Good morning!

Well, this was an unfortunate surprise for my daughter, while she was taking her shower this morning!

While adjusting the shower head, the whole thing broke off in her hand!

Handily, I happened to be using the bathroom while she was in there, so she could just pass me the parts and pieces, then take a bath, instead.

The part that broke is actually a small piece that comes off, and it’s a standard part, so it will be easy to find and replace. Our shower head is actually something we brought with us during the move, as it is a reduced mobility shower head. The hose is extra long, so that it can be used while sitting in a bath chair, and there is a shut off at the bottom of the shower head’s handle, instead of at the wall end of the hose. That would be a bit harder to replace, if it ever broke!

Given how hard and iron rich our well water is, this would be a good time to give the shower head and hose a soak in some CLR!

The Re-Farmer

Well, that took a lot more work than expected

This morning, I decided to finish my mourning rounds by finally digging out the BBQ, so I could put the new cover on it. I was waiting for a slightly cooler day, when things wouldn’t be melting while I worked.

Though it was still very much a “rubber boot” morning!

This is the cat path from the kibble house to the storage house. The cats made the paths you see on the left with their muddy little feet, while the path veering right goes to the fire pit.

As you can see, there is a low spot right here, filled with snowmelt. I had to slog through it several times while I was working this morning!

With the melt-thaw happening over the last while, the top of the snow has formed a pretty hefty crust. In fact, this morning I spotted our piebald deer through the bathroom window, on the far side of the old kitchen garden, walking on top of the snow. Not only did the snow hold her weight, but when I walked past the area later, I couldn’t even see tracks.

As you can imagine, the ice chipper got a good workout while I was digging, this morning!

I cleared a path along the side of the collapsed tent, removed hard packed snow that was on top of the remains of the canopy, then had to cut away parts of the torn canopy to free the BBQ. Unfortunately, I still had to deal with the piece of tree that had broken the tent in the first place.

That out-of-focus branch tip in the foreground is part of the branch that you see stretching up and out of frame at the top.

I had to break off that branch in pieces to be able to access the back of the BBQ and the other corner of the tent. On the plus side, since the branch was sticking up into the air like that, the pieces are very dry. They’ll be great for the fire pit.

This was the main problem. One of the canopy supports was across the side element on the BBQ. There had actually been a folded up camp chair leaning against it. There’s a little pillow attached, and it actually protected the BBQ. The little bit of scuffing you can see under the canopy support happened just this morning, after I moved the camp chair out.

I couldn’t get that piece off the BBQ. It wouldn’t even break for me, as others did. All it would do is slide back and forth, but there was still too much weight from the canopy remains, and the snow trapped in it, to lift it.

There was a possible solution, though. We had dropped the tent legs as low as they could go, to cover and protect the picnic table and BBQ, making sure it was thoroughly pegged down with the support ropes, to make sure it wouldn’t blow away. What I could do was remove the canopy from the frame as much as possible, then raise the legs up to the first notch.

It took a while – and more digging to reach – but I managed to get three of the legs raised to the next highest position.

Which helped to a certain extent, but that fourth leg by the broken piece of tree would not budge.

I had forgotten just how big it was! The ice chipper is right at the largest end of the piece. Once I figured out where the end was, I could use the ice chipper handle to lever the branch loose, so it was no longer frozen to the ground. It was leaning right against the leg, pushing it over.

As much as I levered and wiggled the whole thing around, it still wouldn’t move off the leg.

There had to be a reason I couldn’t see.

Yup. Here it is.

There was a large branch, hidden in the snow, that I had been trying to roll it against! I stabbed along the length of it with the ice chipper until I found it’s end.

I was not about to dig all that out.

I grabbed a hatchet, instead. I didn’t need to even cut all the way through. Just enough that it would break, and I could finally clear it from the leg.

Which worked, but then I discovered another problem. The leg still wouldn’t move.

I chipped away around it. What you’re looking at is ground level. When the tree fell on the canopy, it drove the leg into the soil. Which is amazing, considering the legs have a flat plate on the bottom, so they can be pegged to the ground. Which they are. So the bottom of that leg, and the base of the part that slides up to raise the height of the tent, are frozen into the ground.

Well, crud.

I ended up having to break as many parts of the canopy frame as I could, to finally be able to clear the BBQ enough to cover it.

Which I finally did!

Then I used some of the heavy blocks of snow that were on the torn canopy to weigh down the bottom edges.

The frame is a mess, but it can’t be removed until the ground thaws out enough.

I like that the new cover for the BBQ has grommets on it. We’ll be able to peg it to the ground in between uses, so the wind won’t tear it off.

The branch pieces were set aside on the snow near the fire pit. Maple will make a nice cooking fire.

Then, since I was there anyhow, I dug a path from the fire pit to the wood pile.

Normally, I’d say we can use the fire pit now, and have ourselves a cookout if we want, but with that big puddle in the path, I think it’ll wait a bit longer. We don’t all have rubber boots.

For now, I’m just happy to have the new cover on the BBQ.

As long as we don’t get any more pieces of tree falling on it, now that there’s no longer the tent frame to protect it!

The Re-Farmer

Finding more storm damage

With our temperatures hovering around freezing, we’re getting things melting in some areas, and freezing in others.

Which leaves us with this, in front of the sun room. 😀

We have one of those extended pole shovels designed to remove snow from a roof while standing at ground level, and I used it to try and clear the heaviest snow where the two roof sections come together. Like an idiot, I didn’t take the ice pillar out, first. It fell against the window. Thankfully, the window didn’t break! These are dual pane windows, and the pane on the inside is already cracked, so if the outer pane got broken, we’d be in a pickle!

The other downspouts seem to be clear, but this is the only south facing one, so it gets the most temperature fluctuations, and it feels like it’s solid ice, all the way to the eaves! Trickles do make their way through, but that’s about it.

While doing my rounds, I tried to see if we’d lost any more trees in the spruce grove. I didn’t see any newly fallen trees, but it looks like one of them – a live one, not one of the dead ones – lost about 15 feet off the top. It’s in an area that’s hard to get to even in the summer. With this much snow on the ground, it’s completely inaccessible right now.

Not so much the other piece of tree I discovered on the ground.

I was able to make my way over to the broken canopy tent. From a distance, I could see movement under it, showing that that cats are still able to use it for shelter, so it’s going to stay for the winter. This piece of tree looks like it landed on the corner of the tent and broke it even more. I can’t check on the BBQ under it. At this end, it has a shelf with a handle. There are S hooks on the handle for BBQ tools, and you can see one of them on the ground. Hopefully, it just got knocked about, and not damaged.

This is where it fell from. If I remember correctly, this was not a dead part of the tree, either. This is a group of three very large maples, and they do have a lot of dead sections that we would have to hire someone to safely remove.

Eventually, we will clear a path to the nearby fire pit and might be able to, at most, cut up and clear it away the broken piece or, at least, just move it aside so we can access the area.

There are still quite a few areas we can’t get at, with some we won’t even try to until the snow is gone, but in those that I can actually see, the broken branches we found before, plus what I saw today, are the extent of the storm damage. With all the dead branches we’ve been cleaning up these past four years, there are very few smaller branches on the ground that we’ll clean up when the snow it gone, but that seems to be leaving the really big things to fall!

The Re-Farmer


Oh, it was so nice to see how the driveway looked in daylight!

There is more than enough room to back out of the garage and turn around – and even room for other cars to pull in and park. So awesome!

Though we do still have a bit of clearing to do in front of the garage. It’s just a small job, now!

This picture is taken from the road. Even the cats are loving the lovely, snow free driveway!

The road has been partially plowed. It looks like someone went through with a plow attachment on their truck or something similar. When the municipal plows come through, the clear from ditch to ditch, and there’s room enough for 2 vehicles to pass each other.

Notice the pole of snow pushed into the ditch? Because he cleared so far on that side of the driveway, when the plow does go by, we won’t have a ridge running across the end of our driveway!

I was able to make my way to this fallen branch. You can see where it broke off, above. I was not able to move it. Not only is it really heavy, but it’s frozen to the ground!

While making my way to switch out memory cards on the trail cams, I cold see where the deer are passing through, too.

As expected, there wasn’t much on the trail cams. It was funny to see some of the files from the camera by the new sign. The snow covered the camera lens before the motion sensor covered it, so they were basically just out of focus snow.

Though there is more shoveling to do, especially in the inner yard, I think I’m going to have to leave it to the girls today. My body is definitely telling me I need to take a break! Time to pain killer up and go for a nap!

The Re-Farmer

Morning harvest, and another one down

Well, so much for trying to support the sunflower in the old kitchen garden.

We had high winds again this morning, and the last of the three flower stalks on the remaining sunflower in the old kitchen garden finally broke. It was actually still upright when I came out this morning, but by the time I came back to the house, it was lying on the ground.


While checking the garden beds, I did get a little bit of a harvest this morning.

It all could fit in my pocket! 😀

This is the largest I’ve ever let a pattypan squash get. Any bigger, and they start developing their seeds. One of these days, I should try letting some fully mature. At that point, when the seeds are removed, they leave a cavity that can be stuffed for roasting, which I do want to try. We just really like them at this stage, though. 🙂 For next year, I plan to try other varieties of pattypan squash, and hope to grow some to save seeds, too. Since I accidentally bought three summer squash collections for this year, instead of one, we don’t actually need to buy more squash seeds, but I like to try new varieties.

That is definitely one of the biggest benefits of having a garden. There are so many varieties that are just never in the stores!

The Re-Farmer

Stuff we’ve found, and things to fix

While doing my evening rounds, I figured it was time to get a recent photo of our found object “art” display. 😉

The table itself was dragged out from under a fallen tree while clearing the edge of the spruce grove. We weren’t able to get at it until the old wood pile was cleaned up. The chair frame (barely visible at the bottom) was found somewhere else in the yard.

My daughter showed me where they found that crushed tea kettle, and now I’m even more perplexed as to why it was there and how it got crushed. Being driven over is not as likely as I thought, since it was in between some trees, where no vehicle – not even an ATV – could fit. The steel trap and the strip of rusted metal beside it was buried in the dirt under where the wood pile used to be, found while clearing out roots to turn the space into garden beds. Quite a few of what’s on there was found while cleaning up that old wood pile! The beer bottle was found along the East fence line along the spruce grove, most likely left there by my late brother. He did like his beer! The group of three cups to the right of the tea pot, plus the two Old Spice bottles, are the newest additions, found by my daughter in the junk pile way out by the plowed field.

While walking around and thinking of the things we need to do, and what we need to do it, I decided to drag something out of one of the sheds. We’d seen some wire mesh fencing rolled up in a corner, and I thought it might be useful for when we build our trellises or something. So I moved a few things to get to the corner, dragged it out and brought it to the house.

I was really surprised. There is a LOT more in there than I thought there was. As far as I have seen, we don’t have any fences made with this wire, so I have no idea why it’s here or what it was used for. Whatever it was for, not much of the roll was used!

This will come in very handy.

This morning, after switching out the memory cards on the trail cams, I took another look at the fence by the gate post, where we want to put in a small people gate. The gate post itself has three holes in the steel where we could potentially attach things. At the moment, the ends of the barbed wire are attached to the post through these holes. We’ll have to put in a new post first, attach the wire to the post, then detach the wire from the gate post. We still need to settle on how wide we want the gate to be, before we know where to put in a post.

While looking at where the barbed wire was attached to the gate post, I noticed this.


It wasn’t like this in the fall. This is damage from temperature fluctuations over this past winter.

I checked the other sides, and the other gate post. The other gate post has no cracks in the concrete at all, but this one…

These are the two corners of the south facing side.

These are the west and east facing sides.

I don’t know that these can be patched, or if the base needs to be replaced. I recall my brother telling me about a particular type of concrete he wants to use to repair the cracks in the bottom portion of the barn wall, that could probably be used on these cracks. I will bow to his greater knowledge and ingenuity on this one!

Well, this does show which post was responsible for the gate shifting. When we hung the gate back up after repairing our vandal’s damage, it was level. Over the winter, it shifted enough that the pin for the sliding bar could no longer be used. By the end of the winter, however, the gate shifted back, and the pin can be used again. My daughter had thought it was the other gate post that had shifted, but with these cracks, I’d say it was this one!

Since I had to slip through the fence to get pictures on all sides of the gate post’s base, I decided to check out the fence line from that side. New fence posts had been put in until just past the end of the spruce grove. The rest of the fence has been slowly falling down. From the outside, I was able to shift the posts – they are so rotted, they’re broken loose at ground level – so that they were leaning into the yard, rather than towards the road.

The entire stretch of fence is basically toast. I think there might be one fence post that isn’t broken. At one point, I noticed a large tree had fence wire on either side of it. One of the wires had a break repaired. It looks like, when the break was fixed, whoever did it deliberately put the wire on the other side of the tree, so the tree would keep the fence up.

For that spot, at least, it’s working.

I will have to prioritize cleaning up along this fence line, so it can be repaired. We’ll need to pick up more fence posts; I’ve found some scattered all over the place, but I don’t think there are enough, and they’re different sizes, too.

My daughter just popped in and we talked about the fence. If we were just replacing a post or two, we could make do with the old post hole diggers we found around the property. However, there are just too many posts to replace for that to be practical for us. We’re not that able bodied! And since the equipment that we could have used is gone (the Bobcat had a soil auger attachment), or no longer functional (the post pounder my late brother built), we figure it might be better to just hire someone. All we really need is for the posts to be installed. Once they’re in, we can do the rest ourselves. Since this is a permanent fence line, we would also want to not just have posts in dirt, but to install them in such a way that they won’t rot away as quickly.

We also want to move away from barbed wire, so we would probably want to install posts closer together, and use other materials. We might start off with the “rustic look” and use materials on hand to make a simple rail fence, until we can come up with something more durable and permanent – and preferably deer proof!

But first, that section of fence line needs to be cleared. We’ll lose a lot of privacy in the process, but once the corn and sunflowers are grown in, that will suffice for the summer, at least.

Little by little, it’ll get done!

The Re-Farmer

Delivery Fail, and coming unhinged

We’ve had ourselves a chillier morning today! Light snow, and bitterly cold winds from the south is what greeted me this morning, when I went out to do my rounds.

Kitty loaf is not impressed.

It does look pretty, though!

Switching out the micro disk cards on the new trail cam has gotten somewhat easier. The micro disk itself has become easier to take in and out; it isn’t as “sticky” as it was at the start. As long as I have enough of a thumbnail to push the card in, to either latch of unlatch it, it’s not too bad. 😀

When I open up the camera, I switch it from On to Set Up, first. The screen turns on, and that’s when I can see if the cold is an issue. If the screen is mostly blank and barely lit up, the camera is too cold. I’ve found I can use my hands to warm it up enough that the screen will start working. Which, on days like today, can be rather hard on the hands! Thankfully, it only takes about half a minute. Then I can switch the memory card and see if there are any issues.

When I got the camera, I got 2 micro discs along with it. I just ordered the recommended ones, not really noticing that one of them was actually a pack of 2. Those are the ones I’ve been using. The problem is, when I switch cards, the camera wants me to format the new card, every time, after giving me a message that the card is “incompatible.” So all those days when I found nothing on the card, it was partly because I couldn’t see the screen and missed these messages. Once the card was formatted in the camera, it worked fine. It didn’t matter if I’d already formatted it on my computer.

I shouldn’t have to do that every morning.

Last night, I dug up the extra card, formatted it on my computer, and used that, this morning.

The camera had no problem with it. No messages, and no need to format the card in the camera!

The cheaper cards were the problem.

On mentioning this to my husband, he dug around and gave me one of his extra Micro SD cards to use. It’s a 64 gig card. WAY more than needed. The other cards were 32 gigs, and even at highest resolution while set to take both photo and video, I could probably leave the card for a week and still have room to spare. The main thing is that the card won’t need to be formatted every morning. It’s even the same brand as the new one I put in this morning, so it should be fine. I’ll know for sure when I switch cards tomorrow morning.

It still doesn’t solve the problem of the camera not really working when the temperatures dip. Once it gets cold enough, it simply stops recording. It does start up again on its own, when the temperatures rise. This is frustrating, because in all other respects, I really love this new camera! But all the features I love about it are useless if the camera simply stops working when it’s cold. At least we have the second camera that keeps working. With that one, the cold is only an issue for the batteries, not the camera itself. As long as it can get any juice out of the batteries, it will keep chugging along.

Ah, the things we have to put up with, because of one person we can’t trust.

A few days ago, my husband got a phone call. There were two things odd about this. First, the call went to his cell phone. Being in a dead zone, any time a cell phone rings is downright startling. Second, the call turned out to be from Fed Ex. They had a package for him, and needed our physical address.

As near as we can figure, this was something my husband ordered back in November. After all this time, he’s actually already got a refund on it. He had been expecting it in the mail, too. Fed Ex doesn’t do box numbers!

So he called the number back using the land line and, after being on hold for about 45 minutes, finally got through to someone. After giving our physical address, he gave them precise directions on how to find us. The person he talked to even looked us up on Google maps and did eventually figure out where we were. Just inputting our physical address hadn’t worked! He then let them know about the locked gate, so they said they would send an email in advance, letting us know the package was on the way from the city.

We got that email, telling us delivery would be made yesterday. So when I went out to do my rounds, I unlocked the gate and left it open.

The last time we did that for the washing machine repairman, the gate was open only half an hour, and our vandal showed up and tried to break it again. So we were pretty uncomfortable having that gate open, but we also didn’t want the package to just be left in the snow in the driveway, either. We kept a close eye on the security camera’s live feed!

Then my husband let me know that we could close the gate up again. He just received an email. Apparently, FedEx couldn’t find us, so they weren’t going to deliver the package. They wanted us to call about getting it.

Which means, they would expect us to drive to wherever their warehouse is in the city, to pick up a package they’ve been paid to deliver to us.

I don’t think my husband plans to call back. There is no way we’re going to make the trip. UPS found us, no problem. FedEx can figure it out, too. Even when we were living in the city, we’ve had issues with them. They would actually leave notices on our door, saying no one answered when they knocked, but we had been home and no one knocked.

I was just happy to be able to close and lock the gate. No sign of our vandal, either!

Later in the afternoon, I did take advantage of the slightly warmer day to go get the mail and pick up some more deer feed and bird seed. We’d run out of both, that morning.

One of the things I’ve noticed when heading outside to do my rounds, is that our door has been making an increasingly horrible noise. The inner doors in the “new” part of the house are still the originals, and they are wooden, hollow core doors, not insulated steel doors, as are available today. These doors are heavier than interior doors, so I do think they have some sort of insulation inside them, but I really don’t know.

The “front” door, facing the spruce grove, almost never gets used, so aside from needing to put insulation between it and the storm door in the winter, to keep frost from building up at the bottom, inside the house, it’s fine. The door we actually use all the time is not doing so well! The house shifts with the seasons, so it’s not really a surprise that the door is scrapping the door jam now, and we can hear the wood of the door splitting and cracking at the bottom. So I’ve taken to lifting the door as I close it, to reduce the noise.

How much the door lifts was quite a surprise, so when I had the chance, I took a closer look.


The door is coming off its hinges.

This morning, I snagged my husband to help me tighten the hinges. This is the top one.

It’s hard to see in the picture, but the screw heads are even slightly bent!

Of course, with the top hinge being so loose, the middle one is, too.

Thankfully, the bottom one is still solid, but that won’t last long if these ones get any worse.

There is a built in closest near the door, so it can’t be opened all the way. My husband held it open as much as he could for me to be able to fit the screwdriver in place. Normally, I would just open the storm door, but between the cold and the cats, that wasn’t an option. While my husband lifted the door and held it in place, I tightened the screws.

As I did so, I could tell this wasn’t going to work. The screws were barely catching on anything. Still, I hoped to at least get it a bit tighter than before.


As soon as my husband released the door, not only did it drop, but some of the wood split above the top hinge.

I reached up with my phone to get this picture.

In the photos, you can see there are cracks in the wood of the door frame, too.

We knew the front door needed to be replaced, and were already thinking we would replace the entire frame, too. I just didn’t think we’d need to do it because the door is falling right off the hinges!

Theoretically, we can install hinges in different locations, and that would tide us over until we can replace the door and frame completely. Given how loose the door is, we might not have a choice. Even if we had the money for a door kit now, we wouldn’t want to install it in the winter. Because you just KNOW something will do wrong and it’ll take forever to do! 😀 My brother recently replaced one of the doors of his house, and he used a door kit, with two doors and the frame, as we would be doing here. Everything was standard sized, so it should have been a simple switch. It wasn’t, and it took him days to get it installed properly! I don’t think our doors are standard sized, so I don’t expect anything to do smoothly.

This is something were I would much rather hire someone to install it, rather than doing it ourselves. It would cost more, of course, but would be worth every penny.


Another thing on the list that just became a higher priority.

The Re-Farmer

Broken. Like our system


I think this is going to be a difficult post to write.

To recap for our new followers (Welcome! Thanks for joining us!); about a year and a half ago, my husband ended up in the emergency room for what turned out to be pulmonary edema. He spent the night in the hospital, was sent home with a prescription (without being told what it was for) and told to follow up with his regular doctor. He had a week’s worth of what turned out to be water pills, but the earliest he could get an appointment with his doctor was almost 2 weeks later.

While he had been feeling a bit better for a while, once he ran out of the pills, he started to crash again. When we got to his appointment, he was in such bad shape, I had to ask for the use of a wheelchair to help him come in.

The clinic was part of a hospital building, but there was only 1 bariatric wheelchair. I can’t even remember right now if they ever found it. I think he ended up using a regular wheelchair. The nurse that wheeled him into the exam room was looking very alarmed, and was saying my husband would probably be going straight to the emergency room. Sure enough, the doctor basically took one look at him and sent him over. They were wondering why he hadn’t been followed up on after his time in the emergency before, and we told them that this was the follow up!

He ended up in the hospital for 3 weeks. In that time, along with almost killing him by giving him too much insulin and not checking his blood sugars before deciding on the doses, they managed to drain over 100 pounds of fluid out of him. His pulmonary edema was actually peripheral edema, and he was diagnosed with heart failure.

Since then, my husband had been expected to go into the city once a month or so, as they tried to determine the cause of his heart failure and decide on courses of action. There is only one cardiac clinic serving the entire province so, as you can imagine, it’s pretty busy.

These trips have been incredibly hard on my husband, his back injury and his pain levels. It’s one thing to be sitting in the van for the drive (about 3 hours driving in total). It’s another to be sitting in the waiting room for such a long time, then waiting again in the examination room, only to be seen for maybe half an hour.

Now, we deliberately leave early for these appointments. It takes an hour to reach the city, under normal circumstances. Getting to the hospital, if traffic is light and we get nothing but green lights, takes maybe 10 minutes. Most of the time, though, it takes about 20 minutes. That gives us another 10 minutes for me to pull in, unload his walker, leave him to find his way in, then search for someplace to park.

However, we don’t leave things to chance and leave 2 hours early, and today is a good example of why this is necessary. On the way to the city, we hit a section where cracks in the road were being patched. A two lane highway was reduced to one lane, and they were alternating each direction of traffic to let through. So we spent some time driving very slowly through the construction, then just stopped on the road as we waited for traffic from the other direction to pass through. Then, once in the city, we were delayed by more lane closures bottle necking traffic. That one area has been under construction for as long as we’ve been out here, so more than three years! I really would have expected them to be done by now. :-/

My point being, we respect their time and go out of our way to ensure we will be there before the scheduled appointment, so he can be checked in and ready when they are.

There was one day, however, that – after waiting for 1 1/2 hours – he was in so much pain he walked out. It was that day that we discovered they built in a half hour waiting period. So while he was told in to come in for a certain time, they had his appointment for half an hour later. We’d already come in 15 minutes early. Even with the built in waiting period, they were still 45 minutes late when he left. Who knows how much longer he would have had to wait if he hadn’t. They certainly didn’t seem like they were going to bring him in anytime soon.

He talked to the clinic on the phone after that, and for his next appointment, they had a stretcher for him. It helped, but the trips still wiped him out.

To make things worse, they have not been able to figure out why he has an ejection fraction of only about 20% (I think it’s up to 22% now). They can’t find anything to explain it. There is no reason that they can find, for him to have heart failure.

Then the pandemic shutdowns happened.

He was supposed to have an appointment in April, when they called in March. After interviewing him on the phone, it was decided to continue with phone appointments until they could start rescheduling. It was a surprise to be called back for a June appointment. We were expecting July or August.

He ended up having having to cancel due to pain.

He was rescheduled to July and had an appointment then, but with the pandemic measures, I couldn’t go in with him. It was a short appointment.

He had an appointment in August. Pain was a major issue again, so he called to ask if they would be able to accommodate with a stretcher again. I’m not sure what exactly they said, but he was made to feel like he was imposing on them significantly, so he cancelled the appointment.

Today was the rescheduled appointment. One of the things they want to see him for, is to decide if he is a candidate to have a defibrillator implanted.

With all the delays, I was still able to drop him off almost 15 minutes early, then found a place to park some 5 blocks away. I knew I wouldn’t be able to go in with him, so I just walked around to play Pokemon Go.

The high winds that broke our tent had clearly hit the city, too! This tree was in a park near the hospital, and I was seeing broken branches all over the place.

My husband was able to text me to keep me updated, so I knew when he was able to get checked in. Some time later, I got another text from him.

He was still in the waiting room.


There was absolutely no other patients waiting. Not only that, but I found out later that at 12:30, which is he was told his appointment was for, he saw and heard a group of doctors, leaving. They were going for coffee.

Did they book in a half hour waiting time again? Without any other patients???

Finally, after he’d been waiting half an hour, and he was already telling me he was ready to leave, he was brought into an examination room. By that point, I was starting to meander back to the van.

Then I got a text simply saying “I’m out.”

So I rushed to the van. When I got there, I quickly texted him to let him know I had reached the van, so he would have an idea of how much longer I would be.

That’s when I noticed the time stamp on his last text.

There was no way anyone had seen him.

So off I went to pick him up at the main entrance. This is supposed to have a patient loading zone in front, with enough room for several cars, or a couple of handi-vans.

Of course, people were just parked there. The vehicle in front of me didn’t even do that. He just sort of half pulled in and stopped. I ended up having to drive around him, then stop in the lane – thankfully, there was no traffic behind me – to pick up my husband and load the walker into the van.

As we drove, he told me the rest of what happened. After waiting, in pain, for so long, he finally struggled to get his shirt back on, then simply left. As he was leaving, a tech was coming in with the EKG machine, and she called out to him, but he kept going. As he went through the waiting room (which finally had one other patient in it), the woman behind the counter started chasing him down. By this point, he had no tolerance left and simply said that next time, make the appointment for the actual time, and kept going.

We both realize that he is probably viewed as a problem patient right now. What we can’t figure out is how a cardiac clinic in a hospital can be so oblivious to accommodating the needs of disabled patients. I mean, besides heart conditions. After a year and a half, and his pain being an issue in the past so often, you’d think they’d at least have notes on his file or something, about his extenuating circumstances.

I don’t know.

My husband plans to write to the clinic with a letter of complaint – though he’s going to give himself time to calm down, first! I suggested that he send a copy of it to our new doctor, too.

At this point, he doesn’t want to go back. At all. He sees no point. They’re not finding why his heart is doing what it’s doing; everything else related to his heart is checking out healthy. He’d already been doing most of the things they recommend, and the things he isn’t doing, he can’t because of his back injury and pain levels. They did acknowledge this issue.

He is hardly the only patient they have with multiple health issues beyond a heart condition. How many other patients are going through the same problems he is, but aren’t confident enough to simply get up and walk out? How many are just meekly accepting being treated like afterthoughts, because they are too scared of their condition to speak out? I guess that’s one “benefit” for my husband; he’s been through so much over the last while, developing a heart condition is just another thing on the list, and not even near the top.

At this point, I don’t know what steps will happen next. For my husband, getting the pain under control is the greater priority. And that is waiting for the doctor at the pain clinic to talk to our new doctor. Which doesn’t seem to have happened yet.

This is all so incredibly frustrating.

The Re-Farmer

Finally out

One thing about the new washing machine taking a while to come in (still no word on a new delivery/pickup date!) is that moving the old machine kept getting delayed.

Yesterday, my younger daughter wrestled it out of the house, and we “walked” it over to the junk pile.

Unfortunately, it was impossible to completely drain the washer when it broke down, and what was left in there stunk to high heaven! Ick. When we got it near the old stove, we took the lid off, then turned it upside down to drain as much as we could. Even then, we could still hear sloshing as we righted it.

While it was upside down, we had a chance to take a look.

Aside from the oil leak, I was actually surprised by how clean and new it looked under there. The exterior belied the interior!

We also found where those screws came from.

The entire bottom of the washer was rusted out. This metal bar was completely loose, having been held by only those two screws we’d found.

When this machine was in the basement, it had been on a pallet to keep it off the wet. Clearly, the wet still managed to reach the bottom of the washing machine!

I recently had a conversation with my mother about the laundry being upstairs now, instead of downstairs. She had been asking me if this was still around, and was that still around; she still seems to think the house should have stayed exactly the way she left it. :-/ She’d commented about my brother moving the washer and dryer upstairs, so we couldn’t have to go into the basement to do laundry. Of course, my response was to extol the virtues of my brother, and gratitude for him doing that. It was a HUGE job to get the electrical set up for the drier, even with my younger daughter being there to help. That was harder than moving the machines, themselves. My mother responded with how my brother was more concerned about making things “easy” than about how things looked. One of the things she’d been asking about is what happened to a mirror she’d had hanging in the entryway. I don’t remember it, and it was already gone before we moved here. When the addition had been built, my dad had a sink installed in the entryway, so we could wash up after coming back from the barn or whatever. My mother hated having a sink there, so when they retired from farming, she had the sink covered to be a sort of counter, and added plants and other stuff. She was much more concerned about how things looked. Well, at least on the surface. She then went on about how wonderful she had made it look, and how it was so nice, that when the carolers came to sing and were invited inside after, they said they didn’t want to leave the entry, it was so nice in there.

I was a caroler one year, so I know what really would have happened. Before every house we stopped at, we had to decide whether or not to accept invitations, usually to partake in alcohol, once inside. My parents were among those who would offer a glass of wine. Or vodka. Whichever. 😉

With some homes, we were never given a choice! *L* By the end of it, we were really singing. 😀

My brother had wondered why our parents hadn’t moved the washer and dryer upstairs years ago, so they wouldn’t have to struggle up and down those stairs as their mobility decreased.

Now I know why.

The Re-Farmer

New baby sighting, and washer update

While doing my rounds, before going to the city, I went to the usual spots to see if any more branches had come down during the night.

None had, but when I reached the fence near the pump shack, I heard something moving on the metal table beside it.

It took me a while, but I eventually saw a kitten slink under the table itself.

Was that Junk Pile cat’s white and grey baby?

Near where I was standing is a spot the cats use to go under the chain link fence. Rosencrantz, whom I’d seen earlier as I put kibble out for the yard cats, went through, stopping several times to look back at me and give me a death glare! 😀

Just look at that face!

So was that Rosencrantz’s baby I was seeing?

She made her way to the pump shack, then settled down in front of the door, keeping an eye on me. I could no longer see the kitten under the table, but then and orange head popped out of the hole at the bottom of the door!

I’d actually enlarged that hole last year, when Pump Shack kitten was living in there. (We haven’t seen Pump Shack cat, nor her mom, Guildenstern, in a very long time.)

It took a while, but the other kitten did eventually come around.

Of course, there’s that little sapling in the way! 😀

This is most definitely NOT the grey and white kitten I saw before. This one has more white, and also has patches of orange in it.

So this is a first time sighting of these babies!

These would be the younger siblings to Keith, David and Junk Pile cat.

Shortly after this, my older daughter and I headed for the city. Having gone looking around online last night, I had several possibilities for washing machines that I wanted to check out at Home Depot.

Once at the store, I went looking at the machines. I wasn’t too surprised that there were fewer than what I saw online. Aside from the prices, I had also looked at ratings. GE had some of the lowest ratings, while Whirlpool had the highest. Those were out of budget, though. Plus, I wasn’t seeing any on display.

I had an employee acknowledge me when I first got there, asking if I needed help right away. I didn’t, yet, which worked out for him, since he said he needed to go to the back for a while. This gave me lots of time to look at the machines before settling on this one.

It was a GE, but not the same model I was seeing on the website that had the lower ratings. In fact, I don’t recall seeing this model online at all. The price was also easier on the budget than others on display. There were several cheaper ones but… they were also TOO cheap! And I don’t mean just on price.

There was also the issue of size, which turned out to be more of a non-issue. Where we have the washer and dryer is already tight. My daughter at home measured the width and messaged me the info. Our machine at home was 26 7/8ths wide. We could go up to 27 inches, but that was it. The machines were all either 26 7/8ths inches wide, or 27 inches wide. This one was 27 inches wide.

I then waited for the guy to come back.

And waited.

After a while, I asked a nearby cashier if she could see if someone was available, on the possibility there was someone else in that section.

There wasn’t.

So I waited some more, wandering around a bit.

Which is when I discovered there was a whole other section of washers and dryers I’d somehow managed to not see.

Of course, that’s when the guy came back.

I told him I was looking for a washing machine, mentioned that I’d just noticed the other section. After a quick walk around, I showed him the one I said I’d decided on.

“No,” he said.

I could only laugh. He did explain, though.

Basically, the brand sucks. He’d never use one himself, and wouldn’t sell one, if he could avoid it. His recommendation was to go with either Whirlpool or LG. I’d seen both brands were highly rated, but I hadn’t looked at any LG models online.

The first one he took me over to was a Whirlpool. It was over budget but, more importantly, it was 27 1/2 inches wide. That half inch would make a difference.

He showed me a couple others he recommended, both LG, that were 27 inches. The closer one we came to, I told him straight up was out of budget, so he showed me another one.

After going back and forth, I went with the cheaper LG.

This is it.

It cost $100 more than the GE, but it was still within budget. Well. Almost. After taxes and whatever fees were added on, it ended up costing $835 and change. So $35 over budget. It is also a higher capacity machine, at 5.5 cubic feet instead of 4.9 cubit feet in the GE I was looking at.

Unfortunately, they do not keep an inventory of stuff like this. It has to be delivered from the national warehouse in Ontario.

Expected delivery to the store: Friday, the 24th.

That’s more than a week away.

Now, I could have decided not to buy it, then tried going elsewhere, but that would most likely have meant going to another city, at a competitor’s location where we got our replacement hot water tank. That store has higher prices for the same makes and models, though, so even if I were able to find an identical machine, I probably could not have bought it.

So I bought the machine. If we really, really have to, we can go to town and use the laundromat.

As he did the computer stuff, and put me into their system, we had time to chat. I told him about our washer dying yesterday, and how we had to decide if it was worth fixing. I told him about finding the plastic part under it, and he cringed. I mentioned the screws, and he cringed a bit more. Then I mentioned the puddle of oil, and he did a whole body twitch while in the middle of typing. 😀

After the transaction was done, he made sure to let me know to expect a call on Thursday, the 23rd. If there was no call, he said to call him early on Friday (I made sure to take down his name). The delivery trucks stop running at 4:30. Once they stop, there would be no chance of it arriving until Monday, so it would have to be early enough for him to make some calls about it.

The new washer will be delivered to the store. We’re too far away to have it delivered to our place. Which actually helped a bit, since it kept the price down. There would have been a delivery fee on top of everything else, but he was able to waive that.

So we’ve got more than a week without a washing machine.

And I needed to do laundry, yesterday.

While we could make the trip into town to use the laundromat, we’re not going to bother. At least, not yet. My daughters have already done a load of their own laundry in the bath tub, and I’m about to do the same.

The one good thing about the new washing machine not coming in right away is, we have time to haul the old one out and clean up the mess of oil under it.

By the time we got home, I was surprised it wasn’t even 2pm yet. If felt like it should have been more like 4 or 5!

This has been a very expensive month. I had to buy the push mower. Then I had to buy the parts and pieces to fix the sink. My daughter bought the new stove, and now we’ve bought a new washing machine. Meanwhile, we’ve got the riding mower still in the shop (at this point, I’m hoping they’ll continue to take their time getting to it!), plus my mother’s car will be ready for the end of the month. That one, at least, I’ve got almost 2/3rds paid off. My older daughter is still getting regular commissions, but my younger daughter is not going to be able to find a job for some time, given the pandemic situation, and our Premiere extending our “emergency” status for a couple more months, in spite of the lack of cases in our province. So it’s not like there’s any way for the income to increase with the outgo!

Unfortunately, it means a lot of things we’d hoped to get done this summer, likely won’t happen. We need to buy plywood for a floor on the trailer, and more for other projects we had in mind. I was hoping to buy materials to create a base for the cordwood outhouse we were planning to build this summer. While there is a lot we can get started on to prepare that won’t cost money, we do still need to buy some things, like mortar ingredients, and I was hoping to have concrete paving stones as a “floor” to build on. That project will likely have to be pushed back to next year. Plus, if anything else breaks down, there’s very little left in reserve. I’m just thankful we had as much as we did, set aside, to cover these. I just can’t help but think, how on earth are we supposed to come up with $10,000 for a new roof, when stuff like this keeps happening?

But, thanks to my husband’s private insurance and disability income, the bills are being paid, there’s food on the table, and gas in the tank. Being hear at the farm, we’ve got a roof over our head (even if it needs replacing!) and are secure as “caretakers” of the property. We are much better off than so many others, and have much to be thankful for.

Well, there’s one thing that might help, on the financial side. Our internet provider has had a new tower built in the area.

When moving here, the only option we had was satellite and, because of plan limits at the time, we had to get two of them to provide enough data for our needs. (Getting internet is a necessity, since my daughter’s business is entirely online now.) Even then, we had issues. Eventually, we were able to double the data one of the plans. Meanwhile, we lose connectivity fairly easily. Particularly in summer, when the foliage is full. The primary account’s satellite is usually fine, but the secondary satellite is barely a couple of feet to the side, and the branches block the signal more frequently (I’ve lost internet several times, just writing this post!). As we reach the limit on the data plan for our primary account, we switch cables on our router to the secondary account – and we switched cables just this morning. We have been regularly going over our data plans, and while the company waived those costs for the past couple of months, due to the lock downs and more people being stuck at home, that ended this month.

My husband talked to the company and will arrange for someone to come by next month to do a site survey (when we’ll have money to pay for the survey). If they can get a signal to the new tower, we would be able to move away from satellite completely, have only one account, unlimited data, and save almost $200 a month.

Yeah. We spend over $300 a month, just to get internet out here, with limited data and frequent loss of connectivity.

I’m really hoping they find a signal this time!

The Re-Farmer