A bit more progress

The thunder I heard as I finished up my post last night was a storm that passed to the north of us, but we did get rain. A steady rain all night, and almost all morning. Enough that we’ve got water in all the usual pooling areas again.

When the rain stopped, I headed out to try scything, and to see if it was any easier with wet grass.

Honestly, I can’t say for sure, one way or the other.

I did a bit more beside the main garden. Hit another patch of mostly alfalfa, which made cutting difficult. Then I did the paths in the maple grove. The grass there is sparse, and there’s about as much creeping bellflower as grass. That went quite easily.

Then I went to the outer yard.

The area I had been working on before, because the grass was still upright, is no longer upright. I’d started working from the driveway side because that gave me an open side where the swaths of hay could be deposited in windrows. The wind flattened the grass from the other direction, though, and to be able to cut it, the most effective way would be to work from the root side. Which meant starting from the barn.

The area in front of the barn was flattened in all directions, where the wind would have swirled around in circles there. It’s an awkward space to work in. Once that was done, I started working my way towards the driveway.

What a brutal job it was, and what a mess I made of it!

First off, I’ve never buried the toe of the blade into the ground so often! The flattened grass almost pushed the tip downwards. Second, I was hack and slashing a path through the middle of tall grass. There was no open space on one side to deposit the windrow. It had to be dumped on top of uncut grass, some of which was even taller than what I was cutting, and the lengths kept getting hung up on the blade.

I got a little more than half way to the driveway before calling it a day. Working in 16C/61F was a lot more pleasant that yesterday’s 28C/83F, but the cutting itself was brutal.

Once that first swath is cut, it’ll be easier. It’ll still be a pain cutting flattened hay, but I’ll have the open space on one side and will no longer be getting the blade hung up on still attached grass at the end of my cutting stroke.

There is a lot to cut in here and, when that’s done, I will need to cut the area in front of the warehouse, too. Right now, it’s almost inaccessible. Then, if I’m really ambitious, I’d like to cut a lane to the secondary driveway. I still need to properly repair the gate, and right now the grass about as high as the gate itself!

On the plus side, I’m finally going to have lots of mulch for the garden beds!

The Re-Farmer

Monthly shop, changed plans, and soooo tired

It’s just past 5pm as I start this post, and I could go to bed right now! What a day it has turned out to be.

One of my husband’s disability payments came in today, so it would be our normal day to go into the city and to at least half of our monthly stocking up shopping in the city.

Except, I got a call from my Mom last night.

Her apartment is being sprayed for bed bugs again, today. She needs to be away from the spray for at least 12 hours. Last time, she stayed at my sisters, but she did not want to do that. There is a motel right next to her building, so she was going to book a room there. They did not have any vacancies, however.

After talking to her about it, I ended up calling another motel in town and booking a room for her, and arranging to be at my mother’s place before the exterminators showed up.

Which meant doing my morning rounds (and finishing off the outside kibble bin!) earlier than usual.

I had a sad find.

One of our highbush cranberry saplings had been chomped! It was doing so well, too. 😥 I doubt it can recover from this. I figure it was a deer. Nothing else seemed to be damaged, at least. Not that I stuck around to check too closely. Since I was going to be leaving soon, I didn’t use any bug spray. I got eaten alive! How aggressive and voracious they are this year!

A short version of my rounds done, I headed out with my mother’s car, since I was expecting to drive her to her motel room. Since the road closed sign was removed earlier this week, I drove up our road, through were it was washed out this spring.

What an excellent job done on the repairs! I can’t remember the road ever looking so good. 😁 They built it up a bit, too. Hopefully, that will prevent it from getting washed out again.

The motel I booked my mom at is with the gas station I usually go to. I had to fill her tank anyhow, so I went ahead and got her registered, got her key, and even went ahead and paid for it, so she wouldn’t have to bother. Not having a credit card threw them for a bit, as they don’t really have any alternative. They took my driver’s license number, instead. Then, just in case, I made sure to leave my contact information along with her information, in case of emergency.

Then it was off to my mother’s. Last time, they showed up right at 9 and they did her apartment first, so I was sort of expecting the same. I was about half an hour early, which gave us time to bag up her bedding, and I cleared her storage closet floor that she forgot about. She didn’t back up anywhere near as much as last time. She’s just so tired and frustrated. She kept saying she only saw two bed bugs this morning and she killed them, so it should be fine. She simply refuses to accept that there would be more of them that she can see, and that she would not be able to see the eggs at all. No amount of cleaning or running her fingers along the edging of her mattress to squish things will get rid of them. Not only does she refuse to believe me (or my siblings; we’ve all been trying to explain it to her), but she’s starting to get angry at being told this. She isn’t getting it, and not because she can’t understand our explanations. She simply refuses to accept it. This is only the second time her apartment is being spray. One of her neighbours was getting sprayed for the 6th time!

The exterminators, however, didn’t arrive at nine. By 10, we were wondering what was going on. I ended up phoning the provincial department that owns her building. It turned out they didn’t start with this town this time. They started in another town, about a half hour’s drive away. There was no way to know when they would arrive at my mother’s building.

In the end, I just had to leave. I needed to get to the city. My mother had a neighbour that would be able to drive her to her motel (I’m so glad I got the key already!), so I promised I would check on her on the way home, then went on to the city.

Since I was using my mother’s little car, a Costco trip was out of the question. There’s no way her car could fit our usual Costco trips. Instead of the usual 3 or 4 places I usually hit on these trips, I only did two. The first was a Walmart, where getting more cat food was a priority. I got only four 9 kg bags this time. Usually, I get six 7kg bags of their house brand, but the cats don’t like it as much, and I decided the bigger bags was worth it.

It’s a good thing those bags have waterproof linings on the inside, because while I was loading the back of my mother’s car, I got hit with a deluge of rain! At one point, I thought it might actually turn to hail.

Hatchbacks provide zero shelter! With our van, I could at least have had partial shelter under the lift gate, but a hatchback does nothing!

I spent just under $300 at the Walmart, and half of that was cat food, including a case of wet cat food. And that’s only about a third of what we need for the month.

Next, I went to the international grocery store we like, where I could also pick up some dim sum for breakfast… er… lunch! 😂 This is the store where we can get things like a big slab of uncut bacon, and a particular band of energy drinks no one else seems to carry anymore.

One thing I did NOT get here was butter.

Those brand name butters used to be just over $6 a pound. Now their regular price is almost $10! We’ve never bought these butters, and would just get the house brand. Those are almost $6 a pound, now. Not that long ago, they were in the $3.50 range.

I just checked out an exchange rate converter. As of today:

Cdn$9.79 = US$7.47

Cdn$9.99 + US$7.62

Sale price $8.49 = US$6.49

Cdn$5.99 = US$4.57

The last time we were at Costco, their house brand butter was just under $5/US$3.81 a pound. I hope they haven’t gone up much, since! We typically buy 10 pounds of butter for 1 month.

I didn’t buy butter, but I did end up buying some ghee. The sale price for the jar was almost $23/US$17.54 It’s shelf stable, though, and has a higher smoke point, to it may be worth it. We’ve never used ghee before. If we like it, we’ll learn how to make our own ghee.

The shopping done, I headed home, making sure to stop to see how my mother was doing along the way. I even remembered to pick up a little something for her to snack on along with her complimentary coffee. Only it turned out there was no en suite coffee set up. The complimentary coffee was at the gas station. This is the gas station that has the excellent fried chicken and wedges my mother likes so much, so when I got her her complimentary coffee, I also picked up enough chicken and wedges for a couple of meals. With the exterminators taking so long, I figured my mother hadn’t had lunch at all, and I think I was right. She was quite ready to have her “supper”, even though it was not even 3pm yet! 😁

Since I had stuff in the car that needed to be refrigerated, I couldn’t stay too long. She was well set up, though. My sister will be taking my mother home tomorrow, and helping her wash her bedding. I’ll be back again with the equipment for my mother’s sleep test, the day after. The equipment needs to be returned to the city on Tuesday, so that will be a good time to do the rest of our stock up shopping.

Once at home, Potato Beetle had to be put into a carrier in the sun room before the car could be unloaded. After everything was unloaded and I’d topped up the kibble trays outside, as well as his in the sun room, I made sure to give him some of the kitty treats I also picked up. I think he forgave me the indignity of being put into the carrier for that!

Exactly a week from now, he’ll be at the vet getting snipped, then it’s another 4 days in the sun room before we can let him out again.

As for me, I am practically falling asleep in my chair as I type this! These trips drain me at the best of times, but all the extra stuff with my mother just sucked the energy out of me.

I wonder how badly I’ll screw myself up if I got to bed at only 6pm? 😄

Oh, crud. I just remembered. My mother’s car is still in the front yard. I forgot to put it in the garage!

Guess I’d better put some pants on and take care of that.

🤣

The Re-Farmer

I got tired, so I built a bench

This afternoon I worked on pruning away some low hanging branches on the Chinese elm by the chain link fence. We’ve pruned these a few times over the past few years, but they fill in again so quickly! It had gotten to the point that some branches were overhanging our “parking lot” – which meant they were also starting to shade the tomatoes we have planted against the chain link fence too much.

Thankfully, we have a really good, really long, extended pruning saw! Once I got the biggest branch down, it uncovered a bunch of dead branches that I took down as well. The branches were big enough that I had to break them down before I could haul them to the branch pile for chipping. I also used the loppers to cut away a whole lot of new little branches that were low enough to snag on my hat every time I walked by!

While it wasn’t an exceptionally hot day today, it was still hot enough to make the job less than pleasant. What I found myself really wanting to do was be able to just sit down in the shade every now and then. There’s nowhere to sit in that side of the yard. So, when I was done cleaning up the branches, I decided to go into the barn and see what I could find to build something.

This is what I came out with. Three pieces of scrap wood.

They’ve been in the barn for a long time, so I hosed them down and gave them a scrubbing to get the worst of the dust and dirt off.

I had only a general idea in mind of how I wanted to build this. There’s one 10 inch wide board for the seat, and a 2×4 for the legs – and it’s actually a true 2×4; I was wondering why these boards seemed bigger than the usual 2x4s you get from the lumber yard. Those are cut to 2×4, then shrink while curing, so they’re actually 1 1/2 x 3 1/2. The third board, with the white paint on it, is that kind of 2×4, and you can see the difference in size in the picture. I added that board for structural support.

For the legs, after cutting off the rotten end of the board, I was able to cut four pieces at 20 inches long. That left a slightly shorter piece that I used for a centre support. I then cut six 9 inch pieces for cross pieces and structural support. The legs for the ends were joined with the cross pieces at what will be the top of the legs. For the slightly shorter centre leg, I lined it up with the others and added the cross piece so that they all matched in height.

Normally, I would have used screws for this, but I didn’t want to fight with our drill, so I dug up a bucket of nails we found while cleaning out the house that were long enough.

Then I flipped them around and added more cross pieces to the pairs of legs, to make sure they wouldn’t wiggle out of place. For the support leg in the middle, I added another cross piece to support the seat. The board had a section of tree bark on it and was rounded, so I could only manage two nails on one side. Not as strong as I would have liked, but it should hold.

Then it was time to add the seat. Which was a pain in the butt. I don’t have any clamps. The bench pieces were laid out on its side, and I had to support the leg pieces with my legs while I nailed the seat in place. Since the legs are an inch narrower than the seat itself, I also had to hold the leg pieces up half an inch at the same time. It actually worked far better than I expected! 😄

Once I had a single nail in each leg, I could lift the bench up off its side, and do the rest of the nailing.

I had company.

The big black and white kitten came back to see what I was doing!

It is so very cute!

There we have it! The bench is done!

It’s actually a bit of a mess. I was using a hand saw or the mini-chainsaw to make my cuts, and they are far from straight or tidy. I’m sure the lengths aren’t exact, either. But then, it’s also going to be sitting on uneven ground, so it really doesn’t make much of a difference. Once the legs are settled into the softer ground, it’ll work itself out. In fact, it seemed just fine when I tested it out and sat in the shade for a while.

The seat hadn’t completely dried out from being washed, though! 😂

I should probably add some angled pieces under the seat to prevent any wobble, but between the cross pieces under the seat and the centre support, it’s pretty sturdy. With the legs at 20 inches, plus the thickness of the seat, the bench is slightly higher than typical, which makes it much better on my wrecked knees. Setting it up against the log border of this bed means that I can use the log as a foot rest, too.

All we need to do now is pick up some more paint. We’ve got the tree stump bench near the garden that needs to be painted, too.

So far, we’ve got the picnic table in a bright, almost peacock blue, and the kibble house is a bright yellow. The inside of the outhouse is a pale mint.

What colour do you think I should paint the benches? Should we go with something bright again? Or more subtle? I find myself thinking a deep red would be nice. Or maybe a green similar to the lilac bushes beside it?

Any suggestions?

The Re-Farmer

Disconnected

Something weird happened with our intern during a storm last night. We lost internet, but it didn’t come back right. At the moment, I can only connect with my phone. It won’t let my desktop connect. Even the tablet I use with our security camera can’t connect. It can’t even fund any networks.

My daughters tell me they have the same issues. Unfortunately, the modem is in my husband’s bedroom, and he’s medicated and asleep right now.

Hopefully, we’ll be able to figure out the problem, soon.

The Re-Farmer

Just made it

Today turned out to be quite pleasant out. Though we had some rain last night, it wasn’t enough to refill the areas that were turned into pools not long ago. More rain was being predicted, however, so today was dedicated to trying to get the lawn mowed! Especially some of the area that have been neglected, due to the conditions.

I was able to get more done around the outhouse, and some of the area behind the three low raised beds near the compost ring. I also got some of the area in the spruce grove cleared. Nowhere near what needs to be done, but I at least cleared the stumps from the dead trees I cut down last year. The grass and weeds were so tall, the stumps were completely hidden, as was a tree top that fell in high winds a while back. That needs to be dragged out to the branch pile for chipping. It’s next to the dead tree marked with an orange X in the background. We’ve done no clean up in the spruce grove at all this year. The spirea is reclaiming much of it, even though I pulled them out by the roots as much as possible. They spread so fast! The Saskatoon berries can be picked, but they’re hard to get to with the undergrowth. Plus, the deer at the lower branches and twigs, so the only berries are way up high. The bushes are flexible and can be bent down to reach. I’ve made no effort to gather any. I’ve tasted some, and they’re not very good this year. Plus, a lot of them have … stuff… on them. Some, it looks like an orange powder. Others, it’s a tan colour that look like spores. Things like that. We had only one good year of berries since we uncovered them, but it looks like whatever fungus or mold or whatever that has been affecting the Saskatoons in other areas has hit these ones, too. I think we’re just going to have to bite the bullet, take them out completely, and buy healthy trees – making sure to plant them well away from where they are now! I’d had to plant new trees, only for them to get hit by something in the soil that’s making these ones sickly.

As for the stumps, we won’t be making them into benches or tables until after the dead trees around them are cut down, but I can still prep them. At the very least, I want to cut the tops straight, and debark them. Maybe apply some paint to the top to keep them from getting wet and rotting before we can attach things to them.

I FINALLY managed to mow most of the space in the maple grove. Well. Not most. We can access the branch piles now, at least. The other half will wait for another day.

I finally remembered to take a “before” picture, of sorts. It’s always so incredibly difficult to mow here, because of how uneven the ground is. Last year, I used the weed trimmer, rather than put the mower through it. Not an option, this time. It’s hard to tell, but in the background is where we tried to grow purple corn last year. The ground still has “hills” where the rows were, so I wasn’t able to mow there before. Some of the greenery in there was taller than me.

I managed to get that section done, just as it was starting to rain.

Normally, we would have all that area in the background mowed, too, but this is as far as we’re going to do, this year.

I estimate it took about 5-6 hours of mowing time for what I got done. That included mowing the paths to the Korean Pine trees. It’s been a while since we’ve made our way out there. I had to stop and uncover several of them to pull the weeds that grew up around them. The covers we’re using are not very high, so the weeds ended up filling the space. The covers are working well, but they are already getting to be too small. The saplings are touching the tops already. The one that got dug up by a critter, then replanted, is most certainly dead, though. One loss isn’t too bad, though. It could have been much worse!

Along with the rest of the maple grove, I still need to mow the other side of the garden area, and the parts of the outer yard where we drive that I’d been able to mow before. I won’t have enough fuel to finish the job, though. Any gas budget we have left is needed for the van or my mother’s car, so I won’t be getting more until pay comes in, but that’s just a few days away. It’s unlikely I’ll have another chance to mow anytime soon, though; we’re supposed to get thunderstorms over the next two days, then rain after that. I’m glad I got as much done as I did! It’s been quite frustrating, not to be able to get the work down outside that I’ve been wanting to. It feels good to get even this little bit done!

The Re-Farmer

It’s in!

Today, my new-new keyboard came in! And by mail, too, so I didn’t have to drive to town to pick it up. 😄

Here is a comparison.

The top keyboard (the one already full of cat hair!) is the French keyboard my husband ordered for me by mistake. The bottom is the English keyboard that came in today.

Interesting.

That extra key next to the left Shift key is gone, as is the extra key by the Enter key, which I am quite happy about. The arrangement of keys by the Enter key is also back to what I was used to. No more keys with a third symbol on them I couldn’t use. The Alt key on the right of the space bar is now just a regular Alt key again. The new edit key, MS Office shortcut and emoji keys are still there. I’m amused that the emoji keys have different symbols on them.

The physical differences are minor, but it’s amazing how much of a difference it makes in my ability to touch type. Everything “fits” my hands better.

The French keyboard still works perfectly fine, and I was intending to give it to my husband. However, he went and bought himself a gamer keyboard that also came in today. (Discovering that things can be purchased through Amazon on payment plans is a bit too convenient!) The keys and letters light up, which is something I would love on my own keyboard. Lights won’t wear off. However, I am not willing to give up the ergonomic design for it!

I like being able to type without pain!

So the French keyboard is now set aside as a backup, available to use the next time we have a keyboard die on us. Which is more of a thing for me, since I’m the only one that can’t use the other back up keyboards we had!

The Re-Farmer

A break in the rain

When I headed out to do my rounds this morning, we were having a steady, heavy rainfall. I got completely soaked!

The rain did nothing to slow the mosquitoes down, of course. *sigh*

The rain kept falling for hours. It has stopped for now, so I made a quick check on how things are outside, and to see if an expected parcel got dropped off at the gate (it had not). The driveway is half under water again. The low area along the fence line on the north side of the driveway is a pond again, as is the spot in front of the outhouse, behind the garage. The grass hides most of it, but that whole east yard is under water.

People have been posting photos and video online, and I just had to call to check on my mother. The town she is in has been flooding. I have not been able to confirm, but I’ve heard they got about 5 inches – inches, not cm – of rain in 3 hours. That’s almost 14cm. In the news, I’ve heard that parts of the province are expected to get 15cm of rain, but that’s over the day, not in just a few hours! My mother told me that the lane behind her building is a river right now, and the front of her building is under water. Water had been leaking into their common room, too, but people had already been brought in to fix it. The photos I’m seeing posted online are amazing. Even with all the flooding we had this spring, this town did not get that sort of flooding!

We didn’t get anywhere near as much rain as where my mother is, though we got enough that there are areas of water in the paths around the low raised beds. Not so much that the ground level beds are under water, at least. Our squash, melon and potato beds are just very wet, but not in puddles, though there is some standing water in between the sweet corn. I just had to get a picture of the tomato bed in the main garden area. There are so many tomatoes on all the plants! The other tomato beds are also handling things well, and I’m starting to see Yellow Pear tomatoes starting to form. No Chocolate cherry, yet.

I very briefly spotted some kittens on the board pile. They seem to be quite okay with their kibble being softened by the rain. I didn’t try to do more than top up their kibble, as the clouds of mosquitoes along the edge of the spruce grove, where the board pile is, are pretty insane.

We are still under thunderstorm watch, though more for the southern areas than here, with possible hail and torrential rainfall. For us, we’ve still got high winds, but so far, just enough to flatten the hay I haven’t scythed yet, but not enough to take down branches or trees. At least not around the house and inner yard.

Checking the 30 yr record for our area, we are still pretty average. Nowhere near breaking any records for temperature or rainfall. I suspect my mother’s town may have broken some rainfall records today, though!

While we aren’t about to go anywhere soon, because of the condition of our own driveway, the spring flood damage on the roads around us have been almost completely repaired, so at least we will be able to get out, if we really need to. We’re doing quite all right, here, and for that, I am grateful.

The Re-Farmer

Old and New

Today, we went into town to pick up my early birthday take out dinner (Chinese food!). I took advantage of it to stop at the Purolator drop off location to see if my new keyboard made it in. We were supposed to get a call from Purolator once it was delivered, and we hadn’t gotten one, but I figured I’d check.

It was there! Yay!

I am now typing this on my brand new, ergonomic keyboard, which is an updated version of my old one.

My old one is in the eco-waste pile, so I’ve been using the older one my husband was using, which had been mine before then. It works, but many of the keys are worn off, which is why my husband was willing to trade with me. He doesn’t do as much typing as I do.

As they are both Microsoft ergonomic keyboards, how the keys sit is almost exactly the same. Which means I am not having issues with finding keys, nor is their pain in my hands trying to type, as there was with the other keyboards I tried.

There are, however, some differences.

The overall dimensions are slightly different. My husband wasn’t interesting in taking the keyboard back, so I put it into the box for the new one, as an emergency back up. It was a tight fit, and the lid doesn’t close completely, so the new one is ever so slightly smaller than the old one.

The keys, however…

What the heck?

The first thing to figure out is the new key next to the left hand shift key. The space is the same, but now there are 2 keys in it, and the new key is on the inside. There are three symbols on the new key, but all I can get out of it are \ and | which are not shown on the key itself. As for the shift key, I’m going to have to get used to stretching my pinky out slightly further to hit shift instead of the new key.

The other things is, it’s in French for some keys, pictographs on others. The Home key is now a diagonal arrow, for example, while the Esc key is now Echap (I still haven’t figure out how to do the E with an accent). Entre is Entree. Print Screen i snow Arret Defit, which apparently is now an editable screen grab of some sort. I haven’t tried it yet. There are two Suppr. keys. The one above the arrow keys used to be the Delete key, and the one higher up now has Impr. and Suppr. keys, where there used to be Print and Lock.

The number keys above the letter keys now have an extra symbol on them, as do some other keys. Which would be handy, if I could figure out how to use that third symbol. Something other than the shift key must access it, but what? Also, the ~ and ` key next to the 1 now has different symbols on it – the symbols that the new key by the left hand shift now has.

There is a new key between the Ctrl and Windows keys which shows the same pop up as when I right click in my typing field. To the right of the spaced bar, the Alt key is now Alt Gr – and as far as I can tell, it does nothing. Next to that is a short cut to MS Office. Which I happen to have at the moment, but I just have a shortcut to Word on my taskbar. Then there is an emoji key.

Yes. I can now do emojis on my keyboard.

🍤🥠🍗🍚🎈🎁

Ok, look. I can illustrate my birthday dinner. 😀 Oh, wait… 😃

Can you see them as emojis, or do they just look like weird symbols to you?

Oh, I just realized there is a third Suppr key. It’s the Delete key on the number pad. Which makes more sense than having one where the Lock key was.

I went to check the order on Amazon and, after several checks, I found where you could choose a French or English keyboard. English was the default. Yet we got a French keyboard. Not in function, but in labeling.

Today happens to be Amazon Prime day, though, and the keyboard is about half price.

My husband is ordering another one – making double sure that the English one gets ordered. French is his first language, so he can have the new French keyboard once the English one comes in. It really doesn’t make much of a difference, functionally, but it will be less of a distraction for me.

Aaannnd… It’s done. It should get here in roughly a week, and should come by mail this time, not Purolator.

Aside from that, I tried to find a keyboard map that I hoped would show me how to access those third symbols on so many keys. I’ve found descriptions of the new features on the keyboard, then it says to download an app to customize hot keys. I don’t want to download anything extra. I just want to know how to use the default functions.

I’m actually quite happy with it, and even as I type this post, I am getting used to things like reaching that left shift key, and not hitting the new key, instead.

The main thing is, I can type, and it doesn’t hurt, like with every other keyboard I’ve tried.

The Re-Farmer

Fixed

Last night, my younger daughter was able to crawl under the kitchen sink and get it fixed. Yay!

This the old stuff she removed.

What a mess! Just disintegrated!

The sink the pieces are in was much like this when she fixed it our first spring here.

The new drain kit is very different. The cup is deeper, and it has a completely different stopper, both in how it fits in the drain, and aesthetic appearances. I didn’t see it until later, or I would have included it in the picture. It’s not standard at all, and I don’t recall seeing replacements of it anywhere. I’m thinking, if I ever do see a replacement stopper in that style, I’d better pick up some extras, just in case. I suspect they will be harder to find compared to the usual design. Still, I’m happy with the design. I think it actually works better than the standard ones.

I really appreciate that my younger daughter is up to being our plumber for jobs like this. She’s the most able bodied in our household! I might be able to get under the sink if I really had to, but I’d probably need someone to help me get back up again. I’m much better suited to doing the outdoor stuff! 😀

The Re-Farmer

Line is busy…

Well, something weird is going on with our land line.

Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

For some reason, our line is active, as if someone were on the phone.

We have a phone with two cordless handsets, and a hands free head set. The base with the answering machine is in my office. I noticed a red light blinking on the base that normally is off, which is when I saw the “line is busy” message on the handset display. That’s what the red blinking light was showing; that the line is in use.

The second handset is in another room, and was not in use. With both of them, I activated them to listen, and could hear crackling noises. On hanging up, I get the usual “call ended” display, then it goes right back to “line is busy”. I even checked the headset, which we don’t use because the ear piece no longer attaches to the head piece, and got the same thing. Crackling noise.

We do have a corded phone. This is our emergency back up, and is tucked away in my husband’s bedroom. I had to actually move furniture to reach it, then brush off the dust and cat hair.

It was not off the hook. When I picked it up and listened, it was the same. The line is open and active, but no one is on it. Hanging up made no difference.

With all the phones, I tried hanging up repeatedly, disconnected the power and disconnected the phone line. No change.

After not finding a solution, I went online to see how I could get technical support. After logging in to my account, the first thing I tried was the live chat, but that’s available only during office hours. It’s past 10pm now.

After much looking around at support options, I finally tried to call 611, which is their 24/7 service number, using my cell phone.

The call kept dropping.

I do have my cell phone set to use Wi-Fi calling, but it doesn’t seem to make a difference. Even when the call didn’t drop, there would be just dead air for about a minute – and then the call would drop. I did actually get a pick up, once, got their automated system, and the robot voice disappeared in mid sentence.

Then the call got dropped.

In the end, I had to send an email.

I got their automated response with a ticket number, and a message saying they’ll get back to me within 2 business days.

Meanwhile, our line is still active, though no one is on it. We can’t call out, and no one can call in.

So very bizarre!

The Re-Farmer