that road!” indicating in the direction of a road we just passed, and then a driveway that looked like it rarely gets used. I was totally confused when she kept insisting we could take a different road to get to the farm. At this point, we were driving through a set of curves about half way between her town and the farm. It wasn’t until she added, “so we don’t have to drive by [our vandal]” that I figured out which road she meant.

I told her, we’re still driving through the curves. We’re nowhere near the turnoff to the farm. Plus, I don’t take that road. It’s not kept up as well, and is hard on her car. On top of that, I don’t think our vandal even recognizes my mother’s car. When we finally did reach the road she meant, she did recognize it, but it was very confusing for her to suddenly suggest a different route, never mind getting our location so mixed up!

Once at the farm, I made sure to drive right into the yard and park in the shade. I got her walker out and she settled under a tree. She had insisted we bring along two ice cream buckets of vegetable peelings, etc. for the compost pile. For “Mother Earth” she now says. She also brought along a couple of plant pots; one with some flowers that were blooming, and one with a couple of little trees she removed from her own little garden plot, insisting that I need to plant them somewhere here on the farm. One is a maple, the other an elm. I don’t know what kind of elm, which makes me very hesitant about planting it.

After I got things settled, my mother started walking around the house. For someone who wanted to see the new roof, she showed zero interested in going anywhere where she could actually see it.

The next while was… challenging.

Let’s see what she came up with…

Quite a few times, she would ask “what’s that?” or “why is that there?” while being very vague on her directions. When I didn’t understand she was indicating the box beds in the west yard, she then declared that those had nothing planted in them this year. Once I figured out what she was talking about, I told her that they had carrots, corn and spinach in them. She couldn’t see them from the house, therefore there was nothing there.

While sitting in the shade in view of the main garden area, knowing she wouldn’t be up to going any closer, I described to her what was in each of the beds, and what was in the grow bags. I could tell she wasn’t really listening to me when she suddenly asked “Is that garlic?” I told her (again), yes, and that we lost a lot of them over the winter; there was far less than we planted. She then said that I needed to give her some. I told her they’re not ready yet. That’s okay, she told me. She eats the greens.

Some of the soft neck garlic was coming up in clusters instead of single bulbs, so I went ahead and thinned a couple of those and gave them to her.

Over the next while, I was told I should have weeded around the raspberries (the self seeded ones in her old flower bed) and loosened the soil around them, and I should have cut down that dead apple tree, and I should not have cut the suckers away from the (now very healthy looking) chokecherry tree, and I should remember what those still small flowers she planted there more than a decade ago are called, and I was laughed at for growing potatoes in grow bags. Then as we moved to another area, she squeezed her walker in between the pile of bricks that used to be the chimney and a stack of wood, rather than going around where there was more room, and I was told they were in the way and I needed to move them… even though I just told her we were going to move them once we figured out where we wanted to use them. Nope. I must move them out of her way for purely aesthetic reasons. I tried to show her the potatoes that are doing so well in the old kitchen garden, but she was only interested in her invasive Periwinkles. Had zero interest in anything we were actually growing. Moving on, why is that fence there? I’d told her a few times about it being there to protect the tulips and the new apple tree from the deer. What tulips? They were done blooming, so I guess they no longer existed. Then she saw some white flowers that are blooming. What are those? I have no idea, Mom. You planted them!

Then she made her way to the fire pit area, where the trays of transplants now live. We no longer take them indoors. I was then chastised for having so many tomatoes, and they need to be planted right now, and everything should be planted, and what are those big things over there? And I should sell my extra tomatoes because they are very healthy looking, and I could make some money from them. Don’t the girls help you with the garden? Then she got mad when I showed her the tiny strawberries I started from seed, because there’s not fruit there! They don’t have fruit! They’re not going to have fruit! I finally said, “next year!” and suddenly she was mollified.

And on it went.

Finally, we settled in the shade of the south yard, and I set up a bench to use as a table, and we had our drinks and a snack.

Judgement joined us, staying nearby and rolling in the cool grass!

I was chastised for the cranberry juice (I chose it because it’s what she buys for herself), but when I went to add Ginger Ale to make a punch, she was suddenly happy. Juice bad. Ginger Ale, good. She then refused to eat the blueberry mini strudels I brought, because she really avoids sugar now.

As we sat and chatted, she then got quiet before saying, “I guess the girls don’t want to see me.” I’d already told her that my older daughter was in bed after working last night, my husband was in bed because the heat makes his pain so much worse, and my younger daughter was doing laundry (she was also sick from the heat and trying to cool down with cold baths and showers, but I wasn’t going to get into that). Ah, but they don’t know! If they came to see me, I would give them money!

I reminded her of what I said before, but she dismissed it, of course.

Shortly after, I got a message from my younger daughter, letting me know she was almost done and about to come out, soon.

I told my mother this.

Suddenly, she was ready to leave.

We had been hearing thunder for a while, and the wind had picked up, and my mother kept saying the rain was coming closer. It wasn’t, but weather does what it does. I started to put some things away, then turned around to find her putting herslef into the car. She wasn’t going to wait for my daughter!

I kept putting things away, though, taking enough time that my daughter could make it out. She then suggested she come along with us for the drive, which I happily accepted. The back seats on my mother’s car are laid down so we can put her walker in without having to fold it, so while my daughter went to open the gate, I quickly moved things around and got a seat up for her.

The conversation during the drive was only slightly uncomfortable, with my mother asking my daughter odd questions, then switching to Polish to tell me I need to have the girls help me put transplants in the garden, so they know how to do it.

They, of course, know full well how to put in a garden.

Once at my mother’s place, we stayed for a brief visit, until my mother suddenly veered into a racist rant, and my daughter suggested it was time to leave!

Which we did.

We stopped to get gas first, and I picked up some fried chicken for my daughter, as she had been too sick to have breakfast. We then parked the car with the AC going to eat. That gave me a chance to decompress by filling her in on how the visit went.

The whole thing left me feeling more tired than the 8 or so hours working outside in the heat, yesterday, did!

My husband and daughters all question why my brother and I haven’t just cut my mother off completely by now. Which we won’t do, because that would be wrong. Plus, my being here helps my brother out. He’d be the target of all her venom and bizarre behaviour, otherwise. She doesn’t really do it with our sister anymore, for some reason. But my goodness, it does get hard to “Honour thy father and thy mother” at times!

Well, it is what it is, and there’s not much we can do about it. Chances are, it’s going to get worse as she gets older, too. Or, I should say, keep getting worse.

We will handle it. That’s all we can do!

I am sure glad to get this over with, though, and I hope she won’t find another reason to want to come out here. Quite a difference from when we first moved here, and she still owned the property, when she told me that now that we were taking care of the farm for her, she never wanted to go back here again! Now when she doesn’t own it anymore, she still wants to use it to try and control me and my brother.

Ah, well. Such is life in our corner of the world.

The Re-Farmer

Our 2023 garden: first beans!

After the hours spent in the heat yesterday, my older daughter was a sweetheart and fed the outside cats in the morning, and I got to sleep in a bit before doing the rest of the morning rounds. Though I watered things last night, I watered some garden beds more this morning.

Including this one.

Last night, I was just starting to see some green Lewis bean seedlings breaking soil. Overnight, both yellow and green beans have emerged, and some of the green beans already have their true leaves. It’s always amazing, how fast beans can grow!

While watering the bed with the carrots protected by boards, couple more frogs jumped out. The cool damp conditions the boards create for the carrots are conditions the frogs like too! We are thinking about what to use to make little shelters for them to use, once the boards are removed. Frogs are a good thing to have in the garden!

While the Irish Cobbler and Red Thumb potatoes are emerging, there are still not Purple Peruvians showing up in the grow bags, and those were planted first. When we used the feed sacks and grow bags before, they did really well, but now I’m thinking they might be getting too much sun and heat, where the bags are set up now. We didn’t really count on having such a hot start to spring this year!

I’m glad I tended the garden as much as I did this morning. I’m back from bringing my mother here for a visit, then driving her home again, and I am pretty wiped out. Being with her for about 3 hours took more energy out of me than working outside in the heat for 8 hours, yesterday.

That, however, is a conversation for a different post! πŸ˜„

The Re-Farmer

I have the best brother

And he has the best wife.

It’s coming up on 4pm as I write this. We’ve actually started to cool down slightly. We’re now at 31C/88F, and the “feels like” is down to 34C/93F My daughter was keeping an eye on the temperatures, and she saw us at 32C/90F, and feeling like 38C/100F while we were still working outside.

Before they arrived, I did a bit of cleaning up of dead lilac, as the branches would be in the way as we mowed.

This corner of the storage house is usually hidden by the lilacs. It’s looking quite naked right now! Not a lot survived last year’s flooding, but there is plenty of new growth at the bottom, so it will recover soon enough.

This pile is just the lilac I cut away, none of the other trees trying to grow against the storage house. I did cut a few live branches. One was by accident. Other, much smaller, ones got cut because it was the only way to reach the dead ones they were next to.

When they arrived, I was surprised to see they brought two riding mowers. I didn’t know they even had two riding mowers! One has two blades on it, and that was the one I was expecting to see. It turns out they don’t use the smaller one much, but have it because it fits in between trees the bigger one can’t get through. They also brought a push mower and, as usual, my brother loaded the back of his truck with all sorts of tools and equipment. After many years coming out here, once a week, to help our late father with stuff, my brother learned he could not count on the tools and equipment he needed to still be on the farm. Even then, our vandal was “borrowing” things and not returning them. Of course, now, we’re about one step ahead of the stone ages, so he comes out loaded for bear!

Once the mowers were unloaded, I went to finish using the weed trimmer around the house, then switched to their push mower to do the tighter spaces while they worked on the inner and outer yards. Even their big mower, however, couldn’t do much in the area in front of the barn, where we had no been able to mow at all last year. That layer of thatch hidden under the fresh grass is just too thick. Enough was done, however, to leave me with a generous amount of dry clippings to use as mulch!

They were also able to mow the sides of the driveaway right to the fence lines, and continues the lane past the pump shack, all the way to the warehouse shed. Then my brother even mowed a path past some of the Korean Pine we planted in the outer yard, nearer the fire pit, all the way to the secondary gate.

I kept on using the push mower in the tighter spaces, and almost ran over this surprise.

I haven’t seen a Lady’s Slipper orchid in years! I certainly would never have expected to find one in the maple grove!

Once the push mowing was done, my brother got me to show him which 4 trees I wanted to have cut down, before showing me how to use the smaller riding mower. My SIL and I worked on the old garden area, which is really rough, while he worked on bringing down the trees.

That turned out to be a bigger deal than expected!

First, he brought out his gas powered weed trimmer – yes, he brought one of those, too! – to clear around the base of the dead trees a bit. Then he tried to first use his gas powered chainsaw. It hasn’t been used in a while, but it started.

Then it stopped, and would not start again!

He had a back up, of course. He brought out his battery powered chainsaw. With that, he was able to finish cutting down the first tree, then two more. The battery died while cutting down the 4th one. It was almost all the way through, so he went and got his extended pole chainsaw, which has only a 10 inch blade. It was enough to finish cutting the tree.

It didn’t fall.

The very tip of it was hung up on another dead tree.

By this time, my SIL and I had finished mowing. I had even manged to get a bit more done near the barn, but when even doing just a few inches at a time got to be too much for it and it died, I stopped. The rest is going to have to be done with the push mower.

It would have taken me days to get even half of all this done, without their help!

Of course, we did stop for breaks, hydration and food. Sitting in the shade with a breeze, it was actually quite nice out. The moment the wind stopped, or we stepped into the sun, though, it was like being in an oven!

After one of our breaks, we all went to see what was going on with the stuck tree. My brother ended up using a ladder to tie a rope as high as he could on it, and we tried to pull it loose. No go. We eventually brought out our electric chain saw, and he was able to free it up a bit more, and then we could finally get it moving.

Only for it to get stuck on another tree.

That was it, though. I have enough to start with.

It was while we were dealing with this when I started hearing a strange meowing sound from the lilac bush behind me. A bit of searching, and I found a familiar looking pair of ears above the deep grass.

Judgement was back!

I haven’t seen Judgement since the day before we got the email response from the vet, about how to bring him in without an appointment. After all this time, I was sure a coyote had got him.

He is not limping, either.

He seemed a bit standoffish at first, but eventually let me pet him. Then he followed me around for a while.

Before packing things up, my brother serious considered taking down the dead spruce tree closest to the house. That tree finally died just a couple of years ago. In the end, though, he didn’t dare take it down. There wasn’t much of a wind, but it would have been pushing against the direction the tree needed to fall. He considered having it fall the other way, but then it would have landed on top of a huge maplre branch leaning over the north yard.

So that tree was left alone for now.

They still had one more surprise for me before they loaded the riding mowers onto the trailer and left.

They realized how ridiculous it would be for me to keep up on the lawn with just a push mower. Between the weather and all the other, higher priority jobs that need to be done, it would be near impossible for me to keep up just want was mowed today.

They left the smaller riding mower for us to use, and my brother took the Bolens they bought for us our first summer here, and will see if he can fix it.

The shop I’d taken it to basically told me it wasn’t worth the cost to fix it, because it would be expensive, but would not be a permanent fix. We have neither the equipment, nor the knowledge, to do it ourselves. Heck, we don’t even have a safe way to work under it.

So we now have a riding mower, about the same size as the old Bolens mower, to help keep up on the lawns!

Did I mention, my brother and his wife are the best?

They are totally the best.

Meanwhile, the storms the weather apps said we might have, did not come even close to materializing. We’re going to have to do some deep watering this evening!

As for me, I can’t barely keep my eyes open as I write this.

I think, however, I will go cut myself an aloe vera leaf and make good use of the gel before I give in to the heat!

The Re-Farmer

Our 2023: got it done!

I was able to head outside this evening and finish the transplanting I didn’t get to do this morning.

My daughter had mulched the tomatoes with shredded paper for me while I was out. I made a trench in the mulch and transplanted the Red Wethersfield onions. Almost the entire tray of onions made it into the bed. All the other beds are bordered with the yellow Talon onion. That leaves the Red of Florence onions to transplant, and there are a lot of those! We’ll squeeze them in where we can, where they can help protect other plants from insects and deer.

I hope.

So this bed is now done!

Now we have to get other beds prepared. I’m really hoping we get a good rain tonight, to help cool things down and reduce the humidity!

The Re-Farmer

A bit behind…

I meant to have this video done and posted a while ago, but had some technical difficulties with my computer.

I don’t think my computer is much longer for this world!

Anyhow…

I did some time lapse video while direct sowing some greens and popcorn. I hope you like it. 😊

The Re-Farmer

Our 2023 garden: Roma tomatoes, mystery squash and other non-gardening stuff

It’s barely 3:30pm right now, and I could easily call it a day and go to bed right now!

I tried to get out early to beat the heat, but by 7:30, it was already feeling hot and muggy. The humidity is very high, and the uncut grass is covered with dew. Which means that, when the outside cats come over for breakfast, they tend to be completely soaked!

Like this bedraggled beast.

Decimous is so matted and full of burrs! Today, however, for the very first time, I got to give him ear and neck skritches – and he let me! He even started purring. He wasn’t sure about the situation, but he did let me reach out to give skritches – not pets – a few times. His fur is so full of lumps, burrs and mats, I’m sure petting him would be somewhat painful.

I was even able to confirm something.

He is a she.

Yup. Decimous is female.

She doesn’t look pregnant, though. I’m trying to think of how we can catch her and bring her inside, so we can lavish her with love (and wet cat food) and socialize her enough to get those mats cut out of her fur!! The problem, of course, is we already have too many cats in the house. I’d have to bring her into my room and have her in baby jail for a while. That is Marlee’s favourite hangout, though, and Marlee typically isn’t too keen on other cats.

We’ll figure it out.

My priority for this morning was to get as many of the Roma VF tomatoes transplanted in the last available bed as I could.

I focused on getting the largest ones in, first. I didn’t want to do three rows, since it’s harder to reach the middle, but … well, it is what it is. I’m sure I planted them closer together htan they should be. I staggered the rows to use the space more efficiently, and was able to get 41 transplants in It took a couple of hours. I didn’t have time to transplant tomatoes around the perimeter of the bed, nor mulch it right away. My daughter shredded more of our collected fliers and other garden safe paper while I was doing this, and brought out a couple of bags. As I write this, I honestly don’t know if she was able to get back outside to lay the shredded paper around the tomatoes. After that, they’d just need to be dampened, because the tomatoes were deeply watered while being transplanted.

Speaking of which…

These are the mystery squash that showed up with two of the tomatoes. I’d reused seed starting soil from pots where things did not germinate at all, and somehow missed that there were still viable seeds as I pulled out the sticks and rocks I was finding in the mix. We’ll see if they survive. If they do, I’ll find somewhere to plant them, after we get more beds ready. Right now, aside from a couple of scattered spots, we have nowhere left to put any transplants – including the more than 20 Spoon tomatoes, none of which are out, and another 20 or so leftover Romas!

So much work to do!

Today is our average last frost date, but in some places, we’re breaking 30 year heat records. I took some garden tour videos yesterday that I’ll put together and upload later. Lots of heat warnings and warnings for thunderstorms, with possible hail, etc.

The question is, will any of that rain reach us?

Once the transplants were in, I headed out early to my mother’s, stopping to pick up some Chinese food, which was my breakfast. Previously, my mother has started to say not to get rice, because rice makes her cough. She said to get her just lemon chicken. Unfortunately, the timing was off, and I was at her place on the one day of the week they closed. Then she mentioned some of her neighbours would get just onion rings from the restaurant; they have a small North American menu along with Chinese food menu. After that, she started saying she wanted onions rings. So today, I picked up both lemon chicken and onion rings for her, and a combination platter for me.

When I arrived with the food, she was first taken aback that I came early, but I told her I’d been working in the garden, and hadn’t and breakfast. I came early so we could eat together. Then she chastised me for not calling her first, because she’d had a large breakfast (she later mentioned what she had, and it was not a large breakfast. Just not typical breakfast fare). I hadn’t planned to do this, though, so calling ahead was not an option. After I set out the food, setting hers aside on the table while I sat down with my breakfast, she started nibbling on the onion rings anyway, then suddenly demanded to know why I got the lemon chicken, too, instead of just the onion rings. I reminded her that she’d talked about wanting lemon chicken in the past, and she didn’t have to eat it all at once if she didn’t want to . She then started talking about how it’s a “temptation” for her, and if there’s food in the fridge, she eats it…

I’m pretty sure that’s what food in the fridge is meant for.

I think she was trying to say that she had little self control when it came to food, but had a hard time coming up with the words for it!

After I’d eaten, and she nibbled, I suggested we head out earlier. She didn’t seem to want to go out and procrastinated. It wasn’t until we were in the car and on the road that she mentioned that, next time, she would give me a list and let me do her errands for here. Her knees are increasingly giving her grief. There’s one errand I can’t do, though, and that is to go the bank for her.

So we got her errands done and her groceries put away. She wanted me to take a couple of trees home with me, along with her vegetable peelings and a plant she’s decided is blocking her window too much (it isn’t).

I did have a bit of a surprise while checking on her air conditioner, next to her plant table. For some reason, it was set to go off at 26C, which is just way too hot. I lowered that, and it turned on and starting cooling things down, but for some reason, I was also feeling heat.

Yes, her heat was also on!

I checked her thermostat.

It was set to about 26C.

So she was heating and cooling her apoartment at the same time.

I turned that right down for her!

I didn’t take any plants from her, because I didn’t want them baking in the car while I did my own errands after I finished with hers. I had to ask her where the trees came from. Basically, she’s got a little maple and an elm in the pot together, and it looked odd. Turns out she’d found them in the few feet of garden space where she has some garlic growing – pretty much the only “gardening” she does right now – so she decided they should go to the farm and stuck them in a pot.

*sigh*

She has also been gathering linden seeds and is trying to get them to grow. She’s got at least a dozen that I could see, scattered at the top of a pot of soil. Something else she has in pots and plans to send to the farm.

This from the person that was laughing at me when I showed her pictures of the garden, because I had some herbs in a pot.

Somehow, my mother has got it in her head that, because the trees around her building drop seeds, she MUST gather then, give them to me to grow, or start growing them herself, so the trees can go to the farm, because they are “free”.

I’m getting a better understanding of why we have so many problem trees right now.

Also, we have GOT to get rid of the Chinese elms. There are millions of seeds drifting everywhere, and every bit of bare soil where I’ve planted seeds or transplanted something is getting filled with them. They have very deep tap roots, even as tiny seedlings, and are so hard to get rid of! There are other elms here that don’t do this, and they’re just fine, but the few Chinese elms are just horrible to deal with!

A job for another time, though.

Anyhow.

Even though my mother basically abandoned the farm a decade ago, she still wants to control what happens here, including giving me trees to plant that are basically weeds out of her own garden space.

She brought up when we can bring her out to the farm to see things – she still has seen only photos of the new roof. I told her that, weather willing, my brother and his wife are hoping to come out this weekend with their lawn mowing equipment to do the lawns. Right now, she wouldn’t be able to get through the grass with her walker! After that, we’ll see.

Once done at my mother’s, one of my errands was to go to the egg lady’s place. While driving out there, I went through several sections of driving rain! It was so good to see! There were a few times I was sure the car was being hit with hail. It wasn’t raining at the egg lady’s homestead, though, and they sure could have used some! She just finished processing 40 chickens, and was dying in the heat!

My next errand was back at my mother’s town, and I drove into rain again. It was awesome! The temperatures dropped about 10 degrees almost instantly, from 31C/88F (“feels like” 34C/93F!), to 20C/68F. It was still coming down so hard when I was ready to come home, I sent a message to let the family know it might be slow driving. And it was.

For a little while.

Then I drove out of the rain, and the closer I got t home, the drier it got.

As of this writing, we still have had no real rain at all. There might have been a few drips here and there, but nothing more.

*sigh*

Looks like our climate bubble is back in action.

We’ll see how things turn out. If it stays dry and keeps cooling down with the wind, I might be able to get more weed trimming done. I need to focus around the garden beds, and where we need to build up the squash patch and where the permanent trellis beds will be built.

Meanwhile, my poor daughter has been busting her butt, cleaning the kitchen and trying to catch up on the dishes, in this heat!

I think I need to shut down my computer, though. It’s starting to act up in the heat. It’s a good thing I know how to touch type, because I’ve been typing entire paragraphs, without anything actually showing up on the screen for almost a minute.

So if there are a lot of typoes or strange sentences in this post, it’s because I’m typing blind right now!

The Re-Farmer

A bit of a beach day

It feels like it’s been such a long day.

I meant to get up earlier to get things watered before it got too warm, but it was feeling too warm, right from the start. We’re getting heat warnings now, as we’re supposed to get even hotter on the weekend, with predicted highs of 30C/86F+, and a humidex of 38C/100F

My daughter and I got the transplants out, and I was on the road soon after. I went to the nearest Canadian Tire, where I could get the air filter I need for their brand of lawn mower that we have, as well as a spare roll of weed trimmer line. I couldn’t believe how much more expensive those are now! The air filter wasn’t cheap, either. I will not be getting more fire bricks this month. I can’t justify it in the budget. I’d brought a couple of our water jugs along to refill in town on the way home, but realized I could fill them at Canadian Tire for half the price, so I did that, too. Which meant I didn’t have room in the cart for the stove pellets that I also had on my list, so when I was asked if I needed help with getting to the car (they are stored in the exit vestibule, so they need to be paid for first, then picked up), I said yes. When a strapping young man arrived to help out and I told him I paid for 2 bags, but they wouldn’t fit in the cart with the jugs of water, he grabbed one 40 pound bag first and followed me to the car. With heavy stuff like that, I try to make sure the weight is evenly distributed above the axle, so I took the bag from him and tossed it where I wanted it to go myself.

He gave me a rather strange, surprised look when I did that!

While he went back for the second bag, I made sure the water jugs were in the middle before I took the second bag from him and fit it on the other side of the jugs.

I got another strange look.

Yes. Short, fat, middle aged women can have muscle, too! πŸ˜‚

Once everything was put away, I drove across the street to the Walmart and picked up a couple of things I hadn’t been able to get during my Costco run. By that time, our pharmacy was open, so I messaged my husband, asking him to phone in my refills for pick up. The drive to town was more than long enough for them to be able to get that ready.

My husband had let me know that there were several packages read for pick up at the post office, but they were closed for lunch by the time I got to town, so a gassed up and headed home. The driving today burned about half a tank of gas! My mother’s car is not very good on gas, but with a heavy load and the A/C going, it sure does burn through more!

Once at home and unloaded, I left the car in the yard, and my daughter later loaded it with garbage and recycling. I didn’t think to check until we were already heading out, and my daughter was closing the gate behind us. It was just 2pm. We have a card to show the attendant that includes the summer and winter hours for the three dumps in our municipality.

The dump opens at 2pm in the winter. We’re in summer hours now. It wasn’t going to open for another 2 hours!

Neither of us liked the idea of leaving the car to bake in the sun while full of garbage, so we headed out, anyhow. We picked up the parcels, then kept going back to town, with plans to check out the lake. My daughter mentioned she hadn’t eaten yet today, because of the heat, so I got her fed, first. The drive and the meal used up an hour for us! Then we went walking on the beach.

The town had just recently raked the beach, so it was all smooth and clean.

I much prefer the rocky parts of the beach, though.

It’s far more interesting!

Looking at the weather app, town was 5Β° cooler than home! What a difference the lake makes. As hot as things are right now, no one was in the water. It would still be too cold for swimming.

It sure was nice to walk the beach with that cool breeze coming off of it! It’s been ages since we’ve gone to the beach.

After that, we headed back and got to the dump pretty much just as it opened, then back home.

I need to get outside and water some of the garden beds, but it’s still too warm. It’s 25C/77F right now, and I don’t want to risk burning plants with the hot water from the hose being in the sun all day, only to then shock them with cold well water. We’ve had smatterings of rain, but not enough to increase the water level in the rain barrel. I could fill it with a hose and let it warm up, but you can bet that once I did that, we’d finally get one of those thunderstorms they keep predicting, and I’d have to set up the diverter! πŸ˜„

For now, I’m just enjoying being home. I still need to help my mother with errands tomorrow. I keep forgetting to call the garage to arrange to bring the van in to be checked out, but we’ll need to do that soon.

I look forward to when all the running around is done for a good long while! I want to crawl into my hermit cave now. πŸ˜„

The Re-Farmer

Costco top up: this is $260

Good grief, it’s hot out there.

It’s 5:30pm as I start writing this, and I’ve just got back in from outside.

I’ve got one app telling me it’s 26C/79F out there, another saying it’s 23C/73F. The thermometer in the sun room is reading 30C/86F

The thermometer outside my husband’s south facing window is reading just under 50C/122F.

My feeling is that it’s more like 30C in the shade right now, but I’ve no doubt that anyone sitting in the sun right now would be feeling like it’s closer to that 50C/

We’ve got inconsistent predictions of thunderstorms. I really hope we get on, if only to reduce the humidity!

Anyhow.

I headed out late this morning and ran some errands before heading to the city. This included dropping off some extra tomato transplants – one of the Spoon tomatoes was starting to bloom! – and pick up a flat of eggs. The egg lady went to pick the last few to fill the flat but was still short 2, and promised to add extra the next time we get eggs! I will have to go back to pick up the baking tray I used to carry the pots of transplants, anyhow.

Before going to Costco, I met up with my SIL for lunch, and we had a fabulous time. Gosh, I love her so much! My brother really picked a good one. πŸ˜‰ We talked about how things are going here on the farm, of course. They know we’ve been having a hard time keeping up with some things. Especially the lawn. They are thinking of loading their lawnmowers up on their trailer and coming to help out on the weekend. What day will depend on the weather. It would be fabulous if they could make it, just because we enjoy their company so much.

After that, it was off to Costco to get gas – prices there are 149.9 cents/litre for regular right now – then we parted ways.

I had a short list for Costco, but it still came out to $259.66 after taxes.

For that amount, I got four 9kg bags of kibble, at $28.99 each, 4 packages of wraps that I forgot last time, at $9.99 each (they got one bag to themselves), a bag of flour for $9.99, and the baking powder I forgot last time; a 2pk for $8.99. I had spaghetti on my list, but couldn’t find it, so I got a variety pack of pasta for $12.99. Things that weren’t on the list but that we get regularly included the 2pk of lemon juice, for $4.99 and a 2pk of butter chicken sauce for $9.99

There were a couple of things on my list that I did not expect to find at Costco, but find them I did. I picked up a 3pk of WD-40 for $19.99, plus a 30 cent eco fee. I was going to just get one can elsewhere, but decided to spring for this one. The larger cans have different spray options, and the tiny can will be handy to keep in the garage.

I also did not expect to find a new spray nozzle for the hose at Costco. I got a 2 pk set for $19.99 Much like the 2pc set I got last time (which started to break fairly quickly), on has a nozzle with multiple settings, while the other has a nozzle where the spray is kinda like the control on a spry bottle; turn the tip to go from jet to a wide cone, and everything in between.

Of course, once I got home, I had to test it out. At least the multi-setting one.

My first confusion was, how to turn it on. It doesn’t have a squeeze trigger. I could see that there was something to do with the thumb rest, but there was nothing on the packaging about it. At least not in writing. If I’d paid more attention, I’m sure I would have figure it out from the picture. The thumb rest pushes forward and back, which I discovered almost by accident. The feature I like best, though, is that it can turn 360ΒΊ, without having to turn or twist the hose itself. I have high hopes for this set. It cost less than the Walmart set I got last time, but seems to be much stronger in construction.

So this top up is done. I’ll still need to make a Canadian Tire, possibly Walmart, trip but that will be to pick up just a few things, like the litter pellets, an air filter for the lawn mower, and more line for the weed trimmer. I might end up doing that tomorrow, since I’m going to help my mother with errands the day after.

And then, hopefully, I won’t have to go anywhere again for awhile!

The Re-Farmer

First flower!

Once things started to cool down, I went out to do some weed whacking. I especially wanted to get the outside of the chain link fence cleared, because the grass was getting so tall, it was interfering with the garden beds on the inside.

While trimming the grass by the gourds, I realized I was seeing something new!

This is our very first Zucca melon flower!

When we tried to grow these last year, we had four transplants, and they all got flooded out. One did start to recover, but by the end of the season, it was still smaller than this one was when I transplanted it here. And now we have a flower!

This was not the only surprise flower I saw today. While trimmed around the outhouse and the raised box beds, I saw a tree deeper in the spruce grow in full bloom. It looks like another rather large apple tree. There is another one nearby that we had uncovered while cleaning the edges of the spruce grow that had already bloomed and is done. The nearby cherries have also bloomed and are done. It should be interesting to see what we find in there in the fall!

While moving closer to look at the flower tree, I walked through the tall grass of an area we’ve been able to clear so far. It’s quite overgrown with crab grass and some of the poplars we cleared are trying to come back.

I found flowers among the grass and weeds.

There are strawberries in there! Because they are surrounded by the crab grass, the plants are a lot taller and thinner than the ones we planted with the asparagus, but they are most definitely not the very fine wild strawberries we have growing elsewhere. I have no idea why there would be strawberries in here. There is also a path of some kind of lily that started to grow after we cleared away the area of dead trees and other detritus.

You’d think, after being here for more than 5 years, we wouldn’t still be finding surprises like this, yet there they are!

Eventually, I would like to transplant the strawberries I found to someplace where they won’t be competing with crab grass to grow!

As for weed whacking the edges of the yard and around some garden beds, I didn’t finish the job, yet. There is still lots to do, but it will have to keep. It likely won’t be tomorrow; as I plan to head into the city to do our second Costco shop. I’ll be making a couple of stops along the way, and just arranged to meet my SIL for lunch, since the Costco I go to is a fairly short drive from their place.

It’s been a long day for me, even though I did end up taking a nap (woke up to find Cheddar using my hand as a pillow!), and it’s going to be a long one tomorrow, too, though in a very different way. The girls were able to put things away, bring in the plants, and close things up for the night for me while I took a break and hydrated.

Now, it’s time for a shower, and bed!

The Re-Farmer