A pleasant change in plans!

Before I get into today, I just had to share what I saw yesterday, while doing my evening rounds.

One of the things that got done was switching the winter window to the old basement to the summer window. This spring, things are wet enough that we are starting to have moisture seeping through the concrete floors, and the sump pump is going off every now and then. Nothing like what we were dealing with last year, of course, but more typical than the dry years we had previously.

The summer window is one that I built a few years ago to replace the makeshift cover that was being used before. Having air circulation through there helps keep the old basement from getting too damp and humid. My brother built a platform on the inside to hold a box fan to blow air out of the basement that helped, too, but that disappeared before we moved in.

We have a cat barrier between the two basements. The opening in the old basement wall was basically bashed out, so it’s uneven on the sides, making it impossible have a proper door. We have a wire mesh frame over it that was meant to be easily moved to one side if we needed to cross through. The old basement has the pumps, sump pump reservoir and breakable stuff, so we want to keep the cats out. In the end, we have had to brace the barrier with stuff on one side, while having Bungee cords holding it in place on the other.

Well, it wasn’t enough.

I was trying to see what Gooby was finding so interesting down there, and found a Susan on the window’s platform, looking back!

I messaged the picture to my family and my younger daughter went down to take care of it. She found David and Big Rig in there, too!

They could get in, but couldn’t get back out, and were very eager to leave when she opened the door!

Later, with her in the new basement and me in the old basement, we managed to secure the barrier a bit more. Hopefully, it will be enough!

I had a different surprise this morning, when checking the gate. When the snow melted enough that we could finally close it, it was like this.

They had shifted quite a lot over the winter!

If it had shifted a small amount, we could micro adjust the nuts on the J pins that make up the hinges, but for that distance, the gate posts themselves would have to be adjusted – once we brought out a level to see which one had moved the most.

Well, that’s no longer an issue. This is what it looked like, this morning!

I haven’t been able to slide that pin through so easily in probably a year!

That’s a lot of shifting in less than a month!

The funny thing is, I got a call from my sister in law this afternoon. She and my brother were on their way with the arm chair they were passing on to us, plus my brother was bringing tools so he could fix the gate! I was happy to tell her, it no longer needed fixing!

And that was our big change in plans.

After dropping off the armchair, they were going to visit my mother and take her out to dinner and invited me to come along, which I decided to do.

But first, we had to clear a path from the door to the living room for a rather wide armchair. Then, when they got here, I was on both door duty and cat duty, while my brother maneuvered it through. My SIL can’t come into the house, though, as she is quite allergic to cats. So my brother just left the chair on its side in the living room, waiting for the legs to be put back on. After a quick visit to the sun room to see all the transplants, they headed out and I followed in my mother’s car.

The plan had been for my SIL to be dropped off at a restaurant first, then my brother would take his truck over to pick up my mother. They even brought a footstool to help her climb in. Since I was there with her car, though, my brother took that, instead.

When he got there, he first made a point of setting up her air conditioner for the season, and testing it out. The batteries in the remote were dead and my mother didn’t have the right size, so he brought it with him as he took her to the restaurant.

She was very perplexed when he took her to her car. Was that her car? How did he get her car? Then she saw me when they got to the restaurant! It was quite a surprise for her.

While we got her settled in, my brother quickly ran to a store across the street to buy the batteries needed, and then we had a nice dinner together.


I’m glad I decided to come along. It took all three of us playing interference to keep the conversation from getting derailed into a racist rant or a political diatribe from someone who doesn’t actually understand politics very well, guilt tripping, or the many other ways she makes things difficult! It takes a lot of energy, but we managed to actually have a very good time. After a while, though, I could see we’d reached the limit of what we’d be able to do, and she was winding herself up, so I suggested to my brother it was time to go!

Since he wanted to test her air conditioner, now that he had fresh batteries in the remote, he drove her back while my sister in law and I stayed and waited until he got back. My mother was all surprised we weren’t all going to go to her place to visit! As if we’d all fit comfortably in her tiny apartment to begin with!

So, off they went, and my sister in law and I got to have another excellent conversation with just the two of us. For longer than expected. When my brother finally came back, he looked so frazzled! On the way, my mother first had him stop to pick up a few groceries, then while he was testing the air conditioner, she gave him a hard time because she thought he was fixing her TV remote, and she didn’t care about the air conditioner! Then she tried to keep talking to keep him from leaving, but he finally had to tell her he needed to go, because we were waiting for him. Of course, she tried to guilt trip him over things. It always amazes me how he does the most for her, yet she gives him the hardest time about anything and everything. He has such a good heart, and she stomps on it without even realizing what she’s doing, half the time. The other half, she knows exactly what she’s doing! I was very glad to be able to keep that down, at least somewhat!

They still had an hour and a half to drive home, so we parted ways soon after. I so enjoy spending time with them! It was also encouraging to hear from my sister in law that they are quite happy with the things we are doing here. Us being here saves them from having to take care of two properties, but they are also appreciating the work we’ve been able to do, and the plans we have. I really needed to hear that today, as I was feeling particularly useless. I had a number of jobs planned for today, but I woke up in quite a lot of pain. My left knee and left hip have suddenly started giving me a lot of grief. My plan had been to start working outside early, before things got too hot, but as I was checking the files on the trail cams, I found myself falling asleep in my chair, and ended up lying down for a couple of hours, instead. When I mentioned that to her, she told me she’s been struggling with the same thing; fatigue and joint pain. Especially in her hands. Perhaps the seasonal changes are affecting both of us!

Still, I feel like I should be accomplishing so much more. It does help that they understand the challenges we’ve been having here. Particularly with my mother’s expectations and demands, even though she walked away from the farm more than 10 years ago. I do wish we could get together more often! I actually feel both encouraged and refreshed after spending time with them.

Let’s see if that extends into tomorrow! I try to avoid unnecessary work on Sundays, but right now, I’ve got a lot of very necessary work that needs to get done!

Meanwhile, my daughter put the legs on the armchair they brought over and set it up.

It may have been just an old chair on its last legs to them, but right now, it’s the most comfortable chair in the house!


The Re-Farmer

Pushing her limits, and changes of plans

Now that we have the living room barricaded to the cats and turned into a plant room, we’ve decided that we will work on bringing Nosencrantz and Marlee in with us every now and then, to try and get them used to being outside of my office/bedroom, but not have to worry about other cats.

Yesterday, I was able to grab Nosencrantz and give it a go.

She was not happy.

I set her on the couch while setting up my tea and trying to find something to watch on TV for a while. Ended up watching The French Chef, because absolutely nothing newer appealed to me! Once I settled on the couch, I shifted her over against my leg, she leaned hard against me and did. Not. Move. for nearly an hour. When she finally did move, it was to tuck her face against my leg.

Which is an improvement from previous times we tried bringing her out. The last time I did, she crouched onto a step between the old and new parts of the house, frozen in panic, even as other cats had to basically jump over her to go through the doorway. She was so stressed, she shat herself. *sigh*

With no other cats around, she was definitely stressed, but not to that point. We’ll need to do this more often.

The frustrating thing is that, if I could just leave my door open, I’m sure she would eventually go exploring. As would Marlee and maybe Butterscotch. Unlike the other two, Butterscotch is not the least bit stressed out, has zero interest in leaving the room, and is very happily living her best life. If the door is open, some – not all – of the other cats come in and out, which would be fine…

Except for Turmeric.

While other cats will sometimes go for Nozencrantz in particular, or maybe even act aggressive towards Butterscotch and Marlee, it’s not much different from when they get ticked off at each other. Even with Potato Beetle added to the mix, aside from the rare altercation with one of the other males, his integration into being an indoor cat has been seamless. Why it’s so different with both the ladies, I just can’t figure out. Especially since, when Butterscotch and Nosencrantz were first brought into the house, Nosencratnz did leave the room and start exploring. Then some of the other cats got aggressive with her, and she’s been a bundle of stress and anxiety ever since.

Turmeric, however, is the one cat that is most aggressive. She’ll be absolutely fine, but as soon as she comes into my room, it’s like she’s hunting for the ladies. I tried having my door open last night, just because I was tired of having to get up every few minutes to let Leyendecker, Cheddar or Fenrir in and out, over and over. The other cats ignored the open door. Only Turmeric came in, saw Marlee in her favourite spot in Baby Jail (we still have the cage set up, simply because Marlee likes going in there so much, and Butterscotch likes to sit on top of it), and made a beeline straight for her, snarling away. She wouldn’t stop, and I had to close my door again. *sigh*

So we’ll see how it works, bringing them out for supervised time in the plant room. Marlee doesn’t like to be picked up or carried, so it might be a bit harder to get her in there.

All in good time.


My plans for the day changed a bit. I was debating whether or not to go to my mother’s today or tomorrow, as I had some things for her. Then I got a call from my brother. He just had a very strange call from my mother. She started talking to him about some disturbing dreams she had, then said she thought he should come visit. He told her he was taking a test right then, so that wouldn’t be a good idea.

The line went dead.

He tried calling her back, but her line was busy. After about 7 times trying to get through to her, he finally called me.

Only then did he realize he’d forgotten to pause his test. It’s a timed exam!

He’s really stressed out about this exam. The last I talked to him, there were no exam times available until next month, so getting to do it today had to have been a pretty last minute thing. He’s been working on this course for some months now, and he’s concerned that if he doesn’t pass it, it might actually put his job at risk. I can’t imagine him failing the exam, but understand the stress he’s feeling. His employer has paid thousands of dollars for this course, and the exam along costs over a thousand dollars – and if he fails, it’s another thousand + to take it again later.

My mother would have no ability to understand what he’s going through. It’s so completely out of her experience, and outside her ability to comprehend.

So he was quite concerned about her. He wasn’t sure if she’s accidentally hung up by pressing a button on the phone with her face, or if she deliberately hung up, or of something else happened. Especially with the line being busy immediately after. Even with calls between him and I in the past, we’ve had weird things happen with the line, and one of us would try to call back the other only to get a busy signal because, at the other person’s end of the line, it hadn’t been cut off yet.

I told him I was considering visiting her this afternoon, and promised I would check up on her. He, meanwhile, did try to call her again, and finally got through.

It turns out that yes, she did hang up on him, and immediately called our sister, because she “didn’t hear what she wanted to hear”. So was our sister going to come over? Oh, no. She’s working today. I don’t think my mother even asked her to come over.

First, our sister works nights. She had plenty of time to come over for a quick visit.

Two, since he was in the middle of this test when my mother called, she was actually calling him while he was working, but still expected him to drop everything and visit her.

On top of all that, I don’t think she even considers how badly she hurt him, a few months ago. Frankly, it’s a testament to what a good man he is that he hasn’t cut her out of his life completely.

Yes, it was that bad.

And she totally doesn’t get it.


I had other errands to run, so I did those in my mother’s town instead of the one closer to us – things are noticeably more expensive where she lives, but for the amount I needed to get, it wasn’t worth the cost of gas to go elsewhere.

There were a couple of things I brought for her, and one that I made for her. I wasn’t sure how she would handle it. She kept saying she needs a new chair, to replace the one she uses at her little dining table. She said it was breaking, but it turns out that only the vinyl seat is starting to crack. So I got some blanket yard and crocheted a cushy for her tushy. Just a rectangle in waffle weave stitch, so it’s twice as thick as ordinary single crochet. I made ties at each corner, even though I couldn’t quite remember how the legs were on this chair. It’s got a metal frame, and the legs are all one piece of metal tubing, forming a triangle shape on the sides from the back for the legs. Turns out there’s just open space under the front half of the seat, so my ties at the front were too short, but I could at least tie the back to the frame. I told her it would hide the cracks until she can find a suitable replacement chair. She did laugh about it, but accepted the cover. I knew it would be either that, or she would get angry and rant about how she’s worth having a new chair, or that I wasted yarn or something. There’s no in between with her!

The bottom of the triangles that form the legs has also been leaving black marks on her flooring, from being slid back and forth constantly, for years. So I got some self adhesive felted floor protectors that came in a long, narrow strip that could be cut to size. I cut a couple of pieces and stuck those on the bottom of her chair, and she seemed happy about that, too.

Overall, it was a very good visit. She was definitely having one of her better days. It wasn’t until I was almost ready to leave that she started to tell me about her dreams. They were definitely nightmares, where she thought she was losing her mind, and needed to get home – but home was an area of the city my parents lived in, before they bought the farm – and so on. Then she started asking me if I knew what these dreams might mean. Which seems to be the crux of the problem. It’s not just that she had these nightmares (it turned out she woke from one nightmare, couldn’t sleep for hours, then when she did fall asleep, she had another nightmare). She thinks these dreams had some sort of prophetic meaning.

So we talked a while about dreams, and how sometimes things you worry about in the back of your mind can lead to disturbing dreams. I also described similar dreams that people often have, about needing to get somewhere, or trying to run away from something, but it’s like something is holding you back and keeping you from getting where you need to go. She practically lit up as I described these, as it was familiar to her. Knowing other people get dreams like this was a sort of revelation for her.

I think she felt better by the time we were done talking about it and I headed home. It’s hard to know. She might feel better about it now, but start feeling bad about it again, later.

Needless to say, as soon as I got home, I sent a message off to my brother to reassure him. As far as I know, he was still working on his exam at the time, so I don’t expect to hear back from him for a while. He’s got enough on his plate, that’s for sure!

Hopefully, she’ll ease off on giving him a hard time. Probably not, but it would sure be nice!

The Re-Farmer

K, I’m exhausted, plus hard times for kitties!

Today I took my mother for her follow up appointment with the specialist, to tell her how her scope went.

The one she still thinks didn’t happen, because she doesn’t remember the procedure.

The one where, even after the explanation by the pharmacist that seemed to mollify her, she still thinks prescribed her new medications, replacing other medications she suddenly now things worked so well (which rather contradicts why she went to the doctor over concerns that lead her to this specialist in the first place).

It didn’t help that, once we got there, we ended up waiting in the examination room for an hour before he came to see her!

My mother wasn’t at her worse behaviour towards me, but she certainly wasn’t having one of her better days.

I am so exhausted.

As for her procedure, they found no problems. No damage to her esophagus or trachea at all. No, he didn’t change her medications on her and did not give her any new prescriptions.

As for her not remembering the procedure, he talked about the medicine they put into her IV (she’d never mentioned an IV to me; only the throat spray) and how he’d talked to her about not finding any reason to take any samples…

It wasn’t until we were driving home that something finally cleared up for me. After her procedure, she talked to me about how a doctor she’d never seen before had spoken to her and told her they didn’t “finish” because she was on blood thinners, so she was convinced that taking samples was THE reason she was there, but they didn’t do anything at all, because she didn’t stop her blood thinners.

On the drive home, she suddenly asked me, was this the same doctor that we saw last time?

Yes, it was.

She didn’t recognise him. It must be because he was wearing a mask.

No, he wasn’t. No one at the clinic was wearing a mask.

Which is when I asked her if she hadn’t recognized him at the hospital. There was a pause, and I could almost hear the “click” in her brain, and she said, no, she hadn’t.

All this time, she thought the procedure had been done by a completely different doctor she’d never met before.

Once she realized what was going on, she commented that she’s been having a harder time remembering faces.


There was a whole lot of other stuff we talked about during the hours I spent with her, and most of them were not pleasant. Even telling her mundane stuff, like how we had to replace the parts inside the toilet tank, and need to call a plumber for the bathroom fixtures, she suddenly went off on a tangent about how I only ever talk about “bad” stuff, and how if I only went to church, we would have blessings and nothing would ever go wrong anymore. *sigh* She’s been watching too much TV prosperity gospel. Particularly stuff by people on talk shows, selling their books. God is not a magic genie in a bottle, there to answer our wishes.

It gets really mentally exhausting trying to keep up with the sudden changes in topic or getting blindsided by illogical assumptions.

It made the hours seem so much longer, that’s for sure.

But, it went over okay overall, even if she went off on how she wished she never saw this doctor, and that the procedure was a total waste of time, etc., etc.

I was more than happy to get home.

Before I settled in for the evening, though, I decided to feed the outside cats, first.

When I go into the old kitchen, the cats in the sun room hear the noises I make and get pretty active. I started to hear a very unusual meowing, though. One I did not recognise. I opened the inner door to see, and discovered The Distinguished Guest was there.

Then he turned to walk towards an empty food bowl.

Using only three legs.

He wasn’t putting any weight on one front paw, if he could avoid it. I couldn’t see any blood or obvious injury, but recently we’d heard a cat fight outside, and when my daughter checked, she saw it was Shop Towel and TDG again – the two toms that wander in and out, but don’t live here.

I’m so glad we brought Potato Beetle inside.

Poor TDG is having a really hard time, but he won’t let us near him. He was hungry enough to not run away completely while I was putting kibble out, but he did keep running off to other trays, as I moved around.

I’m still sure that he used to be a pet that got dumped. When he first showed up, he did allow us to pet him, but now he’s gotten completely feral.

I really don’t know how to help him. I don’t want to contact the rescue about him. For starters, we have no way of knowing when he’ll be around, so it’s not like we can count on trapping him. Plus, she’s still recovering from major surgery.

She did contact me last night, sharing about how Cabbages, the bitties, and the other outside kittens that got adopted out.

Including Plushy, who just went through some major surgery, too!

Thankfully, he went to a family of means!

He had been perfectly fine until one morning, he threw up and there was blood. They immediately took him to a vet. They X-rayed him and found an intestinal blockage, from a twist. It’s the sort of thing that can happen randomly and has no specific cause. They put him into surgery immediately, and found all his intestines were messed up. It ended up taking a team of 3 vets 4 hours (and $6000, up front!!!!) to save him. Apparently, they were amazed he didn’t die as a kitten, with how is insides looked. !!!

He is now on special food, because his intestines are now shorter, but is doing fine. In fact, other than throwing up blood that one time, there had been no sign of any problems at all! While he was living with the cat lady and getting vet care, there was no sign of problems. Of course, while he was living here, when he finally decided that human contact was an enjoyable thing, we saw no issues, either. Yet, apparently his insides were messed up and, while it’s not actually unusual, when it happens, they usually die as kittens.

The Cat Lady even commented about how so many cats from us have had problems. With Tissue, it was behavioural. Cabbages had her major health problems (she’s doing fantastic now, and angry at the Cat Lady for being chastised after stealing a chicken leg off the counter), Muffin is a total homewrecker that is all over her husband, but won’t let the Cat Lady come near her, and of the two bitties they still have, the tuxedo turns out to have a “grade 3” heart murmur, which is apparently the most common type. Not a major issue, but still something to keep an ear on.

The bitties are going to be fixed during spring break, and they are totally loving life with the Cat Lady and the other rescues!

I wonder if we’d ever even discover they had issues if they had remained yard cats? Yard cats tend to have such short life spans, we’d probably never know if they disappeared because of something like this, or if a coyote or eagle or something got them.

I’m just glad the family that has Plushy now was both willing and able to have her taken care of!

The Re-Farmer

Plans? What are those?

Today turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous day! Just look at that sky!

It was nice and mild, with almost no wind, too.

Among my plans for the day was to take my mother’s car out for a test run, but also get some seeds started, now that the living room is barricaded from the cats and the shop lights are hung up by the window the current seedlings will be rotated to.

Well, that changed.

First, I got a call from my mother.

She was upset, because the specialist had put her on new medication, and she hasn’t been feeling well since the procedure she still thinks didn’t happen, and he’s not her doctor, so why did he change her blood thinners to something else?

After asking questions, things became less clear! I couldn’t tell if she had a new medication added to her bubble packs, or if there was a new medication outside of her bubble packs, or what was going on with her blood thinners, which were now a different colour, and another pill was now a different size and no longer has a number on it, and…

I asked if she could read or spell to me the name of the new medication, but she just started talking about her blood thinners, and how she hasn’t been feeling well since the procedure and it’s because the specialist changed her medication… but she got her prescriptions delivered only recently, so she’s only been on these “new” medications for a few days. But she was telling me it’s the new medications that where making her not feel well…

It got very confusing.


I asked if she wanted me to come over to take a look.

Well, she did need to go to the bank, and the pharmacy, and she’s running out of groceries…

Well, now!

So we worked out a time for me to come over, and for me to pick up lunch, since her fridge is getting empty… oh, and I’d better make sure the girls would take over for me at home, so that I could stay with her for a long time.


All righty, then!

So I talked to the girls about what I needed to get done, so that I could at least have space to start on the seeds, then headed to bed.

It was a very cat-interrupted night, so I didn’t get much sleep.

Then, I made a discovery when I popped out to use the bathroom during the night, then paused to talk to my husband.

The door of the cat barrier was open.

I know I latched it after I turned the lights over the aquarium greenhouses off. Did someone open it during the night? My husband had seen it open, but thought I’d done that deliberately. I mentioned it to the girls, and they basically said the same thing.

So I latched it again, after making sure there were no cats in the living room, and went back to bed.

In the morning, it was open again, and the living room was full of cats.

After spending some time checking the hook and eye latch and trying to figure out what was going on, my husband suggested pulling on the bottom of the door, like a cat might do.

Sure enough, a couple of pulls on the bottom of the door, and the hook bounced right out of the screw eye and the door swung open a few inches.


So much for a cat barricade!

I let the girls know what we found, so they could figure something out while I was away.

Because I didn’t have a chance to test drive my mother’s car to see if that shudder was done, now that I’d knocked the ice away from the moving parts of one wheel, I used our van. My mother has a little folding step stool she can use to help her climb into the van.

I left early enough to hit a bank machine before going to the Chinese restaurant for the lunch that she wanted (but no rice, because rice makes her cough… ???), only to find the door locked. Again! The sign said they were open 7 days a week, and they should have been open for more than an hour, by the time I got there. The last time I tried to go there was when I spent the night at my mother’s after her scope procedure, and she wanted take out for supper, and they were closed then, too. Was the restaurant gone?

I decided to go with the fall back option and went to the gas station that has the most awesome fried chicken and potato wedges (just chicken for me, since I’ve given up starches and sugar for Lent; the breading on the chicken is pushing it! 😁), though my mother has decided it makes her sick. While paying for it, I asked about the Chinese restaurant, and it turns out that they are now closed on Mondays – they just haven’t changed their signs yet!

Good to know!

Thankfully, my mother didn’t complain too much about the fried chicken, though she did mock me a bit for not eating any potatoes. Because, of course… 😄

After lunch, I got her to show me her pills, and we got out her bubble pack. She showed me the pills that were now different; she had called them pink, but they were more orange than the lighter yellow they had been before – and in certain lights, those lighter yellow ones had looked pink to me in the past, so that had added to my confusion! She had the prescription list from an old bubble pack that I could compare with.

There were no new medications, and no changes to her dosages.

The only difference was the prefix to the name of her blood thinners, which I told her probably meant they were from a different company.

But why would this doctor change her medications? He’s not her doctor!

Since one of her stops was the pharmacy, I told her we could ask them, but said again, she has no new medications, and no new doses, so it must be a different company – and the doctor would have nothing to do with that. It’s just that sometimes, one brand isn’t available, so the pharmacy has to substitute with another brand that’s the same thing. This has happened to my husband’s medications quite a few times, over the years. She was not reassured, but looking forward to talking to the pharmacist about it.

Before we headed out, though, my brother had reminded me to call for maintenance to tend to my mother’s shower drain. She hasn’t been showering for about a month now, because so much water accumulates at the bottom, she has to stop before it starts flooding into the rest of the bathroom. She’s been refusing to call because the call goes to the city, and that’s really bad and a waste, and she shouldn’t have to call anyone, she should just tell someone here (who that someone is I’m not sure, since she still believes the social workers from the Senior’s Centre are managers for her building), and so on. So before we headed out, I tried calling the number for the department that owns her building, only to get a recording giving me another number for maintenance calls. I didn’t have paper and pen, so I hung up and started getting paper and pen together – until my mother brought me a letter that had the maintenance number right there! She could have given that to me right from the start, instead of directing me to the other number. 😄 It was an 800 number, so not long distance, which she was concerned about, too.

I called the number, followed the automated system, and found myself talking to what sounded like a guy in his truck. Talk about going right to the source! I explained the issue, with my mother confirming details and giving permission for them to enter her place if she wasn’t home.

That being arranged, we headed out.

Sure enough, when we talked to the pharmacist, the change in her pills was exactly what I thought it was. Just a change in companies. Seeing my mother’s concern, the pharmacist took the time to explain how it works legally for when they have to do substitutions, and that if it’s made by a generic company, they have to prove to the government that the pills are exactly the same for doses, etc. before they can be approved as a substitute. When she could see my mother’s eyes start glazing over, she started explaining more to me, so that I could “translate” things in vocabulary my mother would understand. She did such a great job of it, my mother was actually reassured, and that’s saying something!

The last stop for her errands was the grocery store and, by then, it was getting to be too much for her. Even with the stool, by the end of it, she was having a really hard time getting into the van. She was even saying to me, when we get a new vehicle, to make sure it has a handle by the door that she can grab onto! There actually are handles for the seats by the sliding doors, but when we tried having her climb into the middle of the van, instead of the front seat, it was even worse! Her knees are definitely giving her a hard time – which she has also been trying to blame on her medications, because now she thinks they should somehow make her knees better, even though none of them are painkillers or related to her knees in any way. She’s been on these meds for more than a decade, and before the car accident that messed up her one knee in particular, so I don’t know why she would think that!

I might be doing more grocery trips for her, while she stays home! Mind you, with so many errands to run today, it was a lot more stress on her knees than just a grocery trip would be.

Once back at her place, with everything put away, we settled down for a cup of tea. She kept offering me pie or toast or cookies or crackers – the crackers don’t have sugar! – to go with the tea, and made sure I knew how silly she thought it was for me to give up sugar and starches! I told her she could have whatever she wanted with her tea, and didn’t have to change anything for me, but she went with just tea, too.

While we were having our tea, there was a knock at the door.

It was someone to tend to my mother’s shower drain! I couldn’t believe it! I was expecting someone to show up sometime in a few days, not right away!

The woman turned out to be a manager for the building, and she used the same super powerful stuff we had tried on our own drain when the water from the washing machine kept backing up the drain. The smell was really awful, even with the door closed and the fan on in the bathroom. As she was leaving we talked for a bit in the doorway as I asked for instructions, which helped – except that one of my mother’s neighbours popped out and started yelling and ranting at her for talking in the doorway, because everyone could hear us.

The manager took it in stride, like someone who has dealt with plenty of this sort of thing before!

We also had a small world moment; it turns out she’s related to my SIL, and has known her and my brother for many years! Too funny!

One of the things she said to do was run cold water for a while and, if it still backed up, to let a specific person know when she came in, in a couple of days, and they’d go from there. I waited a while after she left, then ran the water…

… and heard some very familiar sounds, as gurgling water filled the pipe before starting to fill the bottom of the shower!

So I quickly ran out in the off chance she hadn’t left yet, and caught her just as she was returning to the building to fill out a log book.

I was able to give her a good description of what I was hearing as the water backed up, and she was all “you’ve dealt with this before, have you?” 😄 Why yes! Yes, I have! I told her about having to get about 30 feet of drain pipe augured. At this point, it has to go to a plumber, so she told me she’d call to make those arrangements as soon as she got back to her vehicle. The plumber might come tonight, but more likely tomorrow.


I couldn’t believe how fast it was being dealt with! And to think my mother has been putting up with this, and sponge bathing, for a month because she wouldn’t make the maintenance call!

We had a chance to talk some more about our my brother and his wife – she thinks they’re fantastic, too! – and when she found out where I lived, she asked if I happened to know…

Sure enough, we have mutual friends, too!

That done, I updated my mother about the plumber needing to come in and when he might show up. After that, I did have to go before the post office closed, as my husband messaged me to let me know a package had arrived.

Since it was such a nice day, I didn’t stay home long. Instead, I switched keys and left to test drive my mother’s car. If the shuddering was no longer there, I planned to go into town and run it through a car wash to get any last ice and dirt out from the undercarriage and wheels. If it was still shuddering, I’d turn around and come home, instead.

The car was definitely running better. Of course, on the gravel road, I couldn’t really tell at all, but once I reached our little hamlet, it seemed to be running pretty smoothly – at least while I was on smooth parts of the road! Once I got to highway speeds, I could still feel some shuddering, but was that the wheel, or the road conditions? Of course, I was paranoid the whole way, but did keep going to town.

When I parked to run in and buy a car wash, the driver’s side was facing the sun. As I returned to the car, I could see that the last chunk of ice I couldn’t break off had finally fallen loose. Landing on the moving parts, of course! 😄 At least I could just knock it off, easily!

What a difference it made. While it hadn’t been bad before, the ride home was noticeably smoother, even on the rougher parts of the road! What a relief! We had been so concerned that something had broken, and it was just a matter of finding and clearing ice out of one wheel. Blows me away how it had made the entire car shudder to such an extreme!

Too bad I hadn’t been able to do this yesterday, so that I could have used my mother’s car to run her errands, today!

Ah, well. It’s taken care of now.

Once at home, I found the girls had taken care of things for me, including moving the hook part of the hook and eye latch, so it wouldn’t bounce out anymore. The only concern is that there’s still a lot of play at the bottom of the door, and Tissue is the one who’s been digging at it. She is a remarkably muscular cat, and if any of them manage to pull it out enough to get through, it’ll be her! A second latch should solve that, I think, but the package I got had only two of them, and we’ve got one on each side, so we can latch is closed behind us when going into the living room.

The main thing is, tomorrow, I need to finally get more seeds started! Tonight, I’ll be going through the packets again to bring out the ones that need to be started this early, and set a few of them up to soak overnight.

It’s a few days late, but it should still be okay, I think.

Until then, I can prep some trays and get some Jiffy pellets soaking overnight, too.

I’m just so excited to be able to finally plant seeds again! The gardening bug it hitting hard, with these mild temperatures we’ve been having, even though the ground it still covered with a couple of feet of snow. 😄

The Re-Farmer

Unexpected progress

What a gorgeous day it is today! As I write this, we are at -2C/28F, with beautiful sunshine and next to no wind. Snow is melting all over the place! Including our nice new roof – with not a single leak into the sun room!

I’m not sure how many cats I saw this morning – I lost track after 20. That long haired tabby even let me pet him, as he followed me up the driveway. On the way back, I spotted The Distinguished Guest, tucked into a path in the snow, waiting his chance to come closer to the house and get some food.

I got a message from the garage, letting me know our van was ready to pick up. The final bill was $216 and change. It meant setting a little bit less aside for our “car payment”, but not by much.

We got to talk about his trip to the auction, and no, he was not able to find anything, and he was able to explain the issue.

We actually got approved for a larger amount loan than the cost of the vehicle we were interested in. The problem was that the monthly payments would have been $750 a month, because of the interest. As my credit score is so bad, the interest rate would have been 29%. Which is insane. To get a vehicle that meets our needs, with payments we could afford, that was also 2014 or newer, with a maximum 180,000 km… well, it just doesn’t really exist.

Of course, right now, we have nothing to improve our credit rating. We have no debt. No rent or mortgage. Nothing that would improve our credit rating.

His suggestion?

Get a credit card.

More specifically, get a card with a $300 or $500 credit limit. Max the card out every month, and pay it off every month. Which we could easily do with a single Costco shopping trip. In 6 months, we’d have a good credit score. Together with the money we are setting aside every month towards a down payment, he’d be able to get us a much newer and better vehicle, with payments within our budget.

While we were talking, his mechanic joined the conversation. He knew full well what we were going through. Thanks to the lockdowns, he lost his small trucking business 2 years ago. It wiped him out completely and, of course, his credit score was wrecked. He wanted to get a loan for a truck to start over, but couldn’t get one. He got himself a $500 credit card, maxed it out and paid it off every month, and it repaired his credit rating enough that he was able to get a lone for a truck – and those things go for about $200,000!

It’s basically the only way we have available to us to repair my credit score, so when I got home, I went online with my bank and started looking up what was available. Once I got to a certain point, though, I decided I needed to talk to someone, so I called it in. As I spoke to the representative, he told me the main issue was that I have no income – it will be based on household income. My chances of being approved was pretty low, but I could apply for a secured credit card. That, however, had to be done in person. He recommended I do that, rather than continue trying to apply over the phone.

Well, it was early enough in the day, so off I went to the nearest branch, in the town my mother lives in. I tried calling my mother to see if she would need groceries, but got no answer, so I took her car just in case.

I got in to see someone fairly quickly and explained our situation. We started the application for a secured credit card. The down side of this is they work it by locking the amount – in this case, $500, which is their minimum – in our account, so that if we ever reneged on a payment, they would get their money out of the locked funds. However, she suggested we go ahead and try for an unsecured account, first, and see how it that went.

Much to my shock, I got approved for a $1000, unsecured credit card!

I asked if it could be reduced to $500, which she was able to do.

I should be getting my card in 7-10 business days.

The whole thing was shockingly painless!

Once it comes in, it will be used only for gas and groceries, within our usual budget, that’s it!

With that done, I finally managed to connect with my mother and popped in for a visit. She only needed a few things, so I just ran out and picked them up for her. She commented that she wasn’t feeling that well, after the procedure – then started to tell me again that if they couldn’t do what she was there for, because she was on blood thinners, then what was the point? I told her, she was there for the scope; the taking of samples would have been only if they found something of concern, and for that, they would have had her come back. She started to get angry and insisted she never left the room and never had the procedure. She watched other people come and go, but not her. I explained the light sedation to her, and told her I don’t remember getting my bronchoscopy, either. Turns out she’s working herself up to thinking that the stuff they sprayed in her mouth, and lying about doing the scope on her, and her now not feeling as well is them trying to kill off old people to save money.

The sad thing is, I can’t fault her for thinking that. However, our “wonderful” health care system is now using MAiD – Medical Assistance in Dying – for that, so there’s no need for the elaborate scene she’s building up in her mind. So far, no one has tried to talk her into offing herself, at least. It’s a good thing we don’t live in BC. 😕

Anyhow, I temporarily mollified her, but I know it won’t last long. Aside from that, it was actually a really good visit, and I even got to talk to her about our plans for getting chickens (which she enthusiastically supports), and to make it so that if things happen, like the power going out for a long time, we’d be okay. Every time I bring that up, she starts talking about being able to use the old wood cookstove in the old kitchen, and I had to explain to her again, how badly damaged it is, and why it would be wildly unsafe to use it, even if we did manage to repair it. We may some day be able to fix it up, but until then, there are other things that we can do that we can do ourselves, at little cost, like building and outdoor kitchen under a shelter. In the past, she would have mocked me for the things I was talking about, but she doesn’t do that anymore. Since we’ve moved here, she gave us the hardest time over our plans, because they were so different from how she did things, and she didn’t believe we would actually do them. One example being the retaining wall I wanted to build at one end of the old kitchen garden. When I described to her what we had in mind, she laughed out loud. Then she told me how the family that used to live across the road from here (no one lives there now) had all sorts of grand plans for how they wanted to fix up the property, with retaining walls and garden beds and more. In all the years they lived there, they never did any of it. Therefore, neither would I.

Then I build the retaining wall, and we did several other things I’d told her about that she laughed at me over, or even became angry over, because she would not have done things that way. But they worked. So now, she no longer laughs.


For now, anyhow.

So it’s been a pretty productive day, even if not in the ways I expected or planned on!

I’m okay with that. 😁

The Re-Farmer

This and that…

Yesterday, I double checked with the garage to make sure they were ready to have our van towed over. Then I pumped the flat tire enough to be able to back it out of the garage without driving on the rim. We have a compressor, but the hose couldn’t possibly reach that far (I am considering making an opening in the wall so that the hose end could be passed through, in case we find ourselves in this situation again in the future), but I have a hand pump with a built in pressure gauge. I was able to get to about 20psi when I started hearing the hissing. I ended up slapping a couple of pieces of duct tape over the hole so I could get a bit more air into the tire without it leaking faster than I could pump!

We have a compressor, but the hose couldn’t possibly reach that far (I am considering making an opening in the wall so that the hose end could be passed through, in case we find ourselves in this situation again in the future), but I have a hand pump with a built in pressure gauge. I was able to get to about 20psi when I started hearing the hissing. I ended up slapping a couple of pieces of duct tape over the hole so I could get a bit more air into the tire without it leaking faster than I could pump! All I needed to do was back it out and leave it lined up with the driveway, so the tow truck could easily access it.

Then I called CAA and arranged the tow. The dispatcher couldn’t find our address, of course, since the maps have us on an “un-named road”. She got the directions in the notes, and then I got a call from the towing company soon after. Turns out, they were the same company that towed our van that last time we had to call, more than a year ago. It was the owner that called me, and he remembered taking directions from me before!

Then it was a matter of waiting until a driver was free. I was originally given a wait time of about an hour and a half. About an hour later, I got a robo call saying it would be another 45 minutes. I just hung up from that call when the phone rang again, and it was a real human, calling to make sure I knew about the delay, and apologizing for it.

I’ve always had excellent service with CAA!

I hadn’t get much sleep while at my mother’s, so I set a timer for half an hour so I could close my eyes for a bit. Of course, the cats made sure I still didn’t get much sleep! 😄 At one point, I had Fenrir on my hip, Ginger using one hand as a pillow, Butterscotch head butting my other hand, demanding pets – and then Potato Beetle decided it was a good time to walk across me and settle on my shoulder! All four of them, purring like mad.

Eventually, I de-catted myself, got up and went into the kitchen, before going back to monitoring the live feed on the driveway security camera.

I did a double take after glancing out the kitchen window.

The van was gone! We never heard or saw a thing! I thought they’d at least need me to sign something, but nope. The keys were in the van, so the driver had all he needed.

When I checked the trail cam files this morning, I could watch as he backed up our driveway, then left with the van loaded on the flatbed. From the time stamp, he left about 5 or 10 minutes before I got up, and about half an hour earlier than expected!

Today, they were able to check it out and, unfortunately – though not surprisingly, to be honest – it can’t be repaired. I’m going to need a new tire. I ended up going for the less expensive option. If things go as hoped, we won’t be driving the van for long, anyhow. So a new tire has been ordered. When it’s time to pick up the van, I’ll have a chat with him about how things went at the car auction. The fact that he didn’t call me about it tells me he didn’t find anything to meet our needs.

While waiting for the tow truck, I called the clinic to make a follow up appointment for my mother with the specialist. While doing that, I brought up my mother’s confusion about the procedure not being finished somehow, because she was still on her blood thinners. It turns out that the letter they give out is a standard letter that needs to be updated. They don’t ask people to stop taking blood thinners for a scope anymore. Only if they see something of concern and want to take samples for a biopsy will they then book another appointment, and this time the patient would stop taking any blood thinners. If they had seen anything of concern and wanted her to come back, the letter even explained that a doctor would have discussed that with the patient while they were still in the recovery room.

The clinic already had the report, though, and she was able to read it to me. They looked at both her esophagus and her trachea, and everything was “unremarkable”. They saw nothing to warrant taking any samples.

So when I got through to my mother later on, I explained it all to her, including what was in the report.

My mother was immediately suspicous.

It took some questioning, but it turns out that, because my mother doesn’t actually remember the procedure – she doesn’t even remember being taken from and returned to the recovery room – and she has had zero discomfort from it, she doesn’t think it happened. As far as she’s concerned, they had her in the room, sprayed her throat, then came back to tell her they couldn’t finish the procedure because she was on blood thinners and sent her home.

I explained to her again what the doctor had said about light sedation, and that she might not remember anything.

It wasn’t enough. She has convinced herself that the procedure never happened, because she feels no difference after it and doesn’t remember it. She even started saying that the spray didn’t do anything, though she was still feeling the effects of it when I got her home, and had explained why they instructed not to eat or drink anything for at least 2 hours.


Her follow up appointment isn’t until near the end of March. Hopefully, she’ll understand that her lack of memory is due to the light sedation, and that roughly 2 hours of her morning didn’t just disappear.


With the van waiting for a new tire, and not having to go anywhere until we get it back, I think today is going to be a nice quiet day, after all!

The Re-Farmer

Oh, look! You’re home!

What I found when I looked out the kitchen window this morning.

The babies were running all over the branches, enjoying the sunshine and mild temperatures!

The cats are going to miss that tree when we finally have it cut down. This is a job to hire experts for, since it’s so close to the house and overhanging the roof again. We can see that it’s been cut back a few times, but still left to regrow. Unfortunately, there are now cracks in the basement wall under the kitchen from the roots, and a number of patio blocks are lifted out of place. Still, I’d like to keep enough of the trunk to turn it into a bench or a table. Preferably a table.


I’m home!

Technically, I should still be at my mothers for another hour, but she was feeling so good, she basically kicked me out. 😄 She slept really well, has no residual pain or discomfort from the scope, and is just doing great overall.

The only downside is that, while she was still in the recovery room, they told her there was something they didn’t do, because she was on blood thinners. The blood thinners the doctor’s notes specifically said she could keep taking. When she first told me about it, she was still pretty confused. Recovering from being partially sedated certainly didn’t help. However, they gave her a letter with recovery instructions to take home. While she was napping, I took a look, and there was a note about it. They did not take any samples while doing the scope, because she was on the blood thinners. Which makes sense, since taking samples could have left her bleeding.

The problem is, the more she thinks about it, the more she’s convincing herself that the procedure was a waste of time. She went through all that preparation for nothing. She’s forgetting that the reason she was there was for the scope. The doctor did say that they might want to take samples, too, but not necessarily. Considering that his notes said she didn’t have to stop taking her blood thinners, clearly he did not see it as an issue. However, my mother no longer remembers much about what he said, and is busily rewriting everything in her mind, because they told her that they didn’t do something extra.

Well, I need to call the doctor and make a follow up appointment for her. Hopefully, he’ll be able to reassure her.

The main thing is that it’s over and done with, and everything went well!

As for staying with my mother, that was… mostly good. She tried to go on some racist rants a few times, but I’ve learned how best to cut that off. When I told her I’d brought my own Lent food, she started telling me that that was only Friday’s and Ash Wednesday. It took me a moment to figure out she was talking about the traditional fasting from meat on Fridays. So I told her, that’s not what I was doing, and explained about cutting sugar and starchy food. She quite enjoyed the food I brought – I made sure to bring enough to share – but kept trying to offer me bread or cookies! Which I didn’t mind to much, since I was actually expecting her to become angry and start lecturing me on how I was doing it wrong somehow. So it really did go well, overall!

Now that I’m home, it’s time to get busy. On the list is contacting the garage before arranging to get the van brought in – and find out if he had any success at the car auction!

The Re-Farmer

Going well

I am now at my mother’s home. She did fabulous during her procedure. On the way out, they were going to have her in a wheelchair, but instead, we used her walker like a wheelchair. Once I got her home, she chose to walk instead of ride and dud very well.

My mother is indestructible. I even got comments from the nurse about how spry my mother is – and that’s with two bum knees!

Still, she was understandably tired. I insisted she lie down as soon as she was settled, and she fell asleep almost immediately.

The only strange thing was discovering her thermostat was maxed put at 30C for some reason. I was just melting! Last time I was here, she had all but turned it off, because it was so hot. Strange!

The Re-Farmer

Getting ready, and a 2023 garden seedling update

First, my morning cuteness!

Butterscotch has discovered the window shelf! She doesn’t spend much time there, but enough to keep Nosencrantz from using it as often. 😄 So far, the only other cat that’s checked it out is Potato Beetle, and he does just that – checks it out, then leaves.

At the moment, I’m taking a bit of a break from preparing for spending a day and a night at my mother’s. This will be the first time I’ve been away from the farm overnight since we’ve moved here! Which means I’ve been spending a fair bit of time digging around, trying to remember, where is my travel toothbrush? Do I still have a travel toothbrush? Oh, there’s a case for a full size toothbrush. What smaller bag should I use to pack into, and how much will I have to dig to find it behind the barricade made to stop the cats from using the suitcases and scratching posts? Does my husband have an extra pill case I can use for my meds and supplements?

It’s just an overnight trip, but it’s an overnight trip to my mother’s which puts a whole new level of considerations. Plus, I want to stick to my Lenten fast while also not depleting my mother’s grocery supply, so I’m not only bringing food for myself, but enough to share with her. She won’t be able to eat for at least 4 hours after the procedure, since they are going to be freezing her throat, so she’s going to be hungry.

I ended up making a quick trip into town with my mother’s car for a few things for my overnighter, plus a few extras until I can make my next city trip. That will, at the very least, have to wait until after the tire on the van is fixed. Hopefully, our mechanic will find something suitable at the auction that the financing company will accept for the loan that’s already approved. So many things are getting delayed or side tracked because of all the problems with the van!

I am so thankful we have my mother’s car that we can use as a back up vehicle. It’s been needed often enough to be worth the extra expense. Living out here, having two vehicles is a necessity, not a luxury.


While tending the seedlings in the large aquarium greenhouse, I graduated the drum gourds that germinated first. They’re getting tall enough to need more space from the lights, so that one pot has been moved to the lower tray that the onions and luffa are on. I almost, kinda, maybe, think I could see new growth in the one last pot with drum gourd seeds!

Now, in theory, I really should thin out one of the seedlings in the pot I moved. The problem is, they are both so very strong and healthy! Meanwhile, the second pair of seedlings are still recovering from being stuck in the hulls of their seeds and are not looking anywhere near as healthy yet. So I am keeping both and, when it’s time to pot them up, will thin by transplanting one out into its own pot, while the other can be potted up without removing it from the biodegradable pot. Hopefully, the one that gets thinned out will survive. The more seedlings I can keep alive until it’s time to transplant outside, the better our changes of having at least one plant survive transplanting and maybe even enjoy a full growing season!

I took a closer look at the tiny little zucca seedling. There was still just an “elbow” showing, but something seemed odd about it.

Where those roots?


I very gently poked around in the soil and found the seed leaves were still thoroughly encased in the hull, which was trapped enough by the soil that instead of the leaves lifting up, the root end was being pushed out! So I very, very carefully and gently uncovered the seed hull encased leaves while covering the roots – only to accidentally reveal a second seedling working its way out, too! That one was also still stuck in the hull, so I loosened the soil over that, too. Once they’ve gotten large and strong enough to fully emerge and start standing upright, I will gently remove the hulls, like I did with the second pair of drum gourds that germinated..

I’m just babying these suckers! 😂

I am just itching to start more seeds but, for what we’ve got, it’s still a bit too early.

Well, break time is done. Time to go dig out a bag to pack for tomorrow.

The Re-Farmer

Thief! And what a loooong day

This morning, while standing and talking to my husband, I suddenly saw a deer walking past his window! So I quietly went into the sun room, and was able to get some photos of our thieving piebald deer!

Also, that’s Sad Face on top of the cat house, having breakfast. 😁

As for the deer, she was actually able to get her head under the water bowl shelter, to reach one of the three kibble trays under there.

Yup. She was eating cat kibble!

I have been seeing hoof prints in the snow around this group of shelters, but this is the first time we’ve seen the deer in there, this winter.

I got a few more shots, including some when she was slightly spooked and had moved away, so I could see that her tail is still matted with… something. The phone camera just can’t pick up enough detail, but I’m going to go with it being lots and lots of burrs.

Today, I was due to visit with my mother, run some errands for her, then pick up a couple more flats of farm fresh eggs from our homesteading friend we were able to get so much cardboard from last year. I got to my mother’s town a bit too early for the first errand I was going to do for her at the pharmacy. It’s a holiday weekend here in Canada (in most provinces, Monday is Family Day, but also Islander Day, Heritage Day and Louis Riel Day), so some places weren’t open at all, and the pharmacy didn’t open until noon. So I did a couple of my own errands first, got the pharmacy run done, then picked up Chinese food for lunch. By the time I was at my mother’s place, she wasn’t home from church yet. I have a key to her place, though, so I was able sneak a couple of 2 pound bags of ground beef from our quarte beef order into her freezer, get the kettle going, set up lunch and heard her at the door just in time to pour the tea! She was pleasantly surprised. Which was nice because, some days, surprises make her very angry. The Chinese food place is really generous in their quantities, so by the time we were done eating, there was enough left over for her to have at least two more meals!

While we were talking, she let me know that the smoke/heat detector on her ceiling had finally been fixed. It had been beeping for a month or more, and she didn’t want to call anyone about it, because they have to call the city. She feels she should just tell people in the building about it, and it’ll magically get taken care of. She has the number to call for maintenance issues, and then there is a process they have to follow to get someone out to take care of it but, for some reason, that makes her very angry. Still, she must have finally called, because someone came out and replaced the detector completely.

Then, she told me, he “fixed” the other thing that was beeping.

That would be the CO monitor my brother set up for her, years ago.


She’s never mentioned to us that it was beeping, too!

The guy took the batteries out (they would have been the original batteries) and told her she didn’t need it, because the detector in her ceiling does the same thing.

Well, maybe the new one that got installed does, I don’t know, but he should not have handled something that didn’t belong to the building (though I can understand why he did), and he should not have told her she didn’t need it.

I tried to explain to her what it was, because now she was thinking that what’s in her ceiling isn’t a smoke/heat detector, but she doesn’t understand what a CO monitor is, either. Or maybe she thought the CO monitor was a smoke detector. I didn’t quite get the straight of it. I tried to explain to her what CO poisoning is, and that if she ever hears that thing go off, she needed to get out right away. I also said that, even if this new detector was a CO monitor, it’s good to have a back up. If one goes off, but the other doesn’t, then maybe it’s a dead battery, but if they both go off, it’s really important for her to get out of her apartment right away. Well, that got her angry, and she started going on about how no one had these for so many years and it was never a problem. I told her that people died from CO poisoning, and that’s why these monitors are now being made.

She didn’t believe me.

She also had a clock that needed a new battery, but she had only one AA battery, so I changed the battery on her clock and offered to buy her more batteries when I went to the grocery store for her. She told me not to. She didn’t need them, and she didn’t want new batteries for the CO monitor, because the guy told her she didn’t need it. She was even angry that my brother had bought it in the first place, and told me she’d paid him X amount for it – which means she now thinks that my brother somehow cheated her by buying this and expecting her to pay for it (which I know full well is not how things would have happened).

I’m sure the guy meant well when he “helped” her, but this is an example of why there’s usually a restriction on contractors/maintenance staff when it comes to doing anything beyond what they are there to do.

After it became clear she was going to completely reject anything I told her, I said I would talk to my brother and maybe she’ll believe him if she won’t believe me. Then I went to the grocery store and, before going inside, sent him a message about it. He ended up phoning me while I was still in the grocery store, so I called him back once I was back in the car (also: my phone rings so rarely, when I heard it, I thought it was someone else’s phone near me! 😄) and explained it some more. He was equally frustrated, and said he would call Mom. I started heading back then decided to turn around and buy the batteries for her, anyhow.

By the time I got to her place, she had started to watch TV and didn’t say a thing about the call from my brother, until I pulled out the batteries and started putting them in. She was clearly unhappy that I had told him about it. Unfortunately, once the batteries were in, the monitor gave a loud, piercing noise, which was just to show that it was now working. My mother got angry again, saying that she didn’t need it and I shouldn’t put batteries in. The noise stopped, though, so I just put it back down on her shelf and left it.

The rest of the visit was more peaceful, and she was actually on much better behaviour than usual. I was just waiting to hear from my friend about the eggs, which was going to be a while. I even suggested my mother go ahead and take a nap, as I know she usually does in the afternoons, but we ended up talking some more. My friend was in the city for longer than she expected. By the time I got a message that they were on their way home, I think my mother was so tired, she was ready to kick me out! 😄 I had ordered extra eggs as a surprise for her, and had been telling my mother about the different coloured eggs, so before I left, I said I might swing by on the way home to show her the colourful eggs. When I did swing by with the eggs, I brought in the dozen I got for her and said they were for her. She started to tell me no, she didn’t need them, she has lots, but I said that these are farm fresh eggs and I’m sure she’ll love them.

So she took them without any other fight, which tells me that she was very happy with the surprise, even if she wouldn’t say so! 😄

Before I left, she told me she had something she wanted to ask me about, and headed for her bedroom. I took advantage of the moment and quickly grabbed the CO monitor and put it back on the wall where it belonged. I was afraid she might throw it away if I didn’t, and if she didn’t see me put it up, chances are she’d forget about it completely, whereas if she saw me put it up, she was more likely to take it off and throw it away.

Here’s hoping my reasoning is correct!

She then began opening up a suitcase she’d taken down from the top of her closet. There was stuff in it that she said she’d put there to protect it from when her apartment was being sprayed for bed bugs (her building is now officially declared bed bug free). She pulled a few things out, then showed me some fabric with what looked like pre-printed cushion designs, and asked me if she’d given me fabric like it (I think she meant fabric for the backs of the cushions?). I told her no – but it did give me the opportunity to ask me about a strange bundle of lacy ovals of fabric she did give me. She vaguely told me it was given to her from my nephew’s wedding. I think she was telling me they were place mats, though they don’t look like any place mats I’ve ever seen! I also couldn’t get the straight of why she gave them to me. Ah, well.

Once I told her she had not given me any other fabric, she seemed strangely satisfied, then declared that now she knows…

It was stolen by the beg bug exterminator.

She’s also convinced he stole a jar of coins.

This is something she’s done before. She was once so convinced someone had gone into her apartment while she was in the lobby and stole some cash, she was talking to everyone in the building about it – loud enough for the person she suspected to hear – and even taped a note to her door about how it was a sin to steal XXX amount of money.

Then she found the cash hidden in a different spot. After weeks of not-so-subtly accusing this person of stealing it.

She is now convinced that the exterminator went into a suitcase at the top of her closet, carefully moved some stuff off the top, stole some fabric, and put everything else back again.

Plus a jar of change, but on another occasion.

The sad thing is that this accusation merely reflects something she would do; go into other people’s stuff. It’s like when she’s been here, goes to the washroom, and we can hear her rifling through the cupboards. We can’t let her go into any rooms unsupervised, because she’ll start digging into closets and dresser drawers. In the past, she’s actually hidden things and thrown away things of ours, because she didn’t approve of them. Of course, she feels perfectly entitled to do this, because we’re family, but it also means she assumes everyone does the same thing.


After that, she got me to put the suitcase back in her closet, because she can get it down on her own, but can’t get it back up!

There was other weird stuff to deal with during the visit, too. Needless to say, by the time I finally was heading home, I was feeling incredibly drained.

And this was a good visit!

She’s got her medical appointment in a week. I’m going to be driving her in, driving her home, then staying with her for the required 24 hours to monitor her after the scope procedure.

Today had been the longest time I’ve spent with my mother in years. It’s going to be a real challenge to be spending the night with her! Especially since Lent is starting in a few days. I’ve decided to give up sugar – including simple carbs – for Lent this year. I’m going to have to make sure to bring my own food, and be prepared for many lectures about it.


Ah, well. It’ll be what it will be. I’ve been through worse.

The Re-Farmer