Morning in the garden

Oh, what a tiny little harvest this morning. 😁

I went ahead and picked our single patty pan squash. It’s supposed to be all yellow. This is the size we like them at best. Summer squash are supposed to be more productive the more you pick them, but right now, I’m not even seeing any more female flowers.

This is the most raspberries we’ve had yet. Usually, I get to pick one or two in the mornings, and that’s it.

I also found a single shelling pea that was filled enough to pick.

I ate it.

It was tasty. 😊

We are actually going to have cherries this year! We’re going to need a ladder to pick them, though. They’re almost all only at the highest branches!

While puttering around the yard and gardens – and enjoying the fact that I can walk through the maple grove again, I kept hearing a constant buzzing noise. It sounded like I was hearing thousands of bees up in the trees, but I couldn’t see them.

I figured it out, though. It’s that time of year!

The linden tree is in peak blooming time now, and was the source of the buzzing!

Not a lot of flowers are on the lower branches, but even they were full of insects.

Turn your volume up to watch this. The microphone didn’t actually pick it up very well – it was MUCH louder in real life!

This would be the idea time to harvest the flowers, but honestly… I don’t know if I’d want to get in the middle of all those insects! Not all of them will be stinging insects, of course, but with how much they’re constantly moving around, there’s always going to be at least some nearby! When I was in my early teens, I remember harvesting the flowers for my mother by standing on a ladder and dropping them onto a sheet on the ground below.

The tree is much, much bigger now. 😊

The Re-Farmer

Clean up: very little progress, but gosh, that’s cute!

I headed out to see how much I could do for clean up, before the weather drove me indoors.

This is the area we decided we will put the outhouse we are planning to make as a cordwood practice building.

The double ended arrow is a dead spruce that will need to come down, before it falls down. There is another spruce we’ve identified as a risk, near it. It’s still alive, but already starting to fall, with roots on one side torn loose from the ground. Likely from high winds. Getting rid of those before we build is on the to-do list. The last thing we need is to build what is intended to be basically an emergency outdoor bathroom (because we discovered a need for this!), only to have a tree fall on it.

The other arrows point to tree stumps hidden among the underbrush. The ones I’ve spotted so far, at least. I’m sure that, as we clear things away, we will find more. Hopefully, the roots of these trees will not be an issue when we start clearing away sod to a depth of 6 – 8 inches.

This is all the progress I managed to do.

Basically, I cleared a bit of an old tree stump. Some of the stuff I cleared last year was starting to grow back, so that had to be gotten rid of. Then there were some cherry trees that are spreading. The cherry trees in this area have still not started to bloom yet, unlike the one near the house, which has already completed it’s flowering stage. I did keep some larger pieces of cherry.

I checked the weather about an hour after coming inside, and it was 26C/79F, with a “real feel” of 32C/90F, and a humidity of 62% – and it would have started to cool down by the time I checked!

They’re predicting thunderstorms again. Go figure.

While trying to clear around the old stump, some grasses pulled away much easier than I expected.

It turns out that there is an ants nest in it. We have two common types of ants here (though I don’t know what their proper names are). Black ants, which build their nests in the dirt and in open areas, like lawns, and red ants, which like to build their nests of spruce needles and in trees. These ones are NOT carpenter ants. That much, I do know. But they will take advantage of a dead tree stump, if it’s rotting enough.

The other thing I was able to do was clear away the piles of old boards we’d used to mark out the garden beds and hold down the protective plastic. I didn’t want to just stack them on the ground, where they will just rot, but where to put them that will keep them off the ground?

Well… there are these two old dog houses by the old outhouses, that we will cover in the fall again, so little critters can use them for shelter.

May as well use those!

We are going to need to clean up the rest of the wood in the junk pile, so I figure we can add more of the better boards onto here, to create a sort of roof. Who knows if they’ll stay here, but it’s one way to keep them off the ground, and that’s all I’m really after, right now.

Once I got inside with my chunks of cherry wood, I went into the cool of the basement to debark them, and keep the babies company.

I misjudged my ability to work with them around.

This would be Big Rig, under Leyendecker, both of whom got all sleepy on me. As I was trying to maneuver my phone to take this picture, Big Rig’s head just flopped over like this as she feel asleep!

Then Beep Beep climbed up, waking them both up, so she could curl up on my chest and demand attention. !!

For I while, I had Saffron perched on my shoulder, just watching the world go by, Big Rig, Leyendecker and Beep Beep, curled up on my arm and chest, snuggling and falling asleep, while Turmeric climbed my leg and tackled the tip of Big Rig’s tale. Only Nicco left me alone, preferring to explore the table behind me, then curl up for a nap on the platform bed frame they like to sleep under.

Thankfully, since I was able to reach my phone, I was able to let the girls know about my predicament, and they came down to assist me after they finished making supper. I did manage to detach most of the cats off of me – temporarily. Saffron was just sitting on my shoulder, so I left her be, but even as I worked on a piece of cherry with a large knife, I soon had kittens back on my lap to watch!

Thanks to the girls distracting the kittens, I did manage to debark two pieces completely – and even get the bark off in one piece!

The thicker, shorter section was only partly done; more than half of it seems to have been in the process of dying or something. You even see where the colour changes in the photo, from fresh to dry wood. The bark just would not come off, and with my wrist still giving me grief, using the knife to take off the bark was not a good thing!

My daughter looked it up, and it turns out cherry is poisonous to cats (except the pulp of ripe berries), so all the little bits and pieces went into my sawdust bin, which has a seal-able lid. The pieces of wood are now drying in the rafters, and the bark I was able to remove all in one piece are now laid out on a shelf in the sun room, drying next to my seed trays (where a single squash of some sort has germinated!).

I do hope it we finally get a solid rainfall, instead of having the systems swoop right past us again! It’s not like we’re dry right now, but it would be wonderful for that humidity to finally be reduced! I would love to be able to work outside for longer! There is just too much to get done out there.

The Re-Farmer

Today’s Evening Roundup

It’s barely evening, but I think I’m done for the day! 😀

We had plans to go into the city so the girls could get some shopping done that we never quite get to when we do our monthly stock up. With that in mind, I started my morning routine early, starting with visiting the kittens.

Beep Beep dashed up the stairs when I opened the door to the basement, so I let her be and made sure no other cats came down. This way, the babies got to have the wet cat food, without having to fight over it with their mom! 😀

Except for Saffron, who was much more interested in me…

I think they did leave some behind for Beep Beep, when she finally came down. 😀

Doing my rounds outside is getting so gorgeous right now!

I noticed that the cherry tree by the house is blooming now.

Just the cherry trees by the house. The ones near the new garden plot are not blooming yet. Both areas get the same amount of light and rain. The only difference is the micro-climate created by the house itself.

I also found some surprise blooms.

When cleaning up along the south side of the spruce grove, I found a row of crab apple trees. While I still have much to do in cleaning up dead wood and thinning out the trees, what I managed to do so far, made a difference. Last summer would have been their first summer with more light and space. Like the row of crab apple trees I uncovered when cleaning up the maple grove, they had no flowers at all last year. This year, there is one tree, with one branch, that is blooming!

It should be interesting to see how things develop here over the years. I will be taking at some of these trees, and hopefully the remaining ones will have better conditions to grow and produce.

The lilacs are starting to open up, scenting the entire yard!

The chokecherries growing among them seem to be doing well this year.

I also checked the sunflowers, and even more of them are sprouting. These are the Early Russian sunflowers, which can grow 6-8 ft tall. The others are Giganteus, which can grow 10-12 ft tall. I hope to see Giganteus seedlings within a few days. The package info says it can be 10-14 days to germination.

When the girls and I headed out to the city, we had a wonderful surprise, just half a mile from home!

I pulled over and my daughter tried to zoom in on my phone as best she could, but zoom really sucks on my phone’s camera.

What you are seeing is a dozen sandhill cranes! They had been near the road when we startled them. These are really huge birds!! Seeing a dozen of them taking off at once was really something!

The drive to the city is about an hour, but along the way we made sure to stop at the medical clinic. The town our doctor is in is about 2/3rds of the way to the city. After not being able to get through yesterday, I wanted to ask about getting renewed prescriptions. Especially for my husband. Given he has the kind that requires a hand written, in triplicate, prescription that needs to be delivered to a pharmacy within 3 days of being written, I said I could come back for them after we were done in the city, rather than waiting until the doctor was off the phone with a patient.

Then it was off to the city, where we had several places to do to. Thankfully, they were not all that far apart, but not only has traffic increased substantially again, but so has construction. Most of the stores had no real restrictions or line ups. At least not the ones we needed to go to. We did drive past a few places that had long line ups outside. Even Walmart didn’t have any line ups for the cashiers, never mind outside.

I really feel for the people lining up outside in this heat we’re having right now!

Still, we got what we needed to do, done. There was some temptation to do more with “while we’re in the city anyway…”, but it was just too long, too hot and too draining! If it wasn’t necessary, we skipped it.

On the way home, we stopped at the clinic again. The doctor ended up asking me to come in to see him about the prescriptions.

It turned out that he had already faxed the refills to the pharmacy. Including my husband’s triplicate prescriptions. Because of the pandemic, they’ve waived the requirement for the pharmacy to have the physical prescriptions. Which no one told me about. They probably assumed I already knew.

My husband’s meds were ready for pick up on the 29th – a Friday – but he forgot to tell me about it until after the pharmacy was closed. So I picked them up on Saturday morning, after dropping my daughter off at work. When I picked them up, the pharmacist told me he could only fill so much, because of the need for renewals.

They must have faxed the clinic when my husband called his refills in, because the doctor faxed the renewed prescriptions …

… on the 29th.

Which means that, when the pharmacist gave me 1 week of bubble packs and told me he couldn’t do more (usually it’s 4 weeks) without a renewed prescription, they already had the renewed prescriptions come in, the day before.


Meanwhile, I’d been out of my own prescription for some time. When I went to get a refill and they couldn’t, they sent a fax to the clinic right away. I came back a couple of days later, and they still hadn’t received a returned fax.

That had gotten done on the 14th.

No one called me, so I assumed they never got a response. I’ve been without my meds for about 3 weeks. That was part of why I wanted to go in to the clinic in person, since we couldn’t get through by phone.

My doctor clarified all that for me, and even printed out copies of the prescriptions for my own records. Once we were done there, we headed to the town our pharmacy is in.

It turned out my prescription was filled and waiting in the drawer.


Thankfully, my prescription is nothing particularly urgent.

I did ask for my husband’s refills to be done, since he’ll be out in a few days. The bubble packs take more time, so I’ll be coming back tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I picked up something for myself.

After helping my brother patch the shed roof, I felt okay, but by the end of the day, my right wrist started to hurt. I have no idea what I did to injure, or even if it was any one thing that did it. I was able to manage well enough yesterday; mostly, I was reminded of it as a problem when I tried to do something like turn a door nob.

I am considered left handed, because I write with my left hand. With most things, I’m ambidextrous. Some things, I’m right handed.

Like when I open door knobs.

When driving around today, it was more of an issue. Just turning the ignition to start the vehicle was painful. Turning corners, hurt.

So I now have a brace to keep me from over taxing my wrist (though I had to take it off to type) and give it a chance to heal. It’s a bit on the small side, but I got the largest size available.

My and my big, manly hands! 😀

Thankfully, I have two strong daughters who can lug things around for me.

When we unloaded the van, we also brought the pieces of tree in, since it’s supposed to rain. Getting the big one was an issue; we did have to cut one of the branches off.

So far, it hasn’t rained here, but from the looks of the weather radar, we should get at least some, though a rather large rain system has already bypassed us entirely. Some rain would be wonderful. 🙂

Meanwhile, it’s time for me to get that wrist brace back on!


The Re-Farmer

Looking good

It’s been a busy few days of out-and-abouting, but today I hope to get actual manual labour done in the yard.

While also being careful of my broken toe, of course.


Yesterday, my older daughter and I got glamour shots of the kittens, to use in our attempts to adopt them out. We got a bunch of photos, uploaded them, went out to retake some for a couple of kittens, uploaded them, looked them all over again.

And again.

And again.

Went back out to track down the kitten we missed. 😀

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Growing things – and that’s dedication!

While doing my evening rounds, I found all sorts of lovely growing things!

My mother’s yellow lilies ad opening up like crazy, with lots of buds. They are going to do very well this year!

The white roses my mother planted in the same area are doing much better than last year. These are the same type as by the house, but it’s not as good a location for them, so they tend not to be the explosion of flowers, like I can see outside my bedroom window right now.

I was really happy to see so many cherries forming! These are just the ones by the house – where last year, I found only 3 cherries, in total! The ones by the spruces are also showing lots of cherries starting to form.

Not long after I did my rounds and got these photos, it start to rain.

It continued to rain pretty much through the night, and was still raining when I drove my daughter to work.

Which is so awesome! All the flowers, fruit trees and berry bushes are going to love it!

I swung by the lake this morning. It was still raining and quite windy, so I was expecting things to be empty, but nope. Some people are just really, really dedicated to their fun!

I watched as this guy was kneeling on his board, struggling to paddle against the waves. He managed to stand for a little while, but was soon back on his knees, trying to paddle out further. He was still at it when I left!

Though the rain has certainly cooled things down, we’re still supposed to be hitting temperatures in the mid 20s C for a while, then into the high 20s C by next week. I’ll take the cool breezes while I can! 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Three lonely cherries!

While walking past the flower garden between the house and the spruce grove, a flash of red caught my eye…


I had been wondering what kind of trees these were!

When I asked my mother where the cherry trees were, she told me about a completely different location.  There may still be cherry trees there, but I haven’t been able to find them.

She never mentioned the ones beside the house!

One of the trees had a whole three cherries on it (you can see a second one by the birdhouse).  The other, nothing.

I wish I know what variety they are.  Then I could figure out if there is anything I can to do help them produce, or if it’s just not the right climate for them here.

I’m just happy to finally find some cherry trees at all! 😀

The Re-Farmer