I got you covered!

Something very disorienting happened today.

There was a knock at the door.

Which is one of those things that is so unexpected, it takes a moment for my brain to clue in and say, “oh… there’s a person at the door.” 😀

Turns out, it was the guy delivering the straw bale we had ordered. He had to leave the tractor in the driveway, hop the locked gate, and come knocking.

There’s a reason I asked for a call first! 😀 The guy delivering the bale was not the guy I bought it from, so he probably didn’t have my number. Not that he could have called us from his tractor, anyhow. 😉

I was really happy to see him, that’s for sure! It’s been snowing off and on, and the temperatures are dropping, so I really wanted to get that septic tank covered!

This time, I asked him to drop it off in the old garden area. You can see that the bale has been sitting for a year! After unwrapping it, I started trying to pull the straw down near that dark area, and found it half frozen and very wet.

Which is great, because the wet straw that’s already starting to decompose went straight onto the garden area, and some of the compost, right away. I even found a worm in it. LOL

This is where our septic tank is. Our system is very different from what is usual; instead of a gravity based system, ours has a smaller tank and pumps. There are pipes leading from the basement to the left of the tank in this photo. The tank has two chambers. Everything goes into the first chamber, then when it fills with liquid, there is an overflow chamber. When that fills, the liquid is pumped to a field out by the barn. The pipe for the outflow runs under the old kitchen, which is behind the septic lid in the photo.

All of these pipes are buried deep and, theoretically, we could go without covering any of this at all, but it’s not something we want to take a chance with. An extreme winter could freeze the ground far enough that the pipes would freeze, and if that happened, it could get really nasty in our basement! It would also cost many thousands of dollars to get it fixed. So spending $25 on a bale and covering it is really cheap insurance! 😉

Here is now it looks now! I added extra along the old kitchen foundation, just for a bit of extra insulation.

I’m leaving the tools with the bale for now, as we’ll be using it to insulate the old dog houses, probably in a couple of days.

While working on this, I had several very curious kitties checking things out. I expect the bale will also serve throughout the winter to keep little paws warm, and for burrowed nests, as well. 🙂 They were already quite keen on getting into it.

When I was done, I got a selfie with Susan.

She was not co-operative. LOL

Another thing off the list of things to get done before winter! 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Nicky the Nose

This guy is now quite the regular.


The way that patch of colour is on his nose, it sometimes looks like it’s injured and swollen.  Nope.  Just a splotch of colour.

It’s kind of funny to see this guy in the pile of kittens.  They’re pretty much adult size now, but not quite there, yet.  Then there’s Nicky. 😀  Interesting that they’ve accepted him like that.

Wait a minute… who are you?

After our deer visitor left this morning, I went out to feed the cats.  Once again, I saw the black and white dad-cat on the dresser in the sun room – and once again, he ran off as soon as he saw me.  The rest of the cats were milling about as if they were starving.  The girls had put food out for them last night, but the bowls were completely empty by morning.  The braver of the cats were eating the food before I even finished filling the bowls!


Then I stepped back to let the shier ones get to the bowls, and watched them for a bit.  There’s Rosencrantz (or Guildenstern) at the top; Butterscotch and The Outsider on either side.  Big Jim and Bob next to Beep Beep and Doom Guy, then Rosencrantz and Guilden… wait…


Three of them?  Continue reading

Morning Feeding

Heading into the sun room this morning, on the way to putting food out for the cats, I discovered not one, but two of the dad cats, running out of the room with the kittens!  The black and white one was back on the dresser.  I just caught a flash of the grey and white one, as he ran out the door.

They quickly took off out of sight, but that still left 8 cats to crowd around the food bowls!


Guildenstern (or Rosencrantz) had to push her way in – which she clearly didn’t want to do.  Neither of the calico-torties are very assertive, at all.

Jim is now called Big Jim!  He’s gotten so burly, I’ve been mistaking him for Rolando Moon more often!

Beep Beep was my escort this morning, though I was joined by Rolando Moon, later on, too. 🙂

We had some blustery weather overnight, judging from the branches I was picking up this morning.

When finishing up my rounds, I got a chuckle at the many tiny paw prints in the fresh snow on the sidewalk to the main entry.


From the size of some of them, I could see we got visited by my brother’s dog again, too! 😀

As I came around back to the feeding area, I saw the third dad cat, slink away.  I’d seen him earlier, going through the maple grove and then through the tall grass in the main garden area.  It was my presence that had him moving away from the house, so I was glad to see he’d come back, while I was doing my rounds.


He let me get within about 8 feet of him, as I made my way back to the sun room doors to go inside, before finally slinking away.

Of the three dad cats, this one looks the most like a house cat.  He’s in good shape and, while certainly not willing to go near us, doesn’t demonstrate actual fear or anxiety in the process.  I wonder if he belongs to one of the neighbouring farms, and is just coming to visit?

Inside the sun room, I found Bob, already back on the swing bench.


Just look at that beauty!  No longer the skinny, scrawny little kitten with a head too big for his body!

He even let me touch him, though he wasn’t too happy with me coming close.  Even Doom Guy was more jumpy around me than usual.  I think it was because of the heavier coat I was wearing today.  The fabric of the outer shell makes a lot more noise. *L*

Bob, however, not only let me sidle up to him and touch him, he let me scritch his ears and cheeks!  Not only that, but even as tense as he was, he started to purr and relax a bit.  Until Doom Guy came over and disturbed him. 😀

Then I saw a bit of movement out the window, so I snuck over to the door to take a peek.


Look who peeked back!

He moved away after I took the photo, but I went inside the house after this, so I hope he came back for food soon after.

I like my cat-filled morning routine. 😀

The Re-Farmer

Collecting Cats

We are now up to three, regularly visiting, adult cats that we collectively refer to as the “dad cats.”

Not sure that’s what they actually are, but it works. 😀

It has been a chilly, blustery day today – as I write this, the temperature is at a not-to-bad -3C, but the windchill puts it at -12C! – so it was a good day to stay indoors as much as possible.

No surprise, of course, that when I went through the Old Kitchen to feed the outside cats this morning, the kittens were in a big pile on the swing bench they love so much.  They started to scatter as soon as I opened the second door, which is when I noticed an extra cat, sitting on the dresser I use as a tool chest!  He ran off as soon as he saw me, as he usually does.  It was the black and white “dad cat.”

I’m glad we found a way to prop the doors into the sun room, just enough for the cats to get in and use it.  There’s no insulation or heat in there, but it’s still better than outside!

After putting out the food and fresh water, I started heading towards the garage and noticed another cat, sitting in an area where I’d cleared a path to some Saskatoon bushes over the summer, watching me.  It was the grey tabby with a bit of white we’ve started to see more often these days.

As I went by the feeding area later, I saw him again at a food bowl.  He ran off, but just around the corner of the house.


I couldn’t get close enough for a decent picture.  The kittens and their moms don’t seem to mind him at all – even Rolando Moon went by without hissing at him at all!

Then later this evening, after it was full dark, I glanced out my office window to see the grey and white cat peeking in at me!

He took off before I could try for a picture of him.  When I looked out, I saw the food bowls were empty.  I was thinking the grey and white cat might not have had any food at all, yet. I had some leftovers set aside for the outside cats and, since it’s so chilly out there, I decided to warm it up and bring it out for them.

I didn’t see him around when I got outside, but Doom Guy and The Outsider immediately came over, then both went at the warm food as soon as I put some into the first container.  The Outsider even let me pet him!  Though it may be he was just too interested in food to notice that I’d touched him. 😀

There was snow in their food bowls, so after I put some food into the second one, I moved it under the little shelter over the basement window (which is what the dad cat climbs on, to be able to look into my office).  Then I took the bowl the kittens were eating from and moved it under, too – after prying it loose from the ground it had frozen to.  Doom Guy moved over to sniff at the bowl I’d used to carry the food out, but The Outsider just stayed there, staring at the circle of snow-free grass that was under the food bowl.  Like he was trying to figure out where the bowl went! 😀

So I reached over, picked him up, and moved him to where I’d put the bowl of food.

And he let me!!!  Didn’t flinch or try to get away or anything.  He just started eating, right away.  Yay!!

Then I picked up Doom Guy and moved him over, because he was still snuffling around.

With Corvo still gone who-knows-where, we currently have 5 kittens, plus The Outsider, the two moms and Rolando Moon, here pretty much all the time.  Add in the three dad cats that now visit regularly, we are up to a dozen outside cats.

It should get very interesting, if more of the cats we were feeding all last winter start showing up again!

The Re-Farmer

Oh, those kits!

The outside cats are certainly entertaining.

First, they tried to kill my husband this morning.  !!!  As he went out to feed them this morning, they were all at the door.  The usual tripping hazard!  As he started to step down from the concrete stairs at the door, Doom Guy dashed under his foot.  He moved to avoid stepping on him, and ended up stepping on one of the glazed bricks that are along the side of the entryway.

It was slippery.

Down he went! Continue reading

Getting feisty!

Part of my morning routine, weather willing, is to walk around the yard and check on things, such as looking for fallen branches, or seeing if anything broke or blew over during the night.

Having been able to clear as much of the spruce grove perimeter as I have, I now include that as well.

So I finally got a photo this morning, of the lonely little cedar tree, cleared of the poplars that were starting to crowd it.

20181026.cedar .

I will have to do some research to find out the best way to care for this little guy.  🙂

Beep Beep has taken to following me, as I walk around.  Sometimes, Butterscotch as well.

This morning, I had both of them.

Beep Beep, we’ve noticed, has been getting feistier and more aggressive to the other cats.  This morning, she went after Butterscotch!20181026.catfight1

It’s one thing to be growling at the other cats, and maybe batting at them a bit.  Rolando Moon has always been like that.


But this morning, she was ready to start a fight with Butterscotch!


And Butterscotch is definitely the more passive of the two.

I broke them up and ended up carrying Butterscotch for a while.

Poor thing. 😦

The Re-Farmer