Stormy day

If all had gone to plan for today, I would be just arriving at my mother’s right now, to help her with her grocery shopping.

This morning, things were looking just fine out.

Some of the cats still didn’t want to go out in the relatively warm temperatures! 😀

Switching out the memory card on the new camera was a problem this morning. I had my little bowl under it and pushed the micro SD card in to unlatch it, but it didn’t pop out. I tried several times, eventually getting it looser, but I still couldn’t get the card out. It has a little ridge at the end for taking it out of card reader adapter, but even pulling on that with a fingernail was not getting it loose. It did eventually come out, dropped into the waiting bowl I was holding under it…

Then bounced out, and fell into the snow.


I put the replacement card in, then went hunting. Thankfully, the snow was really soft under the camera, and I could see a little slot in the snow were the memory card sliced through. I scooped a handful around where it fell, but still couldn’t find it. The snow was so soft, it fell even deeper! So I had to very carefully dig around in the snow, and I did find it.

I then had to make sure it got good and dry before using it!

I also have to come up with something better to catch the memory card, that I can also fit in my pocket. Ideally, I’d have a little tray attached to the post, under the camera. Figuring out how to rig one of those up would probably be better.

It’s a good thing we’re not actually trying to hide the camera or anything like that! LOL

There has got to be a better way to do this, though. :-/

When I finally tried to upload the files, however, I realized I’d forgotten something important.

I hadn’t formatted the second card. There was nothing on it.

When setting up the camera with the first card, I was able to format it right in the trail cam. When I switched cards yesterday, I wasn’t able to get the screen working (likely due to the cold), and I forgot completely about it needing to be formatted before use.

So there’s a day or recordings, lost! I even saw our vandal going by on his quad, in files on the other camera, turning around near our driveway. It did look like he was just turning around, not stopping or doing anything nefarious, but I really would have liked to have had the different view of him.

We shall see how things work tomorrow.

That’s if I switch out the cards tomorrow. I might skip a day, with the weather we’re having right now.

On seeing that it looked like the storm was actually going to hit us, and fairly soon, I called my mother to see if she was up to doing her shopping earlier. She was, thankfully. She had other places she wanted to go to as well, so we picked up the groceries last. Unfortunately, there was a line up outside the store, which she had never seen before! With the restrictions on how many people can be in the store, they had someone outside (poor kid was NOT dressed for the weather!), counting people. He was a sweetheart and got a cart for me that I could bring to my mother so she could use it as a walker. Thankfully, the line was moving fast, so my 89 yr old mother with her damaged knee didn’t have to stand outside in the cold for very long!

I’m rather incensed about that. Not only have there been no cases of Covid traced to retail outlets in our province, there are none at all in her town.

The storm reached her town while we were in the grocery store. I was able to bring her groceries to her apartment, at least (her building is locked down, but it turns out they do allow deliveries). I wasn’t able to stay and put her groceries away for her, like I usually do. I didn’t want to get her in trouble with the abusive caretakers. Things didn’t look too bad in town, but once I reached the highway, I could see the storm had reached town. I actually drove out of it on the way home, but in the last couple of miles to the farm, I could actually see the storm coming in from the west. Not longer after I got home, my mother phoned to say how glad she was that we did her shopping earlier, because it was really blowing hard around her building! By then, we were getting fairly heavy snow, but not the winds. As I write this, the snow has actually let up a bit. The south of the province is getting the blizzard warnings. It’s a large system, but we may be far enough north to get just the edges of it.

The good thing is, we are well stocked and, now that my mother is also well stocked, we don’t have to go anywhere for some time. We could probably hunker down until after New Year’s, if we needed to. Not that I expect to need to. The storm should pass by tomorrow, and we’re supposed to get a couple of cold days, and then its supposed to get mild again. And by “mild”, I mean around the -10C/14F range.

About the only thing that is going to be an issue is our internet connection. Which we just lost, so I’m not sure when I’ll be able to publish this post! Oh, it’s back again!

Better publish this while I can! My apologies for any typos I’ve missed. 😀

The Re-Farmer

Catching up

Before I catch up on things, I just had to share this photo.

This is Little Braveheart, now known as Tissue, cuddling with “grandma”.

That is the protective foam insert that came with the new washing machine. Our old mama cat has claimed it as her favorite bed, but she doesn’t mind a kitten joining her for cuddles!

They do like to chew on it, though. 😀


Yesterday, I bit the bullet and headed out to do some bigger shopping. It’s really mostly cat food and litter, where the price difference makes it worth the cost of gas to drive so far to get it. That, and supply. Locally, not only are the prices higher, but they just don’t have the space for much inventory or selection. After hearing about what people have gone though in the city, where we usually go, I wasn’t sure it was safe for me, so I went to the smaller city instead. It’s big enough to have a Walmart. 😀 It’s a small store, but it carries what I need, and they don’t bat an eye when I walk in with a shield instead of a mask. I did remember to bring our pulse oximeter, and was glad to have it. It still amazes me that even a shield causes my blood oxygen levels to drop like that. The kitties are now well stocked in kibble again, though. 🙂

I had a bit of a surprise later on, when looking up the tracking numbers for various orders that we have numbers for. Our new trail cam is supposed to arrive today, along with some other stuff – maybe. Lots of stuff are now coming up as delayed, as Canada Post is overwhelmed. When checking this time, though, I realized the trail cam wasn’t being sent by mail. It’s being shipped by UPS! So now I’ve got the garage security camera aimed at the gate, with the sound on, to keep an eye out for the delivery. Assuming they even find our place. We don’t exactly show up on GPS. :-/ The first time we tried to have something delivered by UPS, they had the hardest time finding us. The last time, they left the parcel at the general store/post office for us to pick up. So I’m not sure what will happen.

I don’t like ordering things online, and this is another reason why. It’s just that much harder to actually physically get things out here! I’d much rather get things locally, but so many things just aren’t available here.

I look forward to getting to a point of self-sufficiency, where we don’t have to depend on questionable delivery services, supply chains and such. It’ll take quite a few years to accomplish, but with all the stuff going on right now, it’s really been hitting home, how necessary that goal is for us, out here in the boonies. It’s hard enough to get things we need at the best of times, and these are not the best of times!

The Re-Farmer


A few days ago, I wrote about doing this…

Most of the sunflower stalks had been stripped of their leaves and tops, but the tallest ones were beyond the reach of the deer. I bent the stalks on each of those to bring the tops down.

This morning, they all looked like this.

They are all now stripped bare of leaves and seed heads! The deer were most efficient.

In other things I am happy to say I was able go pick up our new pasta maker in the mail. We look forward to using it soon! It had actually arrived on Friday, but I was expecting other things to be in by now, so I waited. Alas, nothing else had arrived. Including my Rare Seeds order. At this point, I suspect we won’t see either order from there from there until January, but the first part of my Veseys order should arrive next week.

Like everywhere else, people are ordering online a lot more, as local stores are either closed or not allowed to sell “non-essential” items. Like clothing. Our lock down was supposed to end on Dec. 11, but it’s already been announced that it will only be “relaxed” a bit. You still can’t buy new clothes, but now you can go to a thrift shop and buy used ones. You still can’t buy new toys for your kids, but you can buy wrapping paper and decorations, though those items are only temporarily allowed. Kids still can’t play hockey or go to the playground, but the NHL team is allowed to have practices now. They finally allowed the drive through light displays. Church services had been banned, but some had drive in services. After ticketing them for 10’s of thousands of dollars, the drive in services are now allowed, but with very stern warnings about compliance. The crazy thing is, these parking lot services went above and beyond, right from the start. Even the cars themselves were physically distanced, as if the virus can get through glass and steel and leap from vehicle to vehicle. They’re just a scapegoat, of course. Just like anyone who can’t wear a mask.

Something happened in the city just a few days ago that was incredibly disturbing. A young woman with PTSD had tried to go to a Giant Tiger to buy some groceries. Normally, why a person can’t wear a mask is not to be talked about, since it’s a privacy violation, but in this case, the young woman and her mother (who first shared the story on a group we’re on) were willing to tell why. This young woman had been raped as a child, and her rapist held his hand over her mouth as he attacked her. She now cannot have anything in front of her face without triggering her PTSD. Not a scarf or a blanket, nor a shield or mask.

When she went into the store, she was told she needed to wear a mask. She explained that she was medically exempt. Instead of honoring the mandate, which explicitly states when people are exempt from wearing a mask, they called the police.

What happened next was horrific. SIX squad cars responded. When she tried to explain she was medically exempt from wearing a mask, she was attacked, thrown to the ground, handcuffed, and a mask forcibly put over her face. She was then arrested and taken to a police station.

In the end, they let her go, because she had done nothing wrong. Later, after so many friends came to her door to check on her, she made a short video of herself, so she wouldn’t have to keep describing what happened, over and over. As you can imagine, the whole thing traumatized her all over again, but she assured those who cared for her that she was NOT suicidal, and that she was going to get through it. She just needed to be left alone for a little while.

This sort of thing is increasing. A politician in another locked down province recently shared what happened to his own son. His son and a friend were in a bar, which are allowed to be open. They are both medically exempt. His friend went to the bar to order a beer and was told he had to wear a mask. He explained he was medically exempt. They called the police. The politician’s son tried to stand up for his friend, explaining they were both medically exempt.

He ended up being tazed in the back.

As you can imagine, as someone who cannot wear a mask, these sorts of things really concern me. It’s not too bad when I go to local stores – I only go to the ones I know are safe – but I will have to go to the city to do the second half of our monthly shop. I was hoping to be able to do it after the lock down expired on the 11th, but that no longer matters. Nothing of substance is changing. I’m fortunate, in that I can get away with wearing a shield for a short time, but in some places, not even those are accepted. They say you have to wear a mask under it. Meanwhile, I struggle even with the shield, if I wear it for too long.

Part of what’s frustrating is when well meaning (and sometimes not so well meaning) people suggest wearing a mask anyway, to avoid all this. It’s just a few minutes, after all. That’s like telling someone with a peanut allergy that they should just try a different brand of peanut butter. :-/

Well, I’ve gone off on a tangent. I do try to keep things on this blog neutral but, from the start, I wanted to keep things as real as possible, talking about both the positives and the negatives of restarting our lives here. I didn’t want to put forward any illusions that things are sunshine and roses, because nothing ever is. Personally, I think we often learn more from the negatives than the positives! I never imagined I would find myself writing about being stripped of our basic human rights and dignity, but it is what it is. It’s one of the things we have to deal with.

I will say, though, that I am really, really glad we are no longer living in the city! The province we moved away from just entered a new lock down, too. Things are even worse, there – and I don’t mean with the virus.

We’re living in a house that needs major renovations, on a farm where most of the usable tools disappeared before we moved here, are being sued by the person who took them, for more money than replacing the roof would cost, and have to maintain security cameras in case our vandal does something stupid again, while our peace bond application against him has been delayed due to the Covid restrictions.

And I am still grateful to be living here.

The Re-Farmer

This is going to be an odd Christmas

Today is the first Sunday of Advent.

Leyendecker is undisturbed by human regulations and restrictions! 😀

Normally, our tree would have already been decorated, and the Advent wreath, with its candles, set up.

It doesn’t look like we’ll be able to have a tree this year. The cats just seem to wait until we’re not around, then go after it. The main problem is, there’s really just one place that works well for a tree in this house, and there isn’t any way to stabilize it. At least not without making holes for hooks in places I really don’t want to put holes.

So we’re thinking of using a garland that looks like spruce branches in place of a tree, and focus more on decorating the house.

At least, up near the ceiling! 😀

As for the Advent wreath, I forgot we no longer had candles. There are supposed to be 4 of them. Three in blue or purple, one in pink. One after another is symbolically lit on each Sunday of Advent. A 5th candle, in white and representing Christ, can be included, to be lit on Christmas day.

If I’d remembered we burned away the last of our supply of these candles last year, I would have gone hunting for them long ago. I’d found them at Michael’s before, but outside of boxed sets specifically put together for Advent, it’s hard to find the right colours, this time of year. Michael’s, of course, is shut down right now, along with all the other “non essential” stores. Churches are shut down, too, so there’s another potential source no longer available.

I did have other candles, though. I have a silver candelabra my husband bought for me years ago, that holds 3 candles – and I had kept the candles from the last time we’d used it. They’re gold instead of blue or purple, and only about 4 inches long, but they’ll do. In place of the pink candle, I have a white one. For the Christ candle, I have another white one, marked with a cross, that had been included in our traditional Easter basket for blessing.

Yesterday, I helped my mother do her grocery shopping. Her building is closed off to all but residents and staff, so she had to meet me outside. She wasn’t wearing her face shield, but the surgical mask under her nose again. When I asked why, she ignored me, so I suspect she’s afraid of being hassled, even with the shield. She had to go to the bank, first and had called ahead to make an appointment the day before. She was told she could come any time during opening hours, and given instructions. They don’t allow anyone into the bank anymore. There’s a table set up in the vestibule. Only one person allowed at a time. Not that there’s room in there for more. My mother filled out what she needed, then knocked on the door. When someone came over, they couldn’t even open the door very far, because there was no room with her walker in there.

I waited outside while she sat in her walker. Some guy came by, wanting to go in. After confirming with me that my mother was not waiting in line, but had already been helped, and that I was not waiting in line, either, he read the signs while putting on his mask. He read the “one person in the vestibule at a time”, then asked, “what’s a vestibule?” 🙂 It is not a word that is commonly used out here!

Then he decided to try and get into the bank.

Yup. Went in, with my mother, and tried to open the locked inner door.


I don’t know what my mother said to him, but I heard him answering “I know that” as he left. 😀

We started chatting about the ridiculousness of it all (seriously; in that tiny space, if the virus were an issue around here, which it isn’t, it’s like they’d created the very conditions it would most likely be spread!), and he started going on about how the reason we were having so many problems was because all the kids are allowed to go to school and spread the bacteria.

Yes. He said bacteria.

Thinking he may have misspoke, I mentioned it was a virus, and he just brushed it off and kept talking about how all these asymptomatic kids are getting everyone sick by spreading the bacteria.

Thankfully, my mother was soon done and I had to help her with the doors. Because, of course, they’re not using the entry with automated doors for persons with disabilities.


The rest of the trip was uneventful, and my mother is now well stocked for a while. I made a point of bringing our folding wagon along, so while my mother unlocked the side door closer to her apartment, I loaded it up and brought it over. She then had to push her walker while pulling the wagon to get her groceries in, then bring it back. If I weren’t concerned about her being hassled, I would have gone in anyway. 😦

Since I was out with my mother yesterday, it was today that I started something for Christmas that I’ve been wanting to try for some time.

I cooked up a baking soda and cornstarch dough. My intention was to make cookie cutter ornaments with it. I have a set of cutters that are meant more for gingerbread house type dough, that make interlocking pieces. Once dry, the pieces can be put together to make a 3D tree, star or reindeer. I had another set of cookie cutters in a variety of Christmas themed shapes.

It didn’t work.

I think I might not have cooked the dough long enough or something, but I cooked it until it was so thick, I couldn’t stir it anymore, so it should have worked. Yet it was way too soft to be able to do anything after cutting the shapes I wanted. After several attempts, I gave up and offered the dough to the girls. They made a bunch of little sculptures, instead, which will take several days to dry.

I guess I’ll just stick with the orange slice decorations I was going to start on while the baking soda dough ones dried.

It’s funny. With having moved so many times over the years, and now with my husband’s mobility so reduced, there is nothing unusual about having Christmas with just the 4 of us. Since we were already living on my husband’s disability payments, we’re used to being extremely fugal. Living in relative isolation, a lot of the restrictions and regulations don’t affect us directly most of the time. Yet, the long tentacles of government overreach is affecting even us. When we do go into town, we’re not allowed to buy anything Christmas related (unless it’s for pets; you can buy all the Christmas themed pet toys you want, but you can’t buy toys for human children), nor books and magazines, most clothing, and so many other things government talking heads have decided are not “essential”. All of this is affecting everyone, as prices for basic necessities, have to go up in response. So people like us and my mother – who at least have incomes, as small as they are – are going to be having a harder time of it. Gas prices are going down again, but there is nowhere to go. Supposedly, the lock down is going to end on Dec. 11, but our premier is already saying it’s not going to be lifted much, and telling people not to get together with family for Christmas, even with the reduced restrictions.

Meanwhile, it’s our seniors in long term care in the city, surrounded by people in PPE, but no family or loved ones, and no activities to help combat cognitive decline or loneliness, that are dying. Not necessarily of the virus, but of starvation, dehydration and neglect. Meanwhile, my mother can’t even find out how her sister is doing; her niece isn’t returning her calls (not sure what’s going on there), and my mother can’t navigate the automated phone system to talk to a human being. I’m not on the list of people they’re allowed to talk to, so I can’t find out for her.

I think I’ll call, anyway, and ask them to phone my mother or something.

It’s going to be a very strange Christmas.

The Re-Farmer

Half shop, and bubble!

First up, Happy Thanksgiving to all our visitors from the US! I hope you are having a wonderful day! 🙂

Today was my day to go into the city for our monthly stock up.

I was really dreading it.

I’m part of a local, private, online group where people around our province share where it is safe to shop for people who can’t wear masks. Since our province went into “enhanced lock down,” some places have gone full gestapo. The Costco I normally go to has always been really great, but something changed. Now, masks or shields are required, or no one is allowed in. I know quite a few people who cannot wear even a face shield, at all (largely due to PTSD), and they reported some pretty awful responses from the management. Worse, people were reporting that police have started patrolling the stores and parking lots at all Costco locations. They have been approaching people in their vehicles, when there is more than one person, demanding to know if they were from the same household. One woman had an officer come back to her vehicle and ticket her, for being part of a freedom protest a couple of weeks ago. How the officer determined who she was or if she were even at that protest, she didn’t know. Inside the store, people were reporting being hassled, medical exemptions being denied, and management being downright abusive. A different Costco location than the one I usually go to, which was already known for not being a safe place, has gotten even worse.

As you can imagine, I was quite concerned. Yes, I would be wearing a shield, but even people with shields were reporting being denied entry to some stores, getting harassed by security, and so on.

Normally, a daughter comes with me, but with the “enhanced lock down”, I wasn’t sure we would both be allowed into any stores at the same time. So I went alone, just in case.

Normally, we do a drive through breakfast, then Walmart, then an international grocery store, then Costco, so that stuff that is frozen, or needs refrigeration, is in the vehicle for the shortest possible time.

Today, I skipped the drive through, and bought most of what was on my list at Walmart. I walked in with my shield, and no one batted an eye. I was the only person I saw with a shield instead of a mask, the entire time. I did get odd looks from a couple of customers, but with their faces hidden, I really couldn’t tell what their full expressions where. One old guy just stopped dead in his tracks and stared at me. ???

The last thing I got at the Walmart was a small tray of sushi for breakfast to eat in the van, then headed to the international grocery store. I was able to get the rest of what was on my list there. This place is awesome, and I probably would have been fine without even the face shield, but I didn’t want to take a chance of them getting fined $5000; something else our provincial government has started to do.

Along with what was on my list, I also found something I was quite excited about, in the Indian food aisle.

Duram wheat flour!

We’re going to be making pasta! 😀

It doesn’t take much for me to get excited. 😉

Best of all, though, I was able to skip Costco entirely.

Since neither place had flat carts, I wasn’t able to get things in the same amount we normally would. I basically did a half-shop, as far as quantities go, so we will need to make a second trip. Especially for the heavy stuff, like cat food and litter. Most of the smaller, lighter stuff, we can get locally without hurting the budget too badly. The lock down is supposed to end on Dec. 11, so we have at least enough to last until then. I don’t expect the lock down to actually end, though. From what I’m seeing, I expect things to get worse, not better. And I don’t mean the virus. I hope I’m wrong.

Once I got home, and the girls and I were putting everything away, I happened to see something odd through the semi-transparent lid of our flour container. So I opened it to check.

It’s a bubble!!

The “bread egg” I buried in there managed to expand a bubble far enough to break through the top of the flour!

Well, at least I know that yeast is still active and happy! 😀

Tonight, I’ll be fishing it out to soak overnight, to continue my Babcia’s bread experiment.

But I digress…

One thing I made sure to do as I headed out, was bring our pulse oximeter. After the issues I had before, I wanted to monitor myself. I used it before I left and I can’t say I was surprised to see my heart rate was at 112 – I was already pretty stressed! – but my oxygen was at 95%. I typically read at 97 or 98, so this is low for me. The “normal” range is 95-100%, unless a person has something like COPD or some other lung disease. Anything from 88-94% is still considered safe, but below that, it’s recommended to get medical help.

While I was shopping, every now and then I would pause and take a reading. When my levels were below 95%, I would do some breathing exercises, watch my levels go back up again, then continue. I remember one reading where my % was okay, but my heart rate had gone up to 126!

I am really glad I brought it along.

I’m really glad we had one I could bring along!

One thing all of these mask mandates and trying to wear a shield has done, is make me more aware of my own breathing. I mean, really, who even thinks about it normally, right? Well, I’ve started to notice that I’m having issues at other times. Like while I was driving home, I found myself short of breath, and opening the window a bit to get more air flow. I’ve even noticed times when I’d be sitting at my computer, then suddenly gasping for air. What the heck?

I have kept the oximeter with me since getting home, and every now and then, I’ll do a quick test.

My heart rate has gone down to about 68-70, which is good.

My oxygen has dropped down as low as 93%.

What the heck is going on?

I don’t feel anything is off or out of the ordinary, except possibly my sinuses. My husband suggested I might be having an allergic reaction to something. Normally, I get that in the summer, when I’m working outside. I have no idea what I’m allergic to, other than it’s something environmental. I’ve had allergy tests to try and find the source of my chronic cough, and I’m not allergic to pollen or cats or any of the other usual stuff. So I think I will try taking antihistamines for a few days and see if that changes anything. This is all so very strange.


We are now stocked for about half the month. With Christmas coming, we don’t expect to do much for special shopping. Most of us have already purchased gifts online, which I hate doing unless it’s for things we cannot buy locally. I’ll have to increase the number of times we go to the post office for the next while. 🙂

One thing I did do, since we will be starting to make pasta, is order a manual pasta machine and a pasta drying rack. They should arrive in the first week of December.

Meanwhile, my daughters let me know we were running low on yeast. At the Walmart, they were mostly out. I got a vacuum packed brick of “instant yeast”, and a small jar of traditional yeast, which is what we prefer. At the international grocery store, however, they had plenty of large jars of the traditional yeast, so I snagged one.

Between our ample stock of flour, yeast and other basic ingredients, we’ll be able to do all sorts of bread baking in the next while, if we want. 🙂

Now that this trip is done, we shouldn’t need to go anywhere, other than the post office or the dump, for quite some time! Hopefully, I’ll at least be able to help my mother with a grocery shopping trip. No visitors are allowed in her building right now, but I can pick her up outside, then bring her bags to the outside doors. The social workers at the senior’s centre have offered to get groceries for her, too, so she should be okay. In her building, they slid notes under everyone’s door, telling everyone that they had to wear masks, even in the hallways – but “graciously” allowed them to be mask free inside their own apartments. !!

How did we ever get to this point? Have we learned nothing from history?

The Re-Farmer

Well, that didn’t work out

Today was the day I was to finally face our vandal in court, in regards to the restraining order I’ve filed against him.

Nothing came of it.

The court date was cancelled.

I didn’t know that, of course, so I did my rounds early and made the drive out. We’ve had some snow last night, making the roads unpleasant, to that took a bit longer than expected. I’m glad I left as early as I did, but was wishing I’d left even earlier as I got stuck behind slow moving traffic!

I’d say my first warning that things were off was when I walked into the building, and there were no security guards in the lobby at the doors. In fact, aside from one person I saw going to the court office, the place was a ghost town!

I went down the hall to where the courtroom was, only to discover there were two of them, and nothing to tell me which was going to be used. Among all the Covid signs for distancing and sanitizing (oddly, nothing about masks, though we are under a mandate) I found some giving instructions to wait in the hall until one’s particular case was called, but that was it.

As I sat and waited, another group of people came down the hall, asking each other which court room they needed to go to. They eventually sat and waited, too. I didn’t pay much attention to them until I heard one of them coming back down the hall, saying “there’s no court!” They all left at that point, but it wasn’t 10:00 yet (the time court was scheduled for), so I waited until it was past 10, then headed for the lobby.

I could see into the court office, where someone was being served, and another person was waiting in the lobby, so I went back and forth between the two for a while.

Perhaps 20 minutes had passed by then. The longest time I’ve worn the face shield, and I was starting to struggle to breathe.

Short of breath

This really surprised me, and I tried to ignore it for a while, just lifting the shield a bit to breathe from under it every now and then, but it kept getting worse.

(image source)

Eventually, it was my turn to go into the court office, and I asked about what was going on.

All court dates have been rescheduled to Dec. 18.

Well; I guess I should say court sessions will restart then, because there is no way weeks worth of court appointments will happen on one day. I’m going to have to call them to find out what the rescheduled date will be.

While our province has been under “code red” lockdown for about a week now, this morning “enhanced restrictions” kicked in. I’m guessing that’s why court was cancelled, though no reason for it was given.

As we talked, she had to step away to double check for some of the questions, and I was increasingly struggling to breathe. Once I got answers about the court date, I asked about my options in regards to serving our vandal my defense papers for the suit he’s brought against me. I’d checked the tracking number last night, and it hadn’t been picked up yet. What do I do if he refuses to accept it? She had to get someone else to answer me, because she didn’t know, and that person was on the phone. So I sat and waited about a minute.

By the time she got to me, I was so short of breath, I could hardly speak. I quickly got my answer (if he refused it, the post office would return it it me, and I’d have to serve him in person), I rushed outside and tore the mask off.

I could not believe how much trouble I was having! My breathing wasn’t obstructed at all, yet I was struggling!

I walked the block to the van and ended up sitting there for maybe 10 minutes, with the window cracked open, because I was too dizzy to safely drive.

Why was I having to much trouble??? All I could think was that, as I was sitting with the shield on, I spent much of the time looking down at my phone. The shield was right against my chest while my head was down, which probably prevented proper air flow.

Since I was in this city, I had some shopping to do, I stopped at the small Walmart that was on my way home. I figured I would have no issues, since I would be upright and walking around.

I will say that, while everyone around me was wearing masks, I had zero issues from anyone about wearing a shield. No hassles at all.

With the “enhanced lock down”, all sorts of aisles of “non essentials” were blocked, displayed wrapped up in plastic, and other displays had signs saying “not for sale”.

I was able to get the cat litter and bird seed I needed, then went through the groceries. I had a hard time finding some things, so it took a while.

By the time I was heading for the cash desk, I was struggling again, light headed and using the cart to stay upright. There was no line, though the cashiers had customers, so I didn’t have long to wait before I was guided to one that was almost done. I was so out of it, I walked right past the “stand here” line on the floor until another staff member let me know. I think the first staff member saw I was having a hard time, and let me know I could go to a different cashier, where the customer was faster at paying. I got my stuff paid for, rushed outside and removed the shield as soon as I could.

Promptly breathing a lung full of cigarette smoke, from a group of people smoking nearby.


It still wasn’t as bad as trying to breathe with the shield.

I got to the van and spent some time outside, bagging my stuff (I don’t bother bringing bags in, since I can bag things better myself at the van). It was enough time that I was able to recover.

I am totally blown away by how much trouble I had. This was not at all expected.

As I’m finishing this up, I still need to head out to pick up my husband’s prescription refills. From the pharmacy that will no longer let me in, even with a shield.

And now I know even a shield is a problem for me, at least after a while.

This is so ridiculous.

The Re-Farmer

A new day

Today dawned a beautifully sunny, bitterly cold day. It doesn’t take much for the wind chill to bring a -12C (10F) morning to -22C (-7F)! It was good to get outside, though, where a whole crowd of furry adorableness was out waiting for me.

I didn’t post yesterday, other than the critter of the day photo, and I’m still debating where I should write about it at all. I generally try to focus on the things we do and find around the property, but this blog is also about our transition to life out here, and the things we deal with. Obviously, there are things I’ll never write about in a public blog, even anonymously, but I do try to cover what I can, as openly as possible. The good and the bad.

Yesterday was both.

Yesterday is also the first time it brought me to tears.

Believe me. It takes a lot to get me to that point.

The first tears were tears of … how do I even describe it? Humiliation? Frustration, to be sure. Emotional pain. Even a sense of betrayal.

My husband needed a prescription refill. The pharmacy was closed on Remembrance Day, so he ended up calling it in on the first day of our province locking things down again. They’re also pushing the mask mandates even harder, despite all evidence showing that it’s not actually accomplishing anything. Pretty much everyone is complying, but the test positivity numbers continue to go up, as we work our way through flu season.

My husband forgot to ask the pharmacy about my medical exemption. I’ve never had a problem there before. I’ve always used the sanitizer, kept my distance, but have never worn a mask, and they have never said a thing about it. However, after what happened while in a pharmacy with my mother, I figured I should ask first.

Maybe I shouldn’t have. Would it have been any different, if I just came in, as usual?

I called the pharmacy and asked if they would still honour my medical exemption. I did add that I now have a shield.

At first, the pharmacist I spoke to said yes, of course. He even joked that I might have to wrestle my way in, but added that I just needed to explain to whomever was at the door. That was a relief.

I got a call back less than a minute later.

The pharmacist had just been told that no, even with a shield, I could not come in.

This really threw me. I didn’t really get a chance to respond, as he was already offering delivery, which we can’t do because we don’t have a credit card, and debit Visa is not an alternative they can do. He said they could bring the prescription to me in the parking lot and asked if I were paying by cash. I told him by debit. It turned out they did have a wireless debit machine, so I could pay in the parking lot. I told him I had other things I needed to get, so I was transferred so floor staff. Thankfully, I already had made a list. Usually, I just go by memory.

By the time the staff member finished getting what was on my list, I was was in tears. I did make a point of telling her I had a problem with having to do this, how humiliating it was, and yeah, she could certainly hear I was crying by then.

Here’s the thing. If they offered this as a service, which I knew they already did, for anyone who chose it, that is simply good customer service. The problem is that, for someone like myself, who cannot wear a mask, there is no choice. We are simply banned. There’s a whole list of things that we can still do. Masking is the last thing recommended, and only in specific situations, and the mandates have several exemptions. Yet, outside of websites and pdfs, it’s the other way around. Masks have become the end all-be all, and if anyone has a problem with them, they become pariahs. Even as the mandates allow for medical exemptions, people insist that there is no medical reason to not wear a mask, or that it’s just for a short time, so wear it anyway. I know people who are wheelchair users that can walk short distances. It would be like telling them that, since they can walk at least a little bit, they have to leave their wheelchairs outside. Or worse, that if they can walk at all, they shouldn’t be allowed to use a wheelchair. Or they should just stay home. It’s the exact same sort of discrimination.


The other place I needed to go to was the grocery store, so I pulled myself together and phoned them, too.

Will they still honour my medical exemption? I do have a shield I can wear.

Of course, was the response. Everyone does!

I told the woman I was talking to that the pharmacy would not let me in, even with a shield. She was stunned, but went to double check, just in case. She came back to assure me that I would have no problem.

I was crying again as I thanked her, this time in gratitude.

When I got to town, my first stop was the pharmacy. I called from the parking lot to let them know I was there, and two people came out with my stuff. I recognized the manager was one of them, simply because he was male and not a pharmacist; all the other staff are female. Most of the pharmacists are, too. There was a cashier with him, and I think I recognized her by her hair. They put my stuff in the van, behind my seat, for me. The manager commented that this was the first time their wireless debit machine had ever been used. The cashier was there to be trained on it.

Oh, the irony.

Because my purchase was over $100, tap wouldn’t work, so he had to hand me the machine. The cashier had the till receipt, so after they got the printout from the handheld machine, she put them together and handed me both.

I came into physical contact with both of them in the process. I would have had less physical contact with anyone, had I gone into the store.

That done, I decided to fill my tank before going into the grocery store. Normally, I go in to pay, and usually pick up some cheap energy drinks for the cooler in the van in the process.

I paid at the pump, instead.

I’ve never had a problem there before, either. At least not from the staff. I just didn’t have the energy to find out if things had changed.

At the grocery store, nothing had changed. I did wear the shield. It keeps hitting my chest and shoulders as I move around and, having put it on in the van, the wind almost blew it off as I walked to the store. It was when I coughed that the sense of irony hit me again. My chronic cough is what wearing a mask exacerbates. Usually, I cough into my sleeve or shoulder, never my hand but with the shield on, I coughed into my hand before I even realized what I was doing. :-/

As I was finishing up with my groceries, I made a point of telling the cashier how much I appreciated that they honoured medical exemptions. Like the woman I spoke to on the phone, she sounded surprised that anyone wouldn’t. I told her about the pharmacy, that the hardware store next door had kicked me out the previous week, and of the pharmacy in my mother’s town kicking me out. She could hardly believe it. The mandate has exemptions, and everyone is supposed to honour them. She was so surprised by the places I’d mentioned.

By the time I got home, I was pretty drained. It didn’t help when I was on my personal Facebook page. A friend of mine, who works at the gas station where I paid at the pump instead of going in, had posted about people not wearing masks. She talked about people being a**holes about it and giving her a hard time, and if that were the only point, I would have been completely in agreement with her. Staff are supposed to tell people about the mandate, and shouldn’t be hassled for it. Instead, she started attacking people for not wearing masks, and making digs about people buying cigarettes but not being willing to wear a mask for 5 minutes. When I tried to point out medical exemptions can include all sorts of things, it basically came down to, if she had to wear a mask, everyone else should, too. The next thing I knew, I was the subject of an onslaught of personal attacks. I actually had to get off the computer soon after and haven’t been back to Facebook since, but it was bad enough that a mutual friend messaged me privately, telling me how sorry she was to see me being bullied so badly. I’m loathe to log on again, but she did try to defend me, which means she was probably targeted, too, so I would want to come to her defense.


I have long been against the covering of faces in general (other than the obvious exceptions, like protecting your face from the weather), whether it be protestors wearing masks, or burkas or whatever. One of the biggest reasons is psychological. Hiding our faces dehumanizes us, even if only subconsciously. It creates a mental, as well as physical, barrier between people. And when we no longer see others as people, even the most gentle of people can become quite cruel, and believe themselves completely justified for it. With so many people hidden behind masks now, my observations have been verified, over and over, and the psychological damage is even worse than I’d originally believed.

How can we ever heal from this? Especially with so many people trying to convince everyone that masking should become permanent, so we should all just get used to it?

The “cure” is becoming so much worse than the disease.

The Re-Farmer


I am so very glad I was able to patch up the broken pump shack window yesterday!

The winds started picking up last night, and they were still blowing this morning. It may have only been a couple of degrees below freezing, but it was bitterly cold in the wind. When I came out of the house, the cats were running around, eager to be fed – then disappeared back into the cat shelter right after eating! The kibble house and heated cat shelter are working out very well for them.

I headed out to the town my mother lives in, late in the morning, to fill out an incident report about what I’d heard outside her door on Friday. I used my computer to write out a description of what happened and what I heard and printed it out first. I’ve unfortunately had to do quite a few incident reports in the past, so I knew what information was needed. My hand writing has been getting really bad, with my finger joints and wrists giving me grief, so doing it on the computer, with my ergonomic keyboard, makes it easier for me – and for whomever has to read it!

When I got there, I found the woman I’d spoke to on the phone had just left, but the woman who answered the door knew who I was and why I was there.

I found out some interesting things, in the process.

When I called about what I’d heard outside my mother’s door, they already knew about it. I thought that perhaps the woman I’d seen outside the doors, making a phone call, had already called to complain.

I was wrong.

It turns out the second person in the hallway was the woman I was talking to!

They are not allowed to say anything themselves, nor file complaints, so she was quite happy that I was able – and willing – to do it. She had even talked to my mother, just this morning, and my mother was telling her she didn’t want me to “start a war” by filing an incident report.

The incident report was made, however. It was mentioned that they didn’t file ones my mother was willing to sign, because she was the only one willing to do so, and they didn’t want to make her more of a target. It reminded me of a PIPA workshop I’d attended, where it was specifically asked if the name of the person complaining can be given to the person being complained about. The answer was no. That would be a PIPA violation. So I brought up about the names falling under PIPA, but I got the impression that this was not what they were told. I hope they take the time to confirm it, because while the authorities that complaint goes to have to know who is making the complaint, they should not be telling anyone else who they are.

The report I made is now waiting for the person I was supposed to meet with. I hope to get a call from her, later.

When I was done there, I swung by the grocery store – where I know medical exemptions are honoured! My mother had called me last night and asked me to pick up some milk for her, so when I was done there, I gave her a quick call and met her at one of the doors to her building. She passed on to me the face shields my brother had left for me.

She, however, was wearing a mask under her nose again.


I told her she needed to wear the shield, and she said she would. But then, I’m sure she told my brother she would wear the shield, too!

I’m actually looking forward to seeing how these work out. There have been times, most recently while cutting wood in the past few weeks, where I should have been wearing a dust mask. However, I have far less trouble breathing sawdust than I do with wearing a mask. Even wearing the protective glasses are an issue, because they change how my regular glasses sit on my face, making it hard to see and focus. Not something you want, when using power tools! Depending on how these fit, I might be able to use these, instead. I have seen face shields used in that way before, though I’m sure they were far more heavy duty that these, but I don’t need heavy duty for what I do.

I’m amused that the packaging says they are to prevent “fluid splashing”. That’s one way to put it! 😀 Ironically, the one problem I foresee with wearing one of these is that, if my cough kicks in, I won’t be able to cough into my sleeve or cover my mouth as easily, with the shield in the way. I don’t want to actually cough on the shield, any more than I’d want to cough into a mask. That’s just disgusting.

Hopefully, my mother will actually wear hers, and we will both be shielded from harassment.

The Re-Farmer



Rolando Moon is looking a bit like how I feel!

Warning: venting ahead!

Today was a mix of good and bad.

The kitties are always part of the good. 🙂 Rolando Moon was especially wanting attention this morning.

My main thing today was to help my mother with her groceries, so she could get more than what she can carry home in her walker. With that in mind, I called the grocery store first, asking about medical exemptions to the new mask mandate. This municipality has been under one for a while and we had no problems before, but the province is putting on the pressure, so I wanted to check. I was assured it was not a problem; I was just asked to let the cashier know when we came in.

Then my mother called. She was ready, so I ended up leaving early.

The caretakers in her building are still harassing her, so she was waiting for me outside one of the side doors. With a mask on under her nose. 😦 At least she can breathe, but she may as well not be wearing it! She tried to say, it keeps her mouth warm. 😦 The harassment is definitely getting to her.

She wanted to go to the pharmacy first, which I was not expecting. I did have my exemption card, and a printout of the new mandate’s medical exemption portion, ready. Of course, I kept my distance from everyone but my mother, and didn’t touch anything but what she needed help with.

It wasn’t good enough.

I got kicked out.

The irony of it is, when a manager was brought over to tell me they would not recognize the medical exemption in the mandate, he was wearing a gappy mask, and pulling on it as he spoke. So he wasn’t wearing a mask properly, himself, but it’s me they’re worried about? They (he and the woman who first tried to make me wear a mask) kept making comments about protecting their staff – from me! – and they were following some other guidelines, instead of the mandate. I was treated like a pariah.

My mother, whom they know by name, with her mask under her nose, was allowed to keep shopping. I did mention she was exempt, too, but they didn’t care. So utterly arbitrary.

Thankfully, she did not need much there, and I waited for her outside. Like I was some kind of leper.

The grocery store, on the other hand, was awesome. I told the cashier we were exempt, and that I’d called ahead about it, and she said it was fine. A friend of mine works there and we started to chat a bit. I told him what happened, and he was flabbergasted. He told me of a person he knows that cannot wear masks. When the mandate came in, she was laid off. Permanently. Which is illegal, but they did it, anyway.

When my mother was done her shopping and I was helping her at the cash desk, I made sure to tell the cashier how much I appreciated that they don’t discriminate against people for their medical issues, and to please pass my thanks on to management. She was very understanding about it. I suspect she’s seen a lot of this.

Once back at my mother’s place, she was acting like she had to sneak me in through the side door, out of fear of the caretakers. Once we had her groceries inside, I took a printout of the relevant portions of the mandate to tape to her door, making it as small and neat as I could. She has a mask exemption card there already, but medical exemption section number in the current mandate has changed, and I don’t know when I can get an updated one.

Then I stayed for a little while to chat. Not long after, we heard voices in the hall. No big deal – until those voices stopped outside her door. We could hear two people talking about the portion of the mandate on her door, and how “she had to do that…” because the section numbers had changed.

Then the person doing most of the talking said, “she can’t be allowed to get away with that” and “this shouldn’t be here”.


My mother recognized one of the voices as one of the caretakers.

Clearly, this person was aware of the exemptions, but didn’t want people in the building to know about them, or actually use them.

They continued talking and I got my phone out to try and record it, but it’s really hard to hear. I did catch the “shouldn’t be here” comment as they were walking away down the hallway.

I didn’t stay much longer. As soon as it was quiet, I left.

As I did, I saw two people sitting outside the main doors, watching me. Both pulled their masks down while I was walking to the car and, as I was leaving, I could see one of them on her phone.

It could have been anybody, or the woman making the call could have been one of the two people we heard in the hallway.

As soon as I could, once I was home, I made a phone call to a social worker who has been trying to help my mother. When last I spoke to her, she’d given me the number for the housing department responsible for the building my mother lives in. I told her I’d tried calling, left message, and there has been no response. She was not surprised. I told her there was another incident.

She told me she just had another incident, too, but to go ahead and tell her mine, first.

I knew immediately they were related.

I told her what happened, and she was able to put names to the voices we heard. We had a pretty extensive chat about the whole thing.

I’ll also be coming in on Monday to write an incident report.

As for her incident? Yup. It was related. There was a complaint about my mother and “she can’t be allowed to get away with this” along with the accusation that my mother was lying about her medical issues. I’m guessing the person I saw outside her building, making a call, was the person who phoned to complain.

Since I was there to hear what they said first hand, and I don’t live there, I can make the incident report myself. Something a lot of the people who live where my mom does either cannot do, or are to afraid to do.

I was also encouraged to file a human rights complaint about what happened to me, too. I’ve also been encouraged to go to the media.

On the one hand, I really don’t want that added stress. On the other, the stress of all this is already there.

This is all so very wrong.

The Re-Farmer

A Lazy Day

Gotta start with some morning smiles!

Nostrildamus aka Nosy, really wanted attention this morning! Even the Spice Boys let me pet them. 🙂

Rolando Moon kept following me around while I did my rounds, then again when I made a quick trip to the post office (timed it badly, though; they were still closed for lunch, so I couldn’t pick up a parcel) and to pick up a few things. (I did phone ahead to ask about medical exemptions to the mask mandate, so I had no issues while I was there.) When I got home, Rolando Moon met me at the gate and kept following me!

I was still taking off my shoes and jacket when my husband suddenly asked, “who’s this?”

Rolando Moon had snuck into the house while I was carrying stuff in!

The other cats absolutely surrounded her, sniffing away. Amazingly, she wasn’t growling or hissing at any of them while they did! Even more surprising was Fenrir, who was not only sniffing her, but rubbing her face against Rolando’s. I wonder if she recognized her? At some point, though, there was a sudden scuffle. My daughter broke it up, and when I opened the door, Rolando bolted for the great outdoors. 😀

Meanwhile, today was a completely lazy day. I did not continue any of the stuff I’d started yesterday. It was a dark and dreary day, and by the time it warmed up to a decent temperature, what little light there was, was gone.

Tomorrow will be colder still, but I’ll be out helping my mother with her shopping. We’re supposed to warm up again on Saturday, but it’s also supposed to rain. We’ll see how that works out.

So I guess today was a day of rest and recuperation. My wrist and hands have been giving me grief, and working on those trees yesterday didn’t help. I am pretty sure I broke a finger a while back. Nothing major, but I think I may have had a linear fracture. I’d been trying to look behind something in the barn, not realizing the far end was under some metal bars leaning in the corner. One of them fell towards me and I’d blocked it with my hand. It hit the side of my pinky finger. That was weeks ago. I can now feel a lump where the metal hit the proximal phalange, and it still hurts. While cutting back the maple trees yesterday, I kept bumping it, or what I was going would put pressure on it, reminding me that yup; I probably broke it! No point in getting it checked, though. After all this time, it would just be confirming whether or not there was an actual fracture. It would be good to find out what’s going on with my wrists, though. Not with all the restrictions in place right now. People have been refused emergency care for broken bones until they got tested and quarantined already, and that was before the current mandates were put into effect.

It looks like I won’t be going back to the one hardware store anymore, either. I got an email back from the manager I’d written to about them refusing to honour my medical exemption. From the looks of the response, they spend quite a bit of time working it out. In the end, though, if a person cannot wear a mask, they cannot come into the store. They can phone ahead, order online, etc., then have things brought out to their vehicle and pay for them in the parking lot.

Like lepers.

All this for .28% “active cases” of the Wu Flu in the entire province, most of which are in the city, and of those, they’re almost all in particular nursing homes, or people who were already in the hospital for other things. The percentage of people in hospital with the Wu Flu is .01%, with .001% in ICU. The total death rate for our province since spring is .006%. Yet people are acting like it’s the Bubonic Plague, which killed an estimated 30% – 60% of all of Europe’s population. Worse, is the increased level of cruelty, harassment and abuse I’m seeing surrounding the mask issue, all from pro-maskers.

At times like this, I wish we could be living even more isolated than we are already. 😦

The Re-Farmer