Replacement vehicle status, and just made it

I made it to the city for a Costco trip, which will be covered in another post, but I before I left, I wanted to confirm things with the replacement vehicle financing.

Yesterday, I’d messaged our mechanic, asking if he’d heard back after I’d sent in our 90 day income confirmation information. He told me that yes, it had been approved. They just needed something from him, which he’d sent in, and he was waiting for final word.



That was in the morning, and there was still no word by the time he closed. Since I was planning a trip to the city for a Costco stock up trip today, I messaged him this morning telling him this and asking if I should hold off on it. He said he would contact them and find out for me.

After about an hour or two, I got a phone call.

There was good news, and bad news.

The good news was, we were approved for financing.

The bad news was, not for that vehicle.


Apparently, it was hard to get financing for us (not surprised there, considering we’ve had no debt payments to improve our credit rating), but that did eventually come through. However, they would only finance us for a vehicle that was 2014 and older, with a maximum of 180,000 km on it.

The Caravan we were applying for was a 2016 (not the 2015 I thought he’d told me at first), and has 181,000 km.

They wouldn’t budge on that 1000 km.

But, we do have financing approved!

Now, he knows how badly we need to replace our van, and he was determined to find something for us that met our needs and was affordable to our budget. He asked me a number of questions about what we were looking for, and it basically comes down to accessibility for my husband. A vehicle like the Caravan and our current Uplander has been ideal. Yes, we’d be willing to go with an SUV type vehicle, as long as we can fit the walker (yes, it folds, but it’s a bariatric walker, so it’s larger than typical), and with his injury and pain levels, we need something my husband can climb up into, rather than scrunch down into.

There’s a major car auction this weekend. He’s going to try and find something for us! He said he will try to get back to me on Monday about how that went, though I forgot completely that I won’t be home on Monday. I’ll be driving my mother to her scope at the day surgery, then spending the night at her place to keep an eye on her.

With that settled as much as can be right now, I headed into the city with the van, did my Costco shopping, ran into my SIL as I was loading the van!, then headed home.

My younger daughter was waiting for me at the garage with the wagon when I pulled in, and was kind enough to plug the van in for me before I forgot again.

Which is when she heard the hissing.

From the driver’s side tire.

It’s hard to tell in the photo, but this tire is half flat. When I got out of the van and she told me about the noise, I took a look and actually found a split or crack of some kind, near the bottom of the tire.

I made it home just in time!

Or maybe I drove over something sharp when I drove into the garage?

Well, whatever it is, we’re going to wait before getting it fixed. We’ll just have to use my mother’s car for the next while. What bothers me about the timing of this is that, while I’m at my mother’s, it means there will be no vehicle available here at the farm. It would be just for emergency use, really, but that’s kinda the whole point.


The important thing is, this happened *after* the Costco trip, so we’re pretty well stocked up again. Our next trips shouldn’t have that much weight or bulk in them, so we can get away with using my mother’s car. That won’t be until after I’ve spend the night with my mother. Who knows. Our mechanic might actually find us a replacement vehicle this weekend! I’d still want to get it fixed, but I don’t even want to think about it until after all this other stuff is done.

What a day!

The Re-Farmer

What’s that in there? and half a step closer

So… this is what we have to entertain us when we’re using the bathroom.

The nice thing is that, while we are at -22C/-8F outside, the thermometer in the sun room was reading 0C/32F at the time I took this photo.

In other things, we got an email from the financing company about the Caravan. For proof of income, I’d sent a copy of the annual letter my husband gets from Sun Life, confirming our payments for the year, but for CPP Disability, all I had to sent them was a pdf of our automatic payments into our joint bank account. As of yesterday, the lady with the financing company thought everything looked fine.

Well, almost.

The pdf I sent was for only 60 days. The lender requested one for 3 months.

So I sent them in a 90 day statement. I even thought of doing that from the start, but they were asking for pay stubs as proof of income, so I was just hoping a bank statement would be good enough. Ah, well.

Considering the time right now, I figure if we’re going to hear anything either way, it’ll be tomorrow at the earliest.

Once again, I’m really REALLY hoping this pans out. I had to make a quick run into town today and, once again, the van did NOT want to start. For all its problems, though, I’m more comfortable driving the van in this cold, then my mother’s car.

We’re looking at going into the city for our first big stock up shopping trip for March, on Friday – the day after tomorrow. Which would be a van trip, due to the sheer volume and weight of such a trip being too much for my mother’s little car. It would be so awesome to be able to make the trip in the replacement vehicle, and not worry about whether or not our van will start!

The Re-Farmer

Hello, Colin, and one step closer

Well, the cold snap we were predicted to get has been dipping to temperatures colder than predicted! This morning, when I did my morning rounds, we were at about -28C/-18F, with a wind chill of -32C/-26F We were mostly sheltered from the wind, though, and it was bright and sunny, so at least in our little microclimate, it felt a bit warmer. Still, the yard cats were thoroughly mashed together on the swing bench in the sun room for the night, keeping each other warm!

This picture was not from this morning, though. This is from when I got back from town this afternoon.

This is the little one the girls have named Colin (Mochrie), because of his “hairline”. There’s another little white and grey one that is not friendly, but loves to jump up on the shelf under the bathroom window and peek in. My daughter says he looks just like Tissue, but haunted, so they’ve named him Dryer Sheet.

So… among the calicos we had Cabbages, and now have Broccoli, mother of Brussel and Sprout, and we have grey and whites with the tom, Shop Towel (aka: Sad Face), father of Tissue and now Dryer Sheet (along with 8 other white and greys, including Colin).

Coming up with names for the cats has been a lot of fun! 😁


Before I headed out this morning, knowing I’d be away in the afternoon, I contacted the hospital about my mother’s appointment. We have a date, but not a time. I ended up emailing them, but they did call back fairly quickly. Once I got those details straightened out, I phoned my mother and let her know. She was not happy to hear she had to be there for 9:15 in the morning, and was wondering why it was so early. *sigh* When we spoke yesterday evening about it, she was going on about how it’s winter, and it’s so cold and it’s so far away… We’re actually supposed to be back up to just below freezing by then, and it’s not that far away at all. She’s just gotten used to not getting up until 10am, and is really not looking forward to the procedure!

But, that’s all been worked out.

Then I got a message from the garage, about our financing application. The financing company wanted proof of income, including my husband’s most recent pay stubs, and confirmation of disability income from both Sun Life and CPP Disability.

My husband hasn’t have pay stubs in almost 10 years. He did get his annual letter from Sun Life, confirming his payments for the year, last month, so I was able to take a photo of that and email it in. As for the CPP Disability payments, we have no letter for that, so I sent in a copy of our automatic payments and deposits from our bank. If that wasn’t enough, I’m not sure what else I could have sent them. He did get his T4A from CPP Disability (still waiting for the one from Sun Life before we can do our taxes), so maybe I could have sent them that.

I got to the garage quite early, so I dropped off the key, talked to them for a bit, letting them know about the problem with the van not wanting to start, and that I’d sent in the required information for the financing application. Then I was going to go to the restaurant next door for lunch. It turned out they had been open during the holiday yesterday, so they were closed today – normally, they’re open 7 days a week. The next closest restaurant was quite a few blocks away (one thing about this being a tourist town: there are lots of restaurants, but they’re almost all closer to the beach). It was a nippy walk, that’s for sure!

I was back at the garage about an hour later, and the van was almost done. The owner was constantly on the phone, or answering text messages, or looking up parts, etc. the entire time I was waiting! After his mechanic finished with the van, he did a final scan using their shop tablet (that thing is so solid, they could probably throw it across the room, and it won’t break!), but that got delayed because they had to update the software! Of course, when the scan finally got done, there were a whole lot of codes that came up, which he cleared. The main thing is that, with the new sensor for the temperature gauge in, that’s one code that was fixed! At least I’ll know if the engine suddenly starts overheating or something.

As he was getting my invoice ready, we talked about the financing again. I really hope it comes through. As I told him, as much as I don’t like the idea of having car payments again, I much prefer that and having a vehicle that I at least know will start! It turns out one of the calls he had earlier was from the financing company. Since I was there, he’d told them that if they needed anything else, he could ask me right away. He was told everything looked good, and the application has been sent to a bank.

Now, we just wait.

At this point, either we get approved, and I’ll just need to send them a voided check, which I can do by taking a photo of one and emailing it in, or we get turned down and that’s it.

We are SO close. My biggest concern is that we do get approved, but the monthly payments are higher than we can afford. Yes, my older daughter has said she will help with the payments, but I’m calculating as if that’s not going to happen, just to be on the safe side. Her income is all commissions based, after all, so how much she makes a month is variable.

In all honestly, right now, I just want to get an answer, one way or the other. It’s this hanging in the air, waiting, that is most frustrating. Especially after what happened last time, with the other financing company. In the end, though, not getting that vehicle doesn’t bother me much. The Caravan is much more suited to our needs.

We’re one step closer. It would be awesome if we got an answer tomorrow!!

The Re-Farmer

Am I jumping the gun?

Okay, yeah. I probably am, but I can’t help it!

I just got off the phone with a financing company, regarding our application to finance another vehicle yesterday.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Here’s the story.

Yesterday, I had to make a trip to the smaller, closer city, making my usual stop for gas at the town my mother lives in. I used our van because it was a bit chillier, and the van handles the cold better than my mother’s car. That and getting my mother’s car out of the lean to on the garage is a pain. The doors need to be replaced, and I have to park the car at an angle, just so I can open the door without hitting anything.

By the time I got to the gas station, the temperature gauge on the van was almost in the middle, which is typical for the trip in these temperatures. It took just a few minutes to run in, get what I needed, pay for stuff and head out. No long enough for the engine to completely cool down.

The first thing was, the van did NOT want to start. It tends to stall easily when first starting anyhow, but when I first started it at home, it was just the usual “it’s cold!” sort or start. This time, it took a couple of tries, but I got it going.

I immediately noticed the temperature gauge didn’t move.

I pulled ahead to an out of the way parking area I normally pause in to send updates to the family or get my drink ready, etc., shut the engine off and started it again. It started fine, but the gauge’s needle didn’t move.

I made the rest of the drive, and it stayed on cold, the whole time. Once parked, I shut the engine off and started it again. It started fine, but no change on the gauge.

I messaged my family to update them, then phoned our usual garage. After explaining what was happening, I asked if I could swing by on my way home so they could quickly check it. Once that was worked out, I quickly did my errands, then headed to town.

Once again, the van did NOT want to start. Once it did, however, it ran fine.

I even made sure to take the shorter, but longer, route. I could have taken a different highway that was longer in distance, with a higher speed limit the whole way. The shorter route goes through several small towns and villages, so the speed limit is all over the place, but it also has houses and farms all along the way. I figured that, if I did break down, at least I’d be close to a door I could knock on. The other route has almost nothing along the way. Even the farmhouses aren’t near the highway. The drive went fine, though. Aside from the temperature gauge staying on cold, everything else seemed to be running smoothly, and the van was heating up nicely.

Once at the garage, I talked to the owner for awhile, explaining what was going on in more detail, including the issues with starting as the only other thing that seemed to have changed. He had one of his guys quickly go out and do a scan while we talked some more.

One of the things we talked about was the confusion from when we’d applied for financing a vehicle from him earlier, so I found out more about that. It turns out he’d sent info for two vehicles because he remembered that we needed something that would fit a bariatric walker for my husband. The one that we were applying for, a newer vehicle with higher mileage and a lower price, would not have had room for it. The other one was a few years older, had lower mileage and was more expensive, but it would have been more accessible for my husband and his walker. Then there was the whole thing about the company wanting a huge down payment for one, while approving only a 1 year term for the other (which would have had monthly payments of almost a thousand dollars, once their interested was included).

Well, it turns out he’s with a different financing company now, and I got the very strong impression that what happened to us was motivation for him to do that, because he’d been very happy with them when I applied! This one will do long term financing, with no down payments.

Then the guy came in with the results, and it turned out to just be a sensor that needs to be replaced. Since I’d have no way of knowing if the engine started to overheat, we rather have to get that done. Unfortunately, it’ll mean going into the funds we’ve set aside to save up for getting a replacement vehicle before next winter.

While making the appointment for next week, I once again asked if he could keep an eye out for something to meet our needs that was cheap.

“Well,” he says to me, “there’s the 2015 Caravan.”


I hadn’t even looked at the vehicles for sale when I drove in, since I was already looking ahead to try and find a parking spot, so I never noticed it.

We had a Grand Caravan before we got our current van, and were very happy with it. It’s amazing what you can fit in the back of one of those, with the Stow n Go seats folded down.

Yup. I ended up starting an application for financing. I filled out just enough to give him something to send in, and he said I’d get a phone call for the rest of the information.

Which I just got.

I much prefer that, since our situation requires explanation. First, there’s my husband’s employment status (technically, he’s considered employed for as long as he’s on the company’s disability insurance), and why I can’t have an income of my own. Which normally means he would be the one applying, not me, but I would be the owner and driver of the vehicle, so it has to be me, not him. Also, he’s on both private insurance and CPP Disability, so he’s actually got 2 sources of income, while I have none. Then there’s explaining how we neither own nor rent, but also have zero rent or mortgage, thanks to our custodial arrangement to live here.

Once that was cleared up and the call was done, I needed to email in pictures of my photo ID. The next step – if it gets that far – would be to email in pictures of a voided check.

If all goes well, that will happen pretty soon. It’s entirely possible we’ll have an answer before the end of the day. Last time, however, it took something like a week or more, so… who knows.

Still. I’m just thinking how nice it would be if I could cancel that appointment for the van, because we’ll be picking up our new van, instead.

Oh, my goodness! That last sentence was interrupted by a phone call. I didn’t recognize the number, but answered it anyway, since it might be a different department of the financing company.


It was a cradle dial, then someone started telling me that they were calling about our computer, and could he talk to the main user of our computer?

Which is laughable, considering just how many computers we have in this household.

Yeah. I just laughed and hung up on him.

Gah! Now I’m on pins and needles, waiting for a call.

It’s a really sweet van, and would meet our needs much better than the SUV we originally applied for. It would also be the newest vehicle we’ve ever owned! 😄

Oh, and one more reason to really hope this works out. When it was time to leave the garage, the van didn’t want to start again. I don’t know how a malfunctioning sensor on the temperature gauge could affect that, so I’m not sure replacing the sensor would solve that problem.

I don’t want to get my hopes up, but… Gosh, that would be so nice if it works out!

The Re-Farmer

Long day, and still chill!

Well, I’m happy to say that my mother’s car ran well today, though it certainly did not enjoy starting! I made sure to give it time to warm up in the garage, before taking it out into that wind.

My first stop was to the post office, where I had several packages to pick up. One of them was these:

The heated gloves my husband got for me!

They were listed as XL, but they fit quite snugly when I tried them on. They were too stiff to wear while driving, though, so I went back to my mittens!

These have some interesting features. Obviously, they have batteries. The USB charging cable can charge both at the same time, so I’ve got that happening right now.

The third finger on each hand has a finger loop on it. You can just see one on the right glove. I have no idea what that’s for. The finger tips are touch screen compatible. They have wrist loops to keep them from getting lost, as well as being water resistant and having adjustable cuffs.

It wasn’t until I got home that I discovered that one of the other parcels was also something my husband had ordered for me. A new pair of the “Military Tactical work boots” to replace the ones he got me last year. I love the side zipper feature on these, and wore them almost constantly, until the leather finally split and cracked on the side of one boot. This time, as soon as he unboxed them, my husband treated them with some leather conditioner – something we actually found while cleaning up the basement. A full gallon jug of it, barely used! He plans to treat the leather regularly with it, so hopefully this pair will last longer.

One other thing that came in the mail was particularly important: my husband’s disabled parking permit! He doesn’t get out much, but when he does, it will make things much easier for him to be park closer.

After picking everything up at the post office, it was off to my mother’s town. The roads were not too bad, though I was driving against blowing snow. Stopping for gas in the wind wasn’t too bad, either. Then it was off to get my mother’s prescriptions, hit the bank, then stop at the Chinese food place to pick up lunch. I even managed to get to my mother’s a bit earlier than I was shooting for!

We had a decent amount of time to visit and have lunch (breakfast, for me!), then head out early for her appointment. I’m glad we did leave early; it was blowing snow the whole way, with very little shelter along the route. Even as small as the profile of my mother’s car is, I could feel us being buffeted, and the engine working to maintain speed against the wind. The place was easy to find, and had plenty of parking, so we didn’t even lose time with that, and got there about half an hour early.

The specialist my mother was seeing shares a building with another clinic and a pharmacy. As we came in, there were signs all over, saying that even though there are no longer any restrictions, they still required masks. Which is bizarre, since yet another study was just released showing that wearing masks or not makes no difference in preventing the spread of respiratory viruses, even when comparing surgical masks with N95 masks, at all (there’s now close to 80 such studies, just in the last few years, with exactly the same end results). You’d think the medical community would be on top of this sort of thing. We passed several of these signs just going through the two sets of doors; I’m not sure my mother even saw them. There were even stand alone signs scattered around main lobby area. As we entered, a woman wearing a mask started coming over, asking which doctor we were there to see. I gave the name and she directed us to the doors behind us. Doors that didn’t have a single sign on them. We walked in, and there wasn’t a mask in sight. Not the receptionist, not the other patients, and not the doctor. It was like a sanctuary of sanity in a sea of junk science!

Getting there early meant we got brought into the examination room early, but the doctor took longer with another patient, so he actually saw us late. Which was fine, except my mother got it in her head that the car would freeze and not start because we were waiting soooo long. I reminded her that I spent more time with her in her apartment before we headed out, and the car started just fine. Plus, the day was still getting warmer! She wasn’t satisfied until the doctor finally came in and she brought it up with him – and he promised to give us a boost if the car didn’t start! 😄

The visit started out a bit confusing, because we were thinking we were there about her breathing issues, but this was a referral about her acid reflux. When she gets really bad heart burn while lying down, she also has trouble breathing, and thinks she’s having a heart attack. Her heart checked out extremely healthy – fantastic for someone in her 90’s – but she still can’t accept that there’s nothing wrong with her heart. The doctor tried questioning her, but eventually started explaining things more to me, while simplifying things for my mother, as he figured out that I would be working to explain things to her later on. He asked her all kinds of questions, but it’s really hard to get clear answers from her, because she keeps wanting to talk about other things.

One of the things that came out is that my mother has been taking all her pills – she thinks she’s taking a lot, but really, it’s not that many – with food. She’s on a medication for acid reflux, that is in her bubble packs as a morning pill. It is NOT supposed to be taken with food, which I never saw indicated anywhere. She should also be taking it in the evening. She takes her evening pills at 5pm, but doesn’t go to bed until 11, so we talked about changing the timing.

After questioning her more, he decided it was appropriate to get a scope done on her, to check if there is any damage from the reflux. Then he talked to her about dietary changes. I recognized what he was talking about and reminded my mother that I’d given her a printout of what foods were good and which weren’t, and she said she never looks at it. *sigh* High acid foods are things she should be avoiding, like citrus fruits, onions and garlic, and tomatoes.

My mother loves her onions and tomatoes.

My sister recently gave her onions and a jar of tomatoes from her garden.

I’ve sent the food list to my sister, and we’ve talked about this before, but my sister just seems to forget completely!

A few more things were discussed, and then we headed out, stopping to get some information about the scope from the receptionist.

My mother was already trying to back out of it, asking if she really needed to get it done.


When she has these “attacks”, she gets really scared and things she is literally dying. But she hasn’t had one in a while, so now she doesn’t want to actually do anything about it.

The appointment was set for the end of this month and, after checking with my mother, my number got put down as the person to call with more information and instructions, closer to the date, which I will then pass on and explain to her. We also got a printout for her about the procedure and what she needs to do in advance. That was something for us to go over when I got her home.

I had offered to help my mother with shopping if she felt up to it, but she wanted to do that in her own town. All she needed was milk, anyhow. I did realize, with the longish drive ahead, it would be a good idea to find a public washroom before we got on the highway. There was a Walmart handy, so I ended up going in, while she stayed warm in the car, so I picked up milk for her, anyhow! I’m glad it worked out that way because, by the time we got her home, I don’t think either of us was up to a grocery trip!

I then spent perhaps an hour going through things with her. While driving home and talking about her medication change, she suddenly told me she was already taking that one pill (she didn’t understand what it was for, even though it has been explained to her by me, my brother and her doctor) in the evening. That was something the specialist should have been told! She was still taking it with food, though, and too early, so we worked out that she would be taking that one pill shortly before bed. I had quite a time convincing her that it was ONLY the one pill that needed to be changed, and that she didn’t need to change anything else. She kept thinking she shouldn’t take any of them with food now, but I know for sure that at least one of them is supposed to be taken with food. Then we went over the printout. I marked out on her calendar, when she needs to stop taking things like blood thinners (and confirming which of her pills is a blood thinner – when the doctor had asked about them, she couldn’t remember exactly why she was on them, other than “they are to prevent stroke”, and she’s been on them longer than we’ve been back, so I don’t know, either), vitamins, aspirin, etc, when to start fasting, and when not to take any of her meds at all. Then more notes were written down inside the cover of her bubble packs, complete with little drawings of the pill shapes.

While going through the printout, I got to the part where it said they would have her lying down on her left side.

But she can’t lie on her left side, she tells me. If she does, she gets the pain and problems with breathing.


Yes, she’s mentioned that she slept on her side (which is recommended for reflux) to the doctor, but didn’t specify why she slept only on her right side.

Turns out that she gets these attacks every time she tries sleeping on her left side. They happen when she’s on her right side, only sometimes, and that’s when she wants to go to a doctor about it.

That was something the specialist should have been told, but she seemed surprised that this wasn’t automatically understood when she had said she slept on her side!


It took some doing, but we got through it. Before I left, she paid me back for the lunch and gas, so before heading home, I stopped at the bank again to do a deposit, then went back to the gas station to fill the tank again. Driving against the wind really did a number on the mileage!

I am so glad I had the wind at my back for the drive home.

Where my mother is, it is sheltered, but the gas station is not. WOW did the wind increase since morning! It’s still blowing now. Even though the temperature is a relatively warm -18C/about 0F, the wind chill was about -33C/-27F. I think the wind chill was even colder while I was filling the tank again! It was absolutely brutal! I picked up a couple other little things then headed back to the car, pausing to check for messages from the family before I left. Which is the only reason I saw the notification from my bank about the purchase I’d just made.

The number was very off.

They forgot to charge me for the gas!

So I went back in and paid for it. 😄

I’m glad I caught it when I did, or I wouldn’t have seen it until I got home.

And I was sure glad to get home! The running around is pretty draining, but all that time trying to explain things to my mother gets pretty difficult after a while, even though she was definitely having one of her good days.

I’m glad it got done, though.

I’ll also be glad when this chill finally ends. It’s still only -18C/about 0F out there, and the wind chill is still at -33C/-27F! If the forecast is right, the winds will die down in a few hours, and then things will steadily warm up over the next while.

I’m looking forward the air no longer hurting my face!

The Re-Farmer

One last day

This is it. According to the forecasts, this should be the LAST day we have stuff like this.

It’s been almost 2 hours since I took this screencap. We’re still at -28C/-18F, but the wind chill has gone from -37C/-35F to -40C/F. I don’t know what was different about this morning, but for the first time this winter, I was actually concerned about frost bite on my fingers. They HURT! I’m still doing short rounds, and the only extra thing I had to do was dump buckets of cat litter sawdust into the burn ring, and my fingers were hurting well before that.

The thermometer in the sun room, however, was reading about -17C/1F last night, while the outside temperatures had dipped below -30C/-22F. When their food was topped up for the night, it all went into bowls in the sun room, to encourage cats to stay in, or come into, the sun room. I think it worked since, this morning, there was still kibble and an almost full heated water bowl outside, while all the kibble in the sun room was gone, and the water bowl was occupied again.

Yup. This fluffy little bugger was curled up in the empty heated water bowl again. Look at that frost on his fur!

The lighting was better this time, and his nose actually looks pink instead of white, like it did in the last shot I got of him in there. You can see colour in his eyes this time, too.

I want to snuggle that baby.

Baby won’t let me snuggle him.


Our high of the day is supposed to reach -25 or -26C (-13 or -15F), depending on what app I look at, though the wind chill is supposed to be about -33C/-27F Yesterday, we had a hint of what was to come, reaching a high of -16C/3F. It was bright and sunny, and every time I glanced out the kitchen window, I was seeing cats running around and playing on the snow-clear sidewalk. The cats are really going to appreciate the back-side of today!

Tomorrow, we start to reach highs warmer than -20C/-4F, then warm up dramatically. One of my apps even forecasts 0C/32F on Monday! After about a week or so, it’ll dip down to the double digits again, but we are not expected to drop to -20C/-4F again, for the rest of the month. Possibly for the rest of the winter!

I’m glad things are starting to warm up tomorrow, though I will have to at least head over to the garage and try starting my mother’s car today. It’s plugged in, with its block heater, battery warmer and trickle charger, but… well, that car just does not like the cold, and has a very bad history of problems.

One of these days, we’ll have to invest in a heater for the garage. There used to be a kerosene heater in there, I’m told, that was used while vehicles were being worked on, but it’s among the things that disappeared before we moved here.

Tomorrow, I will be driving my mother to a medical appointment with a specialist in the smaller, closer city. She called me last night and, by the time we were done, we worked out a sort of schedule. I’ll head over early enough to pick up her prescription refills, since she doesn’t know if she’ll be home in time for them to deliver in the afternoon, and grab lunch. After lunch, we plan to leave early enough that, if road conditions are poor, we’ll still have plenty of time to get there. Then, depending on how long things take and how she feels, we might take advantage of being in the city so she can do some shopping. Since I also have parcels to pick up, and the post office isn’t open on the weekends, I’ll have to leave even earlier.

So I’m going to be out pretty much all day. While the temperatures are supposed to reach a high of -17C/1F, at the time I need to be leaving, we’re supposed to still be around -27C/-17F. Our current 15km/h (9mph) winds right now have the wind chill at -40C/F, and the predicted wind speed for the morning is -17km/h (11mph), which means that the windchill when I have to leave may be even colder than right now. Thank God we have a garage with room enough for both vehicles! Even if my mother’s car barely fits in the lean to addition it’s in. 😁

My mother’s car has a habit of not starting in temperatures like this. The van does better in the cold, but not by much! Plus, it’s so hard for her to get in and out of the van.

I’m really feeling the fact that we weren’t able to get that replacement vehicle!

But, we’re almost over the worst of it.

Isn’t amazing how the weather can play such a huge part in planning things out? Especially at a time of year when, if things go wrong, it can be life threatening. I’ve long had an interest in weather and climate but, since moving back to the farm, it’s become almost an obsession! 😄

The Re-Farmer

A Tissue update, and a bit of vehicle news

But first, let us enjoy this handsome blepping boy!

While I’ve managed to touch him briefly in the past, for the most part he won’t let us near him.


No such sadness when it comes to Tissue!

She had a quiet night in baby jail, which was actually closed up, just to be on the safe side. I had it open for a while in the evening. Tissue really, really wants out of the room. She even managed to escape briefly, when my daughter came in, not knowing she was out. Interestingly, any cat that is in the room with her, or is allowed in, she will growl at – but when she ran out of the room and was surrounded by cats, she didn’t growl at any of them.

She definitely has a hoarse “voice” right now.

She has been eating, but not very much. I imagine her tongue and jaw must be quite uncomfortable. Which means she’s not using the litter much, either. But she has her favourite spot in baby jail that she hangs out in, though just as I started writing this paragraph, she started trying to open the door. I will let her out later, when I’m able to supervise her more closely.

She got her medication this morning, which should help with the pain and, hopefully, she’ll eat more. She’s on the pain meds for a total of 5 days. I don’t know how long she’ll need to be on soft food. It all depends on how well she heals. Overall, she is calm (except towards the other cats in the room) and allows us to pet her and hold her.

Well, that’s interesting. I decided to open the door to baby jail in between writing the above. She went out, popped into a cat cave, then went right back onto her favorite bed in baby jail! 😄 She just didn’t like having the door closed.

Fair enough!

In other news…

I got a call from the financing lady about the replacement vehicle. She had good news and bad news. The good news was that we were approved for financing. The bad news was, they wanted a deposit of $3,500, first.

That’s about 40% of the cost of the vehicle!

Obviously, we don’t have that.

As we were stalking, though, she mentioned a Nissan.


We were looking to buy a Ford Escape.

Well, it turns out she was sent information about 2 vehicles, and the wrong one was applied to our application! So she input the correct information, with a much lower price, but a higher mileage, and resubmitted them to the lenders. One, she could tell me as she was doing it that it would be rejected, simply because of the mileage, and it was. It was automatic. The other one she sent it to, they had no such restrictions.

That one was tentatively accepted, pending confirmation of banking information.

Considering it was past office hours by then, that was as far as things got.

So I am expecting a call with an answer, some time this morning. She’s been trying really hard to get this vehicle for us, and it’s really appreciated! Ours has been a very unusual application.

Until then, we continue to wait. At some point, I need to go pick up some parcels at the post office. I’ll leave that for the afternoon, when the post office reopens.

I hope to get the call before then! This hanging in limbo thing really sucks!

The Re-Farmer

One step forward…

… one step back, shuffle to the left, take another step forward and do-see-do!


What a day yesterday was!

But first, let us appreciate this handsome boy.

Gooby followed me out to the gate while I was doing my morning rounds. This little boy LOVES attention and wants to be held.

Nothing like having a cat claw its way up your leg, while you’re trying to switch the memory card out of a trail cam!

Once in my arms, he happily burrowed into my neck and violently started licking my nose.

He has a thing about noses!

As I was heading back inside after my rounds, I was greeted by this.

Walnut’s siblings and cousins, minus one. The three smaller ones (two in front, one in the back) are siblings. The three larger are from a slightly older litter, as is the one that was elsewhere when I took this photo. The one with the orange head is called Pinky. His fur is an unusual combination of orange and grey that sometimes makes him look pink! The little one in the back has spots that are almost completely black, rather than the grey tabby markings the others have.

Walnut, meanwhile, did get spayed yesterday and, while it took a long time for her to wake up, is doing very well. Walnut and the bitties are all getting treated for ear mites, and getting medications to treat upper respiratory infections. Itty Bitty Bobby was found to have some fluid in his lungs, but Sprite has just “uncomplicated” URI.

Oh, and guess what?

They all already have homes waiting for them!

Walnut will be going to a household that has one cat – a rescue the Cat Lady placed awhile ago. The bitties will stay together, going to a home with an older couple, and first time cat owners! They’re going to be hooked on cats with those two. 😊

Tissue, on the other hand…

I’m still waiting for word on whether or not she’s been caught. They found no sign of her. The garage is being renovated, so there’s not a lot in there, but they even opened up the drywall, looking for her. Nothing. Not even a peep. There’s no possibility that she got outside, as there was no access to outdoors. They did finally open the garage doors, with the workers all standing there, to back the car out (after checking to make sure she wasn’t in the engine block) and look again. Nothing.

It’s a heated garage, and they set a trap up. Hopefully, they will find her today, but I’ve not heard anything yet. Once they have her, they will leave her in the trap, and we will meet in town. We will take her back, trap and all, and hang on to the trap until we connect again. The vet, meanwhile, as offered a free spay near the end of February, but if we want to get Tissue done, we will have to take her to and from the vet ourselves.

Honestly, at this point, I’m not worried about getting her fixed. Clearly, she is not adoptable, and I just don’t want to put her through that again. She will stay with us, indoors, permanently.

As for her escape, they are utterly amazed. We knew Tissue was a burly girl, but they were astonished by how strong she is. She was in a hard sided carrier that they’ve used to transport ferals. They’ve never had a cat break out of it before. The Cat Lady had set the carrier down to open her car door when it “jumped” and Tissue was gone. The door was torn off and the carrier broken apart.

The Cat Lady is just beside herself with worry over Tissue. They’ve all been looking for her, off and on, all day yesterday. All they could do in the end was set the trap and leave it. At least they can look into the garage from inside the house, through a window, and check regularly.

For now, it’s just a waiting game.

While that was going on, we heard from the financing company about our application for the replacement vehicle. Since my husband is the one with the income, we were doing this all in his name. He got an email from them, saying it was tentatively approved. They just needed some banking information to confirm our income on the application, an ID such as a driver’s license, health care card or passport, and a few other little details confirmed.

Well, my husband doesn’t drive anymore, and we never got his driver’s license transferred after the move. The one time he went in to try, they wouldn’t do it, because his name on his old license didn’t perfectly match his birth certificate. In my husband’s family, no one uses their first name. Tradition is, everyone has three given names, and uses their second name. This was a bit of an issue when he was in the military, but all they did was reverse his first and second names on some paperwork. Everywhere else, he just used his second name and surname. Well, that’s not okay here anymore, and after much painful waiting, he was finally told he needed to change his legal name to…. His legal name. We did eventually contact the ombudsman who confirmed my husband only needed to have at least two bills or bank statements with his full legal name on it, and he could get his license. By then, however, he was in no condition to go physically go back and go through the process. Not even to just get a photo ID.

Well, it turned out the bank the financing company works with wanted a driver’s license or passport – our health care cards don’t have photos on them. He has neither.

So we had to transfer the application to my name. The financial information didn’t change, since it’s household income and we’re working with a joint account, however they not only needed my driver’s license, but the banking information we sent needed to have my name on it. Which doesn’t show up on the paperwork unless I selected the print option, with letter head. We’ve been sending in phone scans of the required documents, which does make things easier.

It took a few tries to get something legible but, by then, it was late in the evening. On top of that, yesterday was a statutory holiday, which meant few staff and everything was slower. Which is understandable. We’ll find out today whether the application, under my name, is approved.

Oh, one of the things that they needed to know is what “company” I worked for. Which confused me until she mentioned that we said we had a custodial arrangement, leaving us with no rent or mortgage payments. She thought that meant we were the custodians of a building, like an apartment building or something, owned by a company. So I explained that, and now my brother’s name is on the paperwork as the company/owner we have an arrangement with. They don’t need to contact him. They just needed something on the paperwork. I also explained to her that I can’t have my own income, because anything I earn would be deducted from my husband’s disability payments. That cleared up some confusion on her part.

Meanwhile, a daughter and I went out and emptied the van of our belongings, then put the set of all-season tires in the back. We won’t need them anymore, and with dozens of tires scattered around the farm already, I didn’t want to add to the piles! If the approval goes through, I can just grab the van and go, and come back with the replacement vehicle.

If it doesn’t go through, well… we’ll just put the stuff we need back, and keep going as is.

I’m really trying not to get my hopes up about getting this vehicle. True, we’d do better with a truck or van but, my goodness, even a 2013 Escape will be the most luxurious vehicle we’ve ever owned if we get it! We’ve never had a vehicle newer than our 2007 Grand Caravan, and that was quite a few years old when we got it.

Well, we shall see how it goes.

Hopefully, we’ll get all sorts of good news today, both about the vehicle, and Tissue!

The Re-Farmer

Snow perspective

The freezing rain we got yesterday didn’t last long – at least not here. I was expecting the heaviest part of the system to be pushed to the south of us, but instead it was to the north of us, and they got quite a bit more rain and ice pellets.

We were clear for a while, then it started snowing during the night. All night, apparently. It was a lot deeper than I expected, when I came out this morning!

This handsome fella gives it a bit of perspective. I had mostly cleared the cat house roof of snow previously. You can see the warm spot over the ceramic heat bulb! There’s kibble buried under there, and it looks like cats were digging for it. Considering that there was still kibble in most of the food trays, I think maybe they wanted not-frozen kibble? When I shoveled most of the snow off again, I uncovered some of the kibble, and one of the cats was immediately up there, eating kibble out of the snow/slush by the warm spot.

Another perspective shot. This is accumulated snow on the kibble house roof, not just one night. It’s deeper than the height of my kibble container.

Those popcorn containers are the handiest things. The plastic is food safe and super strong.

I had to dig out around the cat shelters before I could finish putting out the kibble and topping up the heated water bowls. The snow seemed to drift right in space in the middle, and even in front of the entry to the cat house, which is probably the most sheltered space, with two overhanging roofs to protect it.

After that, I had to dig my way out of the yard, and a path to the garage. I am so thankful for our neighbour clearing our driveway yesterday! It’s still quite passable, even with the new snow. Of course, snow blown off the garage roof drifted right in front of all the doors, so I cleared a path in front of those. We can now access the side where little Spewie is stored.

We were supposed to reach a high of -6C/21F today, but apparently we’ve already passed it. We’re supposed to cool down slowly through the night, then get a high of -14C/7F tomorrow. After that, we’ll be warming up again. Very mild and pleasant for this time of year. Previous predictions of snow over several days have changed, and now there is no new snow expected for some time. Looks like we got what was expected to fall over several days, all in one night, instead.

We never heard back about the financing for the replacement vehicle yesterday. I will wait until about noon before I try calling the garage to see of they got the answer. I suspect not getting a call means we got turned down for financing. That would be disappointing, but not surprising. The shift to long term disability and losing 40% of my husband’s income ended up messing with his credit score quite a bit – and since neither of us have credit cards, nor any debt other than dipping into my overdraft now and then, we’re not building our credit scores back up again, either.

Well, we shall see.

It sure would be nice to have a reliable vehicle again!

The Re-Farmer

Not what I’d hoped

I was hoping that I’d be able to post some good news about the replacement vehicle situation today, but there isn’t any news at all, yet.

Yesterday, we got a call from the financing company with questions for my husband (since our only income is his disability payments, the application is in his name). We were told we would have an answer today.

I waited as long as I felt I could for the call, but finally headed out to do a shop. How big of a shop depended on the road conditions. A system is blowing in and we’re supposed to have snow. Not a lot, but it’s supposed to continue for several days.

Then we started to get the freezing rain warnings.

So I headed out. If the roads didn’t look good, I’d go to the nearest town and do a small shop, but if they looked good, I intended to go to the smaller, nearer city and do a medium shop. A trip to the big city was not going to happen, and won’t until after the new year.

When I got to the highway, it looked good, so I headed towards the town my mother lives in, where I typically get some gas first, then continue on to either city I’m shooting for. As I got closer, though, I drove right into the freezing rain. My windshield was freezing over faster than the heat vent could clear it. I had to switch between trying to see through an ever shrinking clear spot in the ice and using the washer fluid to clear the ice, which would immediately frost over the entire windshield for a brief moment before melting clear.

Not fun.

So I did a small shop at my mother’s town. I got a couple of their largest bags of cat kibble – the last two on the shelf, of the cheaper brand – as well as a few things for ourselves. The kibble was the most needed item. The two bags should last us until after New Year’s, when we will hopefully be able to do a monthly stock up shop in the city – with a replacement vehicle! The price difference on the kibble alone is more than enough to cover the cost of gas for the trip, even at our current high prices.

That done, I headed straight home again. By then, the system had reached our place, and was more ice pellets than rain. Thankfully, I was no longer driving straight into it, so my windshield stayed clear.

So now we continue to wait on the call that will let us know if we can get that replacement vehicle.


Things continue to go well with socializing the bitties. Butterscotch and Bobby nap together regularly now, though her patience is limited. Most importantly, Sprite – who is very difficult to photograph! – has gotten better at letting us pet him, and last night, I woke to find him sleeping across my ankle! Mostly, though, he prefers my younger daughter. He is still more nervous around me, but I was able to pet him and handle him more than usual this morning – almost enough to be able to confirm he is male. I’m about 95% sure, but I could only go by feel, since it’s really hard to visually confirm on a mostly black cat, when I’ve got just a split second to do it. These are tiny kitties with tiny bits, so there isn’t much to feel, either! He and Bobby have been extremely playful this morning, which is making Marlee very stressed, unfortunately. Ah, well. It’s only for a few more days!

Still no luck with catching their mama. She will avoid the sun room entirely when I do their food and water. Crud.

Anyhow. Hopefully, I will have good news about the financing to post about soon!

The Re-Farmer