Still cold out there!

Man, am I looking forward to the backside of February.

I’m sure the cats are, too, in their own kitty way! Not a lot of them out and about this morning. Bright and sunny, but a very chill wind.

I’ve been leaving the sun room doors open while I do the morning rounds. After removing the frame of the mini-greenhouse, we no longer have anywhere for the heat bulb or light, but I went ahead and turned the power bar on for the heated water bowl again. I swept up the area a bit, poured the remaining kibble into one of the old ice cream buckets we store in there, then lay the sheets of rigid insulation on the floor again.

Potato Beetle may not want to be kept in the sun room anymore, but he was the first one to dash in when the doors opened.

Then started eating kibble out of the floor sweepings, instead of the bucket.

*sigh*

He did eventually start eating not-dirty kibble, but sheesh! πŸ˜€

Agnoose and Tuxedo Mask are quite happy to go into the sun room, too. The box nests we made in the shelf by the window are still there, and they made themselves at home in the sun spots. So I left the doors slightly open when I finished my founds and came back inside. We can close them after the cats leave on their own. πŸ™‚

With the really long fall we had, one thing we missed doing before the snow finally arrived, was putting the insulation back between the doors. With the door in the dining room, we would just put them in between the main door and the storm door, and leave it. With the main entry door, we’d attached the insulation to the inner door with self-adhesive Velcro strips. Some of them kept falling off, though, and we never found a satisfactory substitute. With the inner door breaking at the hinges and frame, we simply don’t use it right now.

This is the dining room door.

The loop of paracord is attached to the outer door, which would sometimes pop open. It allowed us to let the cats look out the window, and not worry the door would fly open and they’d get outside.

The main entry door just has some frost in one bottom corner.

This is actually a lot less than what we had during our first winter here!

At some point, both doors, and frames, will need to be replaced with proper exterior doors. The main entry first, of course. I was going to get an estimate from the company that installed the new windows the summer before we moved in, but I haven’t been able to find them. Even the sign they had on the highway is gone. I fear they were one of the many small businesses that disappeared, due to the government restrictions. I would prefer not to go with one of the big franchises, but they seem to be the only ones left.

In other things, I’ve been in contact with the cat lady today. She is going to swing by tomorrow with some kibble for us! We’re running low, and have no way to go pick up more. She’ll drop off an extra cat carrier, too, for the next time we bring cats to the vet that she will pick up for adopting out. It turns out she had all these bags just sitting in her garage. She was able to coupon them for 27 cents each. !!! But her own cats won’t eat it. They only eat the $80 a bag stuff. Which is what Cabbages is eating now, too. I also found out that they are vegetarians! She buys all sorts of chicken and cooks it for the cats, but they only eat fish, themselves.

Wow!

If you would like to contribute to our fundraiser to reimburse the cat lady for Cabbages’ vet bills, click on the button below, orΒ click here. If you would like to read more about it,Β click here.

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I also finally heard back from the garage about the van. I completely forgot that yesterday was a statutory holiday, and he was closed. He’ll be able to do the van earlier, and has ordered the part today.

Now we just have to figure out how to get there to pick up the van when it’s ready. Since we have to tow my mother’s car in, we could potentially have arranged it for the same day, and gotten a ride in with the tow truck, but they don’t allow passengers anymore.

We’ll figure it out. I do miss living in a free country, though. 😦

Yesterday, the House of Commons voted in favour of the Emergency Measures Act – with no end date! Not a surprise, since the NDP were going to support it, no matter what their constituents wanted, nor how many laws are broken. It’s now up to the Senate. I’m told they’re supposed to vote on it today.

If you’re the praying sort, place pray for Canada. We need all the divine intervention we can get right now.

The Re-Farmer

Frosted, and planning ahead

Well, it finally happened. We had a lasting frost, and temperatures were still below freezing when I came out to do my morning rounds.

My husband has still been up to feeding the outside cats earlier in the mornings, and has included putting warm water out for them, too, which they are really appreciating! It’s still not cold enough to plug in the heater in the cat’s house or use the heated water bowl, though.

While there was frost still on the ground everywhere else, this area was already warm and sunny. The kittens enjoyed that while watching me do my rounds!

It does show why what we planted along the chain link fence lasted so long. The tomatoes and gourds are finally done for, though. We can now start pulling them and prepping the beds for next year.

While we will be pulling everything else, the sunflowers can stay for a while longer. They sure are a cheerful sight on a chilly morning!

The chard was still quite covered in frost, as these beds are shaded longer in the mornings. We’ve never grown chard before, but from what I’ve read, getting hit with frost can improve their flavour. I don’t know that we’ll grow chard again. They did well, but none of us really ate them much.

I was already planning on pulling the lettuce. That last batch I gathered was so bitter, it went straight to compost instead of the salad I was intending to make with them.

A bit of a surprise was walking by the purple corn, the remains of which we were leaving to go to seed. They were pretty dry by now, yet most of the stalks were eaten last night! They had been left alone for quite a long time, so this was unexpected. Odd that, with so much fresh food still around, and even with the lettuce and chard uncovered, the deer would go for these dried up stalks.

We are going to have a lot of work to do over the next couple of weeks. We’re supposed to warm up again next week, so we do have time. The sweet corn blocks and, eventually, the sunflowers will be pulled, but nothing else will be done in that area until we get the berry bushes we intend to plant there. My daughter has been researching the ones we were looking to get, and Autumn Olive has been taking off our list; apparently, they are considered invasive! The Buffalo Berry and Sea Buckthorn are still on the list. Sea Buckthorn is also considered invasive in some areas, but not our climate zone.

The bean beds, pea trellises, squash tunnel and summer squash areas will all be used again next year, but mostly we need to focus on preparing the main garden beds closer to the house for next year. Once we get our straw bale in, we’ll start mulching some areas for new beds. We are already making lists of what we intend to plant next year, and will start buying seeds and trees over the winter, month by month. We will use that to help decide where to prepare new ground for planting next year.

At the same time, we are making lists of things to stock up on. Though things are looking mild, we’ve been either snowed in or had our vehicles freeze for two winters in a row now, so we want to be prepared in case something like that happens again. With food prices increasing so much over the past few months, and expected to get higher, it’s getting more difficult to buy those few extra things every month. Particularly since so many other people have realized that “prepping” is a really, really good idea, too!

Having grown up here, as a subsistence farm, I am very familiar with a lot of “self sufficiency” and “prepper” habits. That was just what everyone did, because there was no other option, really. So I’m no stranger to the lifestyle. At the same time, I am always wanting to learn new information and more about how to do it better, so I spend quite a bit of time researching. Which means I’ve lately been seeing a lot of homesteading resources – “subsistence farming” just isn’t a term that’s used anymore! – and “prepper” sites. Lately, it’s been feeling downright weird to go to them, as they are increasingly focused on giving information to people who are totally new to the concept, due to current circumstances. For us, this is just stuff we need to do. We are isolated just enough that we know we have to rely on ourselves if things go wrong, and there are always thing that can go wrong. The power could go out. We could get snowed in. We might have to evacuate due to wildfires. At least flooding isn’t a concern where we are, but running out of water is. We can’t just hope over to the corner store if we run out of things, like we could while living in the city. We can’t even assume we will have telephone (meaning the land line; we already can’t rely on getting a cell phone signal here) or internet for communication. The land line is pretty reliable, at least, but our internet starts kicking out as soon as there is a stiff wind, or if there are storms to the south of us. Of course, on top of all that, we have my husband’s health issues. He and I were just talking this morning about his prescription refills. He gets his daily meds in bubble packs now, including those that are restricted. For the longest time, he couldn’t get refills for his restricted medications until he was, at the earliest, 3 days away from running out. Now, his bubble packs aren’t even done locally. They’re done in the city and shipped to the local pharmacy, and with how crazy things have been, they’ve actually lifted some of the red tape surrounding restricted medications. Which means we should be able to get a couple of months of refills, instead of just one month. He just got his refills recently, so we’ll be trying to get an extra month of refills, next time.

Anyhow. It’s just been really strange to go looking stuff up for ideas and inspiration. So many people are now doing the same thing, with absolutely zero background in it. In one way, it makes me feel thankful for how I grew up. On the other, it’s frustrating, when people start panic buying, without any sort of planning or organization in mind, and it ends up causing problems for everybody.

Ah, well. People need to learn somehow. We just do what we can!

And right now, that means cleaning out the last of this year’s garden, and preparing for next, and making sure we are stocked up for the winter.

The Re-Farmer

Our 2021 garden: almost frost

When I woke up this morning, we were at 2C/36F

We had not gotten any frost warnings the night before, but when it gets that cold, it’s going to be too much for some things, with our without frost.

The last few days, morning and evening, we have been hearing a cacophony of geese in the surrounding fields. Something must have disturbed them this morning, because they were not only louder than usual, but I even got to see them flying overhead.

Going north, for some reason! πŸ˜€

Last night, my daughters had picked more tomatoes and a few summer squash, and this morning I was going to pick beans.

It looks like we’re now done for beans.

They may not have gotten an actual frost, but the foliage was clearly damaged. The purple beans have a lot more foliage, which protected the pods, but I could see cold damage on the green and yellow beans.

I had taken some photos yesterday, which ended up giving me comparison photos with today. Here is the Crespo squash.

This was taken yesterday afternoon.

This is the smaller of the two squash in the previous photo.

This is the larger one, yesterday (on the left) and this morning (on the right). 😦

This is one of our biggest squash. Yesterday’s photo is on the left, and this morning is on the right. This squash is shaded for longer in the morning, and you can see there is actual frost on it!

These next ones are photos from yesterday and, from what I could see, they were okay this morning.

The one that’s hanging is in a spot where it gets hit with morning sun earlier than others. The large one on the ground has foliage around it that may have protected it. Unfortunately, it’s hard to see, so I can’t actually say for sure if it was damaged or not. It’ll take a bit more time before we’ll know if they got cold damaged or not.

Then there are the Ozark Nest Egg gourds. I took these photos last night, but didn’t bother to take more this morning.

We will have a better idea as the day goes on, but as of this morning, they seemed to have no real damage at all. There are still so many little gourds all over, there are still flowers that look like they are opening, and there was no signs of cold damage, like on the Crespo squash. These gourds are in the south yard and get that morning sunlight nice and early, which may have made the difference.

The tomatoes on the south fence also looked untouched by the cold, but the one that had seeded itself in the lettuce bed looked like it was hit by frost. That bed gets shaded more, longer, this time of year. If we’d gotten a frost warning, I would have put the wire mesh cover back on and covered the bed with cloth. The lettuce is fine; it can handle temperatures even colder than this. The chard was also just fine.

It will be good when these beds all get converted to high raised beds. They get full sun in the summer, but when the sun is lower in the sky, several of them get more shade from the trees to the south. Once they are higher, they will be out of the shade, just a little bit sooner. Still, it is something to keep in mind for when we garden here in the future. It’s also another reason why I want to build permanent garden beds on the south side of the house, in the outer yard, where we don’t have so many tall trees to deal with.

As it is, we’re in the middle of October, and these have lasted far longer than we normally would have expected in our climate zone! So really, I can’t complain!

The Re-Farmer

Frosted!

Thanks to my dear brother and his wife, I had plenty of kibble to feed the kitties this morning. I would have emptied the bin this morning, otherwise.

Ginger was out and about, and covered in frost!

While the tips of their fur makes them look chilled, when I pet them or pick them up (at least the ones that allow me to!) feel surprisingly warm. Their winter undercoats are doing the job of keeping them somewhat insulated.

Once again, the heated water bowl was almost completely frozen over! I made sure all the water bowls were filled with warm water, before doing the kibble. Their food bowls are full, but even dry kibble must get pretty hard in these temperatures, as they definitely prefer the new kibble, which would be slightly less frozen! πŸ˜€ The thermometer in the sun room has shown it to be typically half the outside temperature or warmer, so when we are in the -30’s C outside, it’s at about -15C. (-22F and 5F). So everything in there is definitely frozen, but the cats seem to find it better.

While filling the water bowls, I made sure to look into the cat house.

There had been at least three cat in there, but only Nostrildamus is socialized enough to not run off when I come near. I got the picture of him in mid meow! πŸ˜€

In the upper left of the photo, you can see the timer the heat bulb is plugged into. It had been propped against some screws in the joist, so that the light sensor faced the window, but it keeps falling half off one of them. I have not tried to put it back, since it just means it will turn on earlier than if it was facing the window, and warm things up. The cats do love sitting in the sun of that one window! What I’d love to do before next winter is find a way to make another shelter for them that takes advantage of passive solar heat. I was thinking of making a smaller version of the kibble house to hold the water bowls. I’m sure we have some old windows in the barn that can be used as a roof and maybe even a back wall.

As I was coming back from putting feed out for the deer and birds, I found Creamsicle Jr had shown up in the kibble house. I only got a brief look at his injured eye, and while the fur is still dirty around it, the eye itself is looking almost normal again.

I did not run the van or my mother’s car this morning, as the cold was already getting to me. I wasn’t up to having to open up both sets of garage doors so I could run the vehicles, in a wind chill of -46C/-51F I’ll bundle up again and head out after I finish this.

Check out our long range forecast!

Look at that!!! Not only are we supposed to consistently keep warming up over the next while, but by the 22nd and 23rd, we’re supposed to be around 0C!! (32F) Things will actually be melting!

Assuming the weather actually cooperates, and this polar vortex doesn’t decide to just hang out even longer. It has messed up the forecasts a few times, now.

I’ve been thinking warm thoughts in response. Which has meant looking at the websites of seed companies. I’ve gone so far as to start an account with Heritage Harvest Seed, and have been filling my Favourites list! We don’t need more seeds, and much of what I’ve added are sold out, anyhow. It’s still fun to look. I love the little write ups that come with each item. Half the time, the thing that convinces me to add something to my Favourites is the words “extremely rare!!” I love the idea of keeping rare varieties going. We’ll have the space to do it, as we clean up and prepare more of the property and eventually expand into the outer yard. Even if we don’t necessarily grow things for our own use, they won’t go to waste, and we’ll have the privilege of space to grow them for their seeds. With this company, I can be sure that they will grow in our climate, too, since they are even further North than we are, though we’re in the same zone. From other cold climate gardeners I’ve been hearing from, the company has an excellent reputation.

I will just have to resist the temptation of ordering more seeds when we already have so many, and more on the way!

Our internet connection repeatedly cutting out should make that easier. Most of the time, it means pages don’t load well, or don’t load completely. Oddly, the most common thing that will not load, no matter how many times I try reloading a page, is the “like” button. !!

Now it’s time to see if I’ll be able to publish this post now, or have to try again later! πŸ˜€

The Re-Farmer

Not a day to go out!

Well, I’m certainly glad my daughter and I have telephone medical appointments this afternoon, and don’t have to actually go anywhere.

As I write this, we are at -34C/-29.2F, with a wind chill of -39C/-38.2F

It has actually warmed up a bit.

The heated water bowl is almost completely frosted over! Only a couple of cats came out into the cold. Their food bowls are still pretty full – even the one inside the cat house – but I added some fresh kibble, anyhow. The sun room is at -12C/10.4F, so it’s still frozen. They like the fresh kibble better; I think it’s easier on their teeth.

At these temperatures, I didn’t even try to switch out the trail cam memory cards. I doubt our vandal would be engaging in nefarious things in this weather. Plus, we still have the hard wired security camera to keep an eye on things.

Meanwhile, I’ve made the call to the number on our leaking hot water tank. I now have an authorization number and need only to go to the store it was purchased at, with the sticker from the tank, to get a replacement. He even saw on the file that this was already a warranty replacement tank, but he asked no questions.

At these temperatures, however, I am not going anywhere. Even if we lost hot water completely, we’d just go back to heating water on the stove as needed. I suspect it’s actually a good thing the tank is leaking the way it is, instead of water pooling on the bottom as it did, last time. That is probably the only reason why it’s not doing the weird things the other one started to do, since the water isn’t reaching anything sensitive; just making the insulation damp. Just a guess on my part.

Thankfully, this polar vortex that’s hitting us should last only a few days. By Wednesday, we should be back up to a more typical -21C/-5.8F. By Friday – which is when the van is going in to be checked – it is forecast to reach a balmy -10C/14F.

It’s going to feel like spring! πŸ˜€

The Re-Farmer

It’s a fairyland out there!

Yesterday’s fog kept getting denser and denser before finally being blown away last night. The live feed on the security camera looked like a blizzard, but it was just fog!

Now, everything outside looks like something out of a magical fairy tale!

The spruces are the tallest trees around, and their tops always get the fuzziest! πŸ˜€

However, even lower down bushes, like this Korean lilac in the foreground, were completely covered!

My mother’s “living fence” of hawthorn is just magical. Particularly when you know that none of those tracks in there were made by human feet!

The length of our driveway was lined with sparkling white trees!

At the end of the driveway, you could really see the wind effect! All the frost crystals in these areas were distinctly directional. πŸ˜€

People who had to be out driving in this last night described dangerously slippery roads and almost zero visibility. I am glad we didn’t have to go anywhere last night!

I do need to go into town this afternoon, though. I have a new prescription to pick up.

I had my phone appointment with my doctor yesterday. Of course, there wasn’t much he could do over the phone. I described what happened that day I found myself gasping for breath while driving, but it hasn’t happened since. I’m back to my “baseline”, so he wants to take more of a wait and watch approach. If it happens again, I need to call him. We spent some time talking about just what my “baseline” is, and my chronic cough. He may be my doctor for over a year now, but with the restrictions, we haven’t been able to actually see him much, so I’m still very much a “new” patient for him. He wants me to try using an inhaler to see if that will help. It’s meant to be used once a day. He wants to follow up with me after 2 weeks of using it. He later faxed the prescription in to our pharmacy, and I got a call from them after they got it to arrange getting it filled and picked up for this afternoon. If that doesn’t help, I will be going for lung function tests.

I’ve had an inhaler tried on me before, when I first started trying to find out why I had developed this cough. It made my cough worse, so I stopped. Then we moved out of province, so this was over 17 years ago. After the move, I had a whole series of lung function tests done. They all came back normal, but again, that was a long time ago. Probably about 13 years or more. So we shall see how this goes.

My daughter had her phone appointment right after mine, but she will need to physically go in to the clinic for the things she is wanting to get checked out. We have an appointment for her on Monday afternoon, and she will likely need at least two other appointments at the clinic, for other things.

Thankfully, the weather will continue to be mild. In past winters, we stopped my husband’s appointments completely, because of the weather and road conditions. That is not as much of a concern this year, so my daughter can make all the appointments she needs. For my husband, though, if he can get away with just phone appointments, he will. The drive itself is just too painful for him.

Ah, well. It is what it is!

The Re-Farmer

Frosty morning, and… stuff (updated)

I headed out to do my morning rounds a bit on the late side, yet there was still frost in the air!

It was looking downright foggy, in fact.

Everything looked like a fairy tale, sparkling away!

Even the ugly wires used for fencing looked beautiful. I love how the lichen on this fence post looks, all frosted up!

Taking photos was a bit of a challenge at times, though!

They just wanted to keep their paws warm. Butterscotch didn’t even growl and hiss at Potato Beetle when he jumped up my back!

While checking out the garden areas, I could see from the tacks in the snow where the deer have been going around. I knocked some of the frozen crab apples they can’t reach, down to the ground. The sunflower stalks have been completely denuded, except for the tallest ones. Those were denuded as high as the deer could reach! πŸ˜€

The birds are eating the sunflowers a little bit.

I bent all the taller ones that still have leaves and seed heads, so the deer can now reach them to nibble on.

Part of the reason I was out later was because I got a phone call from my older brother this morning. He called me back while I was out, and he is keeping my updated.

He got a call from my mother, very early this morning. Her stomach has been hurting since Friday, and she wanted him to drive her to the hospital.

Keep in mind that, for him, it’s a 1 1/2 hour drive to her place, but only 20 minutes for me – and I have her car. She wanted him to drive her, though.

*sigh*

Getting information out of her was like pulling teeth, of course. In the end, though, it sounds like she has been eating too many oranges. It also sounds like she has really bad gas. She has acid reflux, which she doesn’t understand no matter how many times I’ve tried to describe it to her. I’ve given her easy to read, colour coded lists of what she can safely eat, and what she should avoid. The lists have disappeared. All citrus fruits, tomatoes and onions are things she should avoid, but she loves them and eats them anyway. Small amounts wouldn’t be an issue, but mandarins are in season now, and cheap, so she’s been buying them by the box full. She does think it might be the oranges that are causing her grief, but she thinks that, because the price went down and they’re from China, she had to have eaten a bad orange.

*sigh*

Anyhow, after updating me on the situation, my brother called the health line, since it’s been made clear hospitals really don’t want people going in right now. The health line couldn’t tell him much, since they were not talking directly to my mother, but in the end he was told to take her in, simply because of her age.

*sigh*

My brother called me back on hands free, while we was on the way to pick her up to update me.

*sigh*

I just got a call back from my brother. He has dropped our mother off at the hospital. It seems she also had breathing issues at night (which she often has, while trying to sleep) and nausea (also not unusual for her). They were able to take her right in, but he couldn’t come in with her. He did have a chance to explain things to the person at the entry – particularly about our mother’s difficulty in understanding the questions she is being asked. My brother was told he could go home, but with how long the drive is, he’s just going to hang around town until it’s time to pick her up or they call him. He was satisfied that they were taking her seriously and taking good care of her, so there’s that, at least.

So today will be a day when I stay close to the phone. :-/

The Re-Farmer

Update: Well that has to be the fastest ER visit ever! My brother called the contact number to check on our mother, only to be told they were just finishing with her and he could come pick her up. She’s got some anti-biotics, and she’s good to go.

Well… I suppose that’s one way for my mother to get my brother to “visit” her… :-/

Frosty morning – and a rough start to the day!

This morning, I was awakened by my husband, asking me if there was some trick to starting the washing machine.

I think it was a rhetorical question.

Our new washing machine, which we’ve had for only 2 1/2 months, simply stopped working. It won’t turn on.

Of course, my husband went through the usual check list. Breaker? It was fine. Outlet? Tested both plugins. Meter reads fine. While I went through the manual’s trouble shooting chart (which basically said, check the breaker, check the outlet), my husband went online and found that there’s a hard reset you can do, so we tried that. Still nothing. It simply will not turn on.

So I started looking at how to contact the LG to get it fixed, since we’re well within the 1 year limited warranty. I tried their website, first. Made an account, registered the item, started a request for getting warranty work done…

Got a note saying we were not under warranty, and we would be billed for the service call.

???

So I finally just phoned.

The good news is, the person I spoke to confirmed we are still under warranty; their website glitches sometimes. She was apologetic about that. Since I had just made an account on the website, she was able to find me in the system, so that made things faster.

They didn’t have any technicians available for where we are, but there is a local company that does warranty work for them, so they will contact this company on our behalf, and we will get a phone call from them.

Soon, I hope!

While I was working on this, I heard the well pump turn on and the noise it made really threw me. Since our plumber hasn’t gotten back to us, and I happened to catch the name of another plumber being recommended on a local Facebook group, I asked my husband to try contacting them.

It turns out that, this time of year, a lot of people are closing up their cottages for the winter, so he’s really busy with those jobs right now. So busy, he recommended we try someone else, because there was no way he could come in within the week. I don’t imagine other plumbers will be any different, so we might have to just wait until after Thanksgiving, which is next weekend.

By the time we got all that done, I was still earlier than usual to get the outside rounds done. I figured the cats wouldn’t mind being fed early! πŸ˜€

It was -1C/30F at the time. The cats’ water bowls had ice on them, and the ground was covered with frost. It was quite beautiful.

Rosencrantz was not impressed.

While going through the garden areas, I noticed the one sunflower with the seed head that was killed off by grubs looked… odd.

It looks like the grubs continued eating their way down the stalk – and then got killed by the frost!

Die, grubbins, die! πŸ˜€

The Re-Farmer

Getting bigger

Yesterday evening, while doing my rounds and walking around the back of the house, I startled some babies!

Butterscotch seems to have moved her kittens from the junk pile to under the garden shed.

Her kittens are getting so much bigger and more adventurous, wandering further afield in the yard.

I suspect this has something to do with why Butterscotch as moved them. Wherever they are inside the junk pile, it must be getting a bit tight for her and the 4 of them to fit!

Which means that, with the wasp nest gone and the kittens elsewhere (though they do go back to the junk pile to play), I can continue cleaning up in that area.

Now, if only Butterscotch had been willing to move them to the other side of the house, where the food bowls and the old dog house are!

When topping up the kibble, I put one of the containers in the entrance to the doghouse. Recently, I was noticing a definite skunk smell in there, so yesterday, I lifted the roof, fluffed up the straw and left it open to air out for a while. I am trying to think of other ways to encourage the cats to go in there for shelter, but I think it’s going to take winter temperatures to finally convince them!

As for bigger things, look what I found this morning.

It’s the only one that got big like this!

It seems we had a light frost last night (there were no frost warnings), and some of the little squashes actually look a bit frozen. At this point, I don’t think they’re going to get much bigger. I will check them later today, and might just pick what’s left, then start cleaning up the beds in preparation for winter.

This morning, I got a shipping confirmation for part of the fall plantings we ordered. Unfortunately, the garlic was among the things that are back ordered, so they will be shipped later. Still, we will be able to get started on the varieties of flowers we will be naturalizing in the maple grove. I can also leave the beets and carrots in the ground a bit longer, while we wait for the garlic that will be planted there once they are harvested.

It looks like I’ll be able to accomplish more in a few weeks in the fall, than I’d been able to over the past few months, with this summer’s heat! πŸ™‚

The Re-Farmer

Frosted carnage, and we’re back to 1 1/2

After seeing how great the sunflowers did, after last night’s first frost, it was time to see how the squash beds looked after a day of relative warmth.

You can see how all the leaves that got hit with frost have shriveled and darkened.

There is some hope, though…

For many (not all) of the larger plants, the leaves underneath are looking just fine, as are the little squashes. Even the pumpkins look like they’ll make it.

On the one hand, I’m encouraged. On the other, it shows that if we’d been able to cover them, they probably would have fared much, much better.

Ah, well.

In other things…

Our trip to the cardiac clinic in the city turned out to be a waste of time, but that did result in us coming home earlier.

Yesterday, my younger daughter and I had gone into town. Since she needed to go to the grocery store and I didn’t, I popped across the road to the garage to see about my mom’s car.

It’s done!

In fact, he had stayed late on Friday to do it. However, the car had been sitting there for so long, the battery was dead! He had it on a charger and said it would be ready for pick up this morning. Since we were heading to the city this morning, I told him I could come in tomorrow morning.

With today’s changes in timing, we were able to zip into town before he closed for the day. We were going to pick up something else half an hour before he closed, so we went to the garage first. I paid the bill and got the keys, and we would come back later. It’s a good thing we did it that way, because by the time we were done, the garage was closed!

So we are now, once again, a 1 1/2 vehicle family (since I own half of my mother’s car! πŸ˜€ ).

This is a relief, as we now have a back up vehicle if something ever happens to the van.

The guy at the garage did warn me, though, that the car might make some noises for the first while. Not only did the battery die from sitting so long, but the discs on the brakes are all rusted up again! He advised we drive it as much as we can, which I was already planning to do.

I don’t think I’m ready to drive it to the city quite yet, though. I want to take if for a few spins locally, first. Even if it’s just to the post office and back.

So glad to finally have that done!

The Re-Farmer