Finally getting rain – and, ouch

Things have been hot for the past few days, and will continue to be hot for the next while. It’s not even noon as I write this, and we’re already at 25C, with a “real feel” of 29C. We’ve also had a lot of thunderstorm warnings, but aside from one quick pass, they have been missing us. We have, however, been getting some decent rain. I haven’t heard locally, yet, but the municipality next to ours announced their burn ban has finally been lifted. I expect ours is, too.

This afternoon, we’re supposed to get temperatures of 29C (feeling like 36C) and thunderstorms through the evening. If rain is all we get again, I’ll be quite happy.

The grape vines are quite appreciating the moisture.

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It’s official… sort of

As of today, it is now official.

We are a two vehicle household.

Sort of.

I was able to register my mother’s car in my name, but it’s still her car. This means that, if she needs help to get to an appointment or go grocery shopping, I can use her car, instead of her struggling to climb up into our van. I will make sure to use it once in a while, just because it’s not good for vehicles to sit around. Today, I plan to take it in for a car wash! 😀

But I am getting ahead of myself.

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Vehicular Milestone

You know, the outside cats make going outside quite entertaining!  Check out Beep Beep!

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Earlier, when I was walking around the yard, she followed me, insisting on attention, until I finally picked her up and carried her the rest of the way.

Later, as I brought the van into the yard, cats and kits scattered all over the place.  Beep Beep went up the tree.  When I came near, she started rolling around so much, she almost fell off!

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Oh, what a day! :-D

How the day was going to go was a bit up in the air, to be decided after we picked up our van.  It ended up being a much longer day, but we got the bulk of our monthly shop in, after all.

In order to get the van home, my younger daughter and husband had to come along.  Now, my mother’s car isn’t a compact car, by any means, but my husband tops 6 ft.  Even with the seat back as far as it could go, he had to fold himself in.  He was basically wearing the car!!  Continue reading

Clean up: firepit area, gate and fence line start

This evening, I decided to be methodical about clearing the west yard trees, and get right into the fence line.

It was a lot more work than I expected!

This is what it looked like when I left it last time.

I didn’t get photos from this angle today, but if you look behind the dead trees I cut down, that’s the area I focused on.

I had not really intended to start on the fence line on this side yet, but the mess was starting to get to me.

I am using the row of elm trees as my guide line for clearing the fence.  Anything between where those trees are and the fence line will be taken out.  This will leave a walkable path to access the fence.

I started at the gate post and made a discovery.

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There’s two of them.

From what I can figure out, as the older gate post started to become unstable, a second post as added, and new and old were tied together with a loop of barbed wire.

It was most likely a temporary fix that ended up a permanent one.

The problem is…

Both posts are rotten and broken at the bottom.

The hedge that had grown into the fence was pretty much the only thing holding it up.

I don’t really want to replace this fence.  I’d rather take it out completely.  I am wanting to install new fencing that will include both driveways, instead.  So for now, this old fence will remain for as long as it holds up.

As I worked down the line, I also discovered that there’s not just two gate posts, but two fences!  Somewhere along the way, the old barbed wire fence got a mesh wire fence added with it.  Then other cable type wire was also added, along the bottom.  You can see part of it at the bottom of one of the gate posts, above.

This made clearing away the lilacs more challenging, because it was woven through both the barbed and mesh wire.  For many of them, I had to cut them at least twice, so I could get the pieces out of the fence.

A surprising amount of the lilac was already dead.  Most of the living lilac is on the other side of the fence.  Which I will leave for now.  It’s keeping the fence from falling over.

In the end, it took me almost two hours to clear barely 8 feet of fence line!

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I’m also clearing in between and around the lilac and caragana that is in line with the row of elm trees.  That included taking down a dead lilac that was a thick as a tree!

I’m going to have to change up when I work in the yard.  We’re getting heat wave weather warnings for the next week.  I like to do the work in the afternoon or evening, but the hottest part of the day tends to be around 5pm.  It’s almost 9pm as I write this, and we’re still at 25C, with a “feels like 29C”.  I’m going to have to start working on this stuff in the morning, instead, when it’s cooler, because by afternoon, it’s supposed to reach 29C, and feel like 34C, but be only 18C in the morning.

I am not a morning person. 😀

Well, if I’m driving my daughter to her shifts that start at 8 or 9am anyway, it will work out for me to do yard work when I get back in the morning, instead of after I pick her up at 4 or 5pm.

She has a road test booked in September.  She’ll be able to drive herself to work, if we don’t need the van for something else.

It is becoming increasingly clear we are going to need a second vehicle for the girls.  That and our utter dependency on having a vehicle makes me extra paranoid about having only one.  It’s not like there are any buses we could use instead, or anything is close enough to walk to!  We went about a month not driving our van until we had the money to replace the fuel pump, to avoid causing more damage (which our mechanic really appreciated), and that was enough for us!

At least we’ve finally reached a point where we are caught up.  As of this month, we have no expenses left related to our move.  Yay!  It only took us 9 months. :-/  Starting next month, we can start diverting money to a contingency fund to pay for things like getting the trees cleared from the power lines and roof in the fall, or towards getting a second bathroom installed.  Or unexpected emergencies, like the van breaking down!

The problem is, there are SO many things that need work around the house and yard, it will be hard to prioritize.  We had hoped to get the second bathroom installed this summer.  It’s high on the priority list, but clearing the trees became the higher priority since… well… we’d really like to NOT have our roof damaged or have branches knock out our power lines.

Little by little, it’ll get done.

The Re-Farmer

A New Furry Friend! Plus techie updates

This morning, I had an appointment with my cousin, who had replaced the water pump on my van a while back.  That would be the one that the garage is saying needs to be replaced, and that it was loose.

The water pump is fine.  And if it weren’t, it’s still under warranty, and he’d be fixing it, at his own cost.

Also, that small coolant leak?

Has stopped leaking.  This one, I saw leaking myself.  I guess it just needed some time after work was done.

I told him about what had been happening with the coolant, getting the thermostat changed, then discovering the coolant had been leaking out the back.  He commented that it was too bad they’d changed the thermostat – but it still might have needed to be changed, considering the age of the vehicle.

Everything checked out fine.  My alternator is making a slight whining noise.  He told me that I only needed to be concerned if it started to get louder.  Which might not happen for a year, even.  It would be an expensive job to do, because of how difficult it is to get to, so there’s no point in doing it now.

I also asked him about the stalling problem.  When we first start the vehicle, it sometimes stalls right away.  I start it again, while giving it a bit of gas, and it’s fine.  He talked to me about the sensor and how, on starting, the onboard computer checks all the sensors.  It could just be reading a lack of oxygen or something, but if I just give it a bit of gas while starting it, it should be fine.  Nothing wrong; just a bit inconvenient.  Replacing the sensor would be very expensive.

His recommendation?  Change nothing.  If there’s a problem with the water pump, which he can’t find, he will change it, at no cost to me.  There is nothing to prevent us from taking longer trips, like going to the city and back.  Not that we can do that, since our budget has been completely blown by all the work done on the van, but it’s a relief, to be sure.

I’m going to have to have a talk with the garage about that water pump recommendation.

As I was typing this, my husband just updated me.  We got a notice in the mail from our satellite internet provider.  They have access to a new satellite, which can offer increased upload and download speeds and less stuttering in service.  There is also the option to upgrade plans with higher data.  Which we don’t need right now, since we got two accounts to get the higher data that we do have.  I don’t mind that too much, since one of the accounts will be something my daughter can claim on her taxes next year.

In about a week, we’ll get a call from a technician to come over and align the satellite dishes to the new satellite.

So that’ll be nice.

After I got home from getting the van checked, I was in my crochet corner, working on a new basket, when I noticed Hungry Girl coming up to the feed.  And oh, look – there’s Barbecue over by the trees.

No.  That’s Barbecue coming up now…

They brought a new friend with them!

A strange new friend…

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My first thought was that was an odd sun dappling pattern.

Where there is no sun to dapple.

Wait a minute…

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Sure enough, it turned out to be a piebald deer!

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Clearly, a deer they were completely comfortable with.  There was no animosity of any kind, like we see when Mama and the Twins or Detail and her boy come by.

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There’s even a little big of it on her other side.

What a remarkable looking deer!  I’ve never seen anything like this before.  I’ve seen photos of albino deer, but that’s it.

Eventually, they left because of the cats.  I hope the new one comes back!  We’re thinking of calling her Patches. 😀

The Re-Farmer