Here we go again; septic woes

Well, it looks like I won’t be getting new glasses anymore, because that budget is about to disappear.

The girls and I started on the horrible job of cleaning up behind the washer and drier.

The primary goal was to access the drain pipe and pour down some drain cleaner, but we had to get to it, first, and that job fell to my younger daughter; the most able bodied and agile of us going into a space barely big enough for one person.

Also, it’s amazing how many things the cats get at that end up under appliances.

First, the dryer needed to be pulled out, unplugged, then pulled out some more.

Then my poor, saintly daughter took care of the mess that cats made back there. Not only did they knock all kinds of things off shelves back there, but they then peed all over it. We ended up throwing out an unopened box of drier sheets, a caulking gun, with a tube of caulk still loaded in it, my other daughters missing wrist brace, and even a strainer basket that I used to use to pick, then wash, vegetables from the garden, among other things. I’m amazed by all the stuff that ended up there.

Then the washing machine got pulled out, and we found the rest of the little things the cats chased under there. Some of them were even cat toys.

After drain cleaner was poured down the pipe, my daughter continued to clean and mop the floor, while her sister and I assisted where we could. I decided it would be a good idea to use the plumbing snake as well, so I went into the old basement to get it.

The basement was flooded.

But only on one side, and not the side where water seeps through during spring melt. No, this was all over near the septic pump.

But not FROM the septic pump. Nor any of the pipes beside it.

What the heck?

The drain in the floor does not have what it should to prevent gases from getting into the room, so there is a sheet of plastic under the drain cover. I moved it aside to allow the water on the floor do drain, only to find the drain was full.

There was also was looked like toilet paper.

What the heck?

I went back up to assist my daughter, we quickly determined the plumbing snake was not going to work out, and kept on going. We had to wait 15-20 minutes before we could pour hot water down the pipe after the drain cleaner. Once we were at the stage of putting everything back again, I went back to check on the basement.

After a while fussing with the drain, it became clear that it was the source of the flooding.

Water was backing up from the septic tank, though the drain, and into the basement.


At that point, I got my husband to call the septic guy and see if he could come out – as well as finding out how much it would cost, and if he could take an etransfer. While he did that, I headed outside to start shoveling a path to the septic tank. With our melt-thaw cycle lately, the snow had a very hard crust on the top, so it needed a lot of tackling with the ice chipper first, then shoveling. Chip out about a foot, then shovel. Chip about a foot, then shovel.

I didn’t get very far when I realized a major problem.

It’s one thing to shovel a path to the tank, but how was the truck going to get in? We haven’t been able to clear the yard for a vehicle at all this winter, and the snow was just too deep, even for a big truck.

I quickly messaged the family to let them know (I love technology!) and my husband cancelled the septic guy.

Shortly after, my other daughter came out and took over the shoveling.

I headed inside and made a call to the renters who have so kindly been clearing our driveway.

I just got interrupted in writing this.

The septic guy was on the road and never got the call about canceling. He just showed up. We talked for a while, and now he’s left, because there was no way he could get through that snow.

Which brings me back to my call to the renters, and spoke to the Mrs.

I explained the situation and asked if I could hire someone to come with their front end loader and clear a path for the septic truck. Unfortunately, her husband and the farm hands had just left and would not be back for several hours. She promised to text her husband (which would eventually get to him; they’re in the same cell phone dead zone we are in) about it. I told her that if it could be done today, we could call the septic guy in for tomorrow, and to please let me know how much to pay them for it. They’ve been refusing payment all this time, but it’s different when I’m going to them for a job! She said she would let me know.

Which is what I just explained to the septic guy; that hopefully, we’ll have someone with a front end loader to clear the snow, and then we’d call him back. He told me that, if the front end loader starts sinking into the ground, not to bother, because he would get stuck. It seems that the snow fell before the ground was frozen, which means in some areas, the snow insulated the ground and kept it from freezing.

I don’t think we’ve got that problem, but we’ll see.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

My husband had found out how much the septic guy would cost – $160 (six months ago, it was $135), and that they did not take etransfers. Which meant, I needed to get cash.

So I updated my daughter that was shoveling, then headed to the town my mother lives in, where there is a branch of my bank, to get enough cash for the septic guy and for clearing the snow. I have no idea how much that will be, so I took out what I hope is extra.

The remains of my tax return for my glasses budget just went *poof*.

I don’t actually mind. I’m thankful that we had the funds at all.

Once I got back home, I didn’t even bother going back inside. I went back to shoveling.

My daughter had shoveled all the way to where the tank is, before she had to go in. She had to fight her way through a drift, so the snow was even deeper than usual for much of it. Just to make things even more unfortunate, the snow under the crust was sticky – and would stick to the shovel! So it was chip, scoop, fling, shakeshakeshake, over and over!

Now we have this area.

Normally, we use straw to cover the tank. A couple of years back, we had to get the tank done in January. I had to dig a path, then got the straw off the lid, and that was it.

It won’t be so easy, this time. We used an insulated tarp this time. It was big enough to fold in half, so it’s double insulated.

The first thing was to find the edge of the insulated tarp. It’s pegged to the ground all along this edge, and the end. I needed to be careful using the chipper, at this point, because I didn’t want to damage the tarp.

I dug my way down to the corner and discovered a problem.

The downspout from the roof was draining near here. All that melted snow from the roof has formed a layer of ice, a couple of inches thick, right over the end of the tarp.

Which means we would need to lift the tarp from the other end.

This end.

When putting insulation along the bottom of the house, we made sure the tarp was right up to, and partway up, the wall, then everything was weighted into place.


Well, there was nothing to do but keep on digging.

Hopefully, enough has been cleared that we’ll be able to pull it back to the lid of the tank enough to open it.

After all this was done, I made sure to check the basement again. I’m happy to say that the majority of the water did drain away. Also, the septic pump is still doing its job. So we should still at least be able to use the toilet.

We got the outhouse fixed up just in case something like this happened, yet we can’t even use it. The path to the outhouse is full of water. We don’t even have the honey pot anymore; that got loaned to my mother, and I haven’t seen it since.


This shouldn’t be happening. When I was growing up here, there was 7 of us, and that tank got emptied only once a year. We’ve been getting it emptied twice a year. It’s been just under 6 months since we had it last done. It should not be this full.

On the plus side, it is backing up through the drain in the floor, and not doing what it did last time, which was backing up into the laundry sink, then splashing out the P trap, all over the septic pump. The floor drain was full of roots and silt. Now that it’s clear, the tank is backing up through there, instead, making much less of a mess than the last couple of times we’ve found with it.

Still. It shouldn’t be happening at all.

I don’t get it.


Hopefully, the renters will be able to clear the snow for us, and we’ll have the septic guy back in tomorrow.

What a pain. :-/

The Re-Farmer

Our 2022 garden: NOOOooooo!!!!!


For all our efforts, a cat still managed to get into the mini-greenhouse. My daughter found Susan … SUSAN! … sitting on the second lowest shelf. I would have expected Tissue, or even Turmeric, but not Susan! My daughter got her out but Susan didn’t seem to be into anything, so she thought things were okay.

I went over to see where she got in and how to block it better, when I saw this terrible sight.

She ate the Sophie’s Choice tomato leaves! Two of them, right down to the stems! A couple others even looked like the soil was dug into.

I took the trays off the two bottom shelves, rearranged the box we put to block the back and used packing tape under the corners, taping the plastic cover to the bottom shelf. Hopefully, there are no more gaps a cat can squeeze into.

The tray with the eaten tomato seedlings then went onto the bottom, where the light is, and the tray with the gourd pots went up a level.

There is a Canteen gourd breaking soil, so there’s at least that to be happy about.

We still have some Sophie’s Choice seeds left, so we can start some again, but the instructions for these said to start them much earlier than other varieties. Hopefully, we still have time.

Hopefully, some of what we already have will survive, too.

Once that was all done, it was time to do some research and…

Yes. Tomato leaves ARE toxic to cats. However, it takes quite a bit to make them sick, and quite a bit more to endanger their lives. For the amount she ate, she might throw up or something, but nothing major.

This is just so, so frustrating! And potentially alarming.

We’ve had issues with cats going after our plants before. Usually to dig in the dirt, not to eat them, though there was that one succulent we had that they just couldn’t resist.

Notice I said “had”. 😦

We’ve got all sorts of barriers around our remaining house plants to keep them out. As much as the damage done to them bothered me, right now we’re trying to grow food, not decorations, so this is bothering me more.

Why are the cats so determined to destroy our seedlings? There are the barriers, the space around the trays is tight, the pots and trays are wet – we just refilled the bottoms of most of the trays to water from below – and you’d think something in the nightshade family would taste pretty gross.

I am not at all happy right now. 😦

I will, however, share a photo of some well behaved kitties I took earlier.

When I headed outside to get a meter reading, I spotted these two, cuddling together in the sun room. Agnoos is fine with us, but the ‘iccus he was cuddling with is one of the more feral cats. I had to move fast to get a picture before he (she?) ran away. I’m not sure which one this is, but from the facial markings, I’m guessing this is the one the girls named Sadiccus. He looks like he’s been crying!

Which is kinda what I feel like doing right now. Crying in frustration!!

The Re-Farmer

My cat adoption rant

For those new to visiting this blog (Welcome! Thanks for visiting!), I’ll give a bit of a background.

When we moved here, there were a number of yard cats. My late father loved the yard cats and took care of them, and we are continuing to do so. Outdoor cats do play an important part in keeping the rodent population under control, so they are quite welcome.

Of the cats that were here when we moved in, there are three left that are “originals”. In fact, I have pictures of them from when a daughter and I were able to visit in 2015. Being in the country, the life span for cats is pretty short, so we’ve been encouraging the cats to stay close to the house as much as possible. The females do tend to stay, but the males usually disappear. Once in a rare while, they come back.

The first summer we tried to adopt out yard kittens, we did manage to get a few adopted out, though a couple ended up indoors, either because they were injured and required more care, or they would otherwise not survive outdoors. We’ve also been snagging the females to bring them in before they could get pregnant. We were able to bring in two pregnant females, both “originals”, to have their litters indoors. One was a successful transition, while the other hated being indoors so much, we discovered she was killing her own kittens. We had to let her back outside, where she promptly got pregnant again, and those kittens got well taken care of.

The end result is that we currently have sixteen cats indoors, two of whom moved out here with us. The males are fixed, but most of the females are not. We had been able to socialize some of the female yard kittens enough that we could snag them indoors before reaching their first heat, then had to work on socializing them all over again, as they got used to new cats around them, and learned how to use a litter box, etc.

The thing is, in the last couple of years, we have been able to adopt only one cat – and that was at about the time time we had to bring in another, so the number indoors stayed the same. We’re in the country. Everyone already has more cats than they know what to do with. We are where people dump their unwanted cats. If we want to adopt cats out, we have to reach out further.

A few years ago, before the world went insane, we reached out to a “local” humane society, but got no response. No one answered the phone, they didn’t respond to emails or Messenger. Talking to other people who tried to go to their location, they found the doors locked and no one around.

I follow them on Facebook, however, and recently there has been a lot of activity. So I thought I’d try again and, in the wee hours of the morning, sent a note on Messenger. This morning, there was a response, asking for a phone number. I got a call soon after.

Here begins my rant.

When I sent my message, I briefly stated we had some socialized yard cats to adopt out and asked if I could put the word out through their page. I didn’t want to have to turn them in to be able to adopt them out.

I would have been happy with a simple yes or no.

The first thing I was asked was if they were fixed and up to date on vaccinations. Which, yeah, I understand they would need to know that, but did it have to be the place to start? The person clearly had already made some assumptions, so I had little chance to explain our situation, and she was far more interested in our outside cats than the inside ones.

Because we’re expected to be able to have all of them fixed and vaccinated, too, even though we can’t even touch most of them.

At one point, she did mention in passing that they were completely full.

Yeah. That’s why I was asking if I could put the word out through their page, not bring them in.

They also weren’t going to offer any sort of assistance, unless the cats were fixed and fully vaccinated.

And since the male indoor cats were fixed and there was no chance of the indoor females getting pregnant, we needed to focus on the outdoor cats. We need a plan of action. Do we have a plan of action?

We went from my asking “hey, is there a chance I offer socialized yard cats up for adoption through your page?” to “spay/neuter/vaccinate the outside cats.” Especially the females.

Because they’ll get pregnant, you know. Population control and all that.

Yes. I know.

And they probably have FIV, because there are intact males, and they are likely fighting.

I eventually got a chance to say that we had about 20 outdoor cats, give or take, and the cost would be extremely prohibitive (not to mention unrealistic). She started telling me that those 20 cats would quickly become 80 cats.

Yes. I know. Cats can get pregnant.

As to the 80 cats comment, I told her no, not really. They’re yard cats. They tend to have a short life span. Of the cats that were here when we moved here, there are only 3 or 4 left.

There was a bit of a silence, followed by an “oh.”

Newsflash. We live in an area where things eat cats like popcorn.

Anyhow, she started to get really pushy about the “plan of action” and were we willing to do that, because they’re not willing to help people if they’re not willing to do that.

What “that” is, I never quite fully understood, but apparently, I was supposed to have it.

Eventually, she mentioned there was someone local who could spay and neuter cats at a lower price, and apparently would even come here to trap the cats and transport them. But she’d help only if people were willing to have a “plan of action.” I agreed to having my contact information passed on. Oh, and somewhere in there, she did answer my question, saying that no, they couldn’t post anything about our cats, because if they let just anyone “advertise” their cats, they’ve have nothing else on their page.

She could have told me that from the start, and in a less insulting way. It was actually the answer I expected, but thought it was worth a try. I now regret asking.

I was bighting my tongue a lot in this conversation. It really felt like I was being attacked for something I wasn’t even contacting them about. She just took over the conversation to push doing things to the outside cats, based on assumptions she had no interest in clarifying.

This is why I hate contacting humane societies. Only once have we had a positive experience. All others treated us with disdain, condescension or even open hostility. And we’re talking about experiences in three different provinces. It’s like they get special training on how to assume the worst about people, and treat them like crap. I realize they probably deal with a lot of shitty people, but that doesn’t excuse the attitude being aimed at everyone. It actually makes me kinda understand why people would dump animals at their doors. Or dump them in the country. It should not be done, and there’s no excusing it, but in my experience, shelter staff are doing a good job of driving people into it.

She must have caught on to my extended silences meaning I had a problem with what she was saying. At one point, she did switch gears and start telling me how great it was that we’re taking care of these cats, and thanking me for doing it, because there are people out there who don’t do that, and people who will just dump their cats.

I said yeah, that’s likely how we got some of the ones we have. That gave me an opening to bring up The Distinguished Guest as a possible lost cat. They did have a lost cat on their files for our area, but the description did not match.

As for her attempt to switch gears and thank me for taking care of the cats, she somehow managed to still be condescending about it, but that could be just me already being ticked off. Still, going from insinuating I was irresponsible for not having a “plan of action” (without defining what was actually meant by that) to thanking me for being responsible for the cats… let’s just say it was too late to make up for the damage done.

I was really glad to end that conversation.

With all our efforts to adopt these cats out, there is one thing that keeps irritating me. The woman I spoke to reminded me of it. She said that if the cats aren’t already fixed and vaccinated, no one wants them.

Therein is the heart of my rant.

If you’re paying to adopt a cat, yes, it makes sense to expect that they’ve received a particular level of care and treatment, first.

The thing is, any time we’ve had a nibble on someone interested in adopting, the first question is whether the cats have been fixed. Not about the cats themselves, their history, if they’re socialized, litter trained, get along with other cats, etc. No. Just, “are they fixed”.

Here’s the thing.

We’re not a pet store.

We’re not a shelter.

We are just trying to keep the cats from starving, or ending up in the belly of a coyote.

When we’re trying to adopt a cat out for free, to a good home, and the first question we’re asked is “are they fixed”, it tells me two things.

The first is, this person is basically asking us to pay THEM to take in a “free” cat. For a female, in our area, it’s typically $350 to get fixed. Yes, it’s possible to get it done at lower cost, but there are usually limits to that; either the people who do it are booked solid, or it would require putting the cats through the stress of a very long drive, or we don’t qualify for the programs because we don’t live in the right area, or are not destitute enough. This doesn’t include the cost of keeping up on vaccinations. What it all boils down to is, they want us to pay about $350 for them to take a cat, at no cost to them.

The other things is, if the person wanting to adopt a “free” cat isn’t willing to spend the money to take care of it themselves, then they are not the “good home” we’re looking for. The cats would probably be better off taking their chances with the coyotes.

What really chokes me after people find out the cats aren’t fixed, they act as if we are such terrible, cruel people for not doing it. Suddenly, we are the “bad guys” and irresponsible and the reason why there is such a huge problem with exploding cat populations.

Agnoos is not impressed.

Nope. We take care of our cats.

And other people’s cats.

And strays.

For the amount of money we’re spending since moving here, just on cat food, we could have replaced our roof two years ago, but we do it anyway. We’re not going to let animals go hungry, but expecting us to also pay to have them all fixed and vaccinated before someone is willing to adopt a “free” cat is not reasonable. If they’re not willing to pay to take care of a free cat, we’re sure as heck not going to do it for them, and they’re not the “good home” they’re trying to convince us they are. And I am not going to be made to feel guilty for it. We’re also not going to shoot them all because people won’t adopt a “free” intact cat, as has been recommended to us (not that we can do it, but we have plenty of neighbours with guns who could, and would, if we asked them to).

So yeah. I’m frustrated. Being treated with condescension and being told I wouldn’t get help I wasn’t even asking for, unless we spend hundreds more dollars we don’t have, isn’t helping. We’re giving up a lot to keep the cats fed, warm and as safe from predators as we can.

Apparently, that’s not good enough.

Maybe we should start charging for the cats. $400 up front for a female, a month in advance, and we’ll take their chosen cat in to be fixed and vaccinated, and care for it during recovery.

Do you think that would work?

The Re-Farmer

Our 2021 garden: morning damage

I have a bit of time before I head off to pick up our meat pack, and just had to make a quick post.

It was a bad morning in the garden.

While heading over to switch out the memory card on the garden cam, the very first thing that I saw was this.

Of the surviving Dorinny corn, there was one plant on its own at the very end of a row. It is now in two rows.

The critter didn’t even eat the whole thing. It just chomped on half a corn cob.

Another Dorinny corn got it’s developing cob torn off and nibbled on.

This one got to me. These are the transplanted Hopi Black Dye sunflowers. The ones we started indoors months ago, but didn’t actually germinate until all the others were direct sown or transplanted. While small, they had been doing well. Now, all but one have their heads chopped off, and the one that didn’t, is broken.

You can see the single surviving pink celery transplant, near it. That got ignored, at least.

Then there’s this. You can even see the hoof print in the ground!

This is the purple corn, way on the other side of the garden. The last two corn in this row had already been partially eaten and were growing back, only to be eaten again. A third one has it’s tall stalk broken right off, and you can see it lying on the ground. Thankfully, that was as far as the damage went, with the purple corn.

And here we have our culprit! At least for the Dorinny corn and sunflowers. The tracks in the purple corn head in the opposite direction, so it was either another deer, or this deer took the scenic route.

In the trail cam files, I did see a woodchuck in the sweet corn during the day, but there was no damage to that corn. It looked like it was eating the grass or weeds in the path.

The woodchuck – or another of them – is likely the cause of this damage, in one of the summer squash. It’s definitely not a deer that did this.


Later today, I’ll be moving some of the things we put around the tulips to keep critters away. The tulips have died back and they are no longer needed there. The bells and spinners would probably be useful in startling critters. Clearly, the flapping grocery bags, motion activated light and aluminum tart pans are no longer enough.

I suppose the damage is pretty minimal, given how much we’ve got planted overall, but even a little bit adds up after a while. It’s so frustrating.

When we plant trees where the temporary garden beds are now, we at least know we’ll have to take extra steps to protect the saplings from critter damage.

The Re-Farmer

Caught and confirmed! Plus, more critter damage

It took moving the garden cam a few times, but I finally managed it.

I caught him in the act.

It is confirmed that the woodchuck is eating our peas plants.

The green peas are completely shot this year. Between the heat, the dryness, the poor soil and Woody here, eating them, they’re toast. I don’t even know why we still water them, but we do.

Oddly, the purple peas aren’t being eaten. They’re still struggling from the drought conditions, though.

If we are to get any peas this year, it’s now down to the ones I planted among the corn as nitrogen fixers. This morning, I think I even saw a single sprout, under one of the purple corn plants!

When the girls were watering last night, they picked some zucchini and sunburst squash. One of the zucchini had a bite taken out of the end! Like something took a taste and decided they didn’t like it. I’ve seen a few eaten leaves, too. The deer leave the summer squash alone; the spikes on the leaf stems are too much for their tender lips. The woodchucks seem to have a slightly better tolerance for it.

This really, really frustrated me. We put the wire mesh around the Crespo squash in the morning, and by evening, large amounts of it were gone. These have far fewer spines on their stems compared to the summer squash.

Looking around the barriers, I found the likely place they got through. Not that it would have been hard, anywhere around it.

When we made this squash hill, we took advantage of a hill that was already there, created by drunk plowing. There are lower furrows near it, making the ground even more uneven than in other parts of the old garden area. That left a furrow and a drop that made it really easy for a critter to slip under the wire.

I tried to use wire soil staples to peg the bottom of the chicken wire to the ground, but couldn’t. There are so many rocks under there, I couldn’t push the wire through far enough to hold it down. I tried an area about two feet long by a foot wide, and there wasn’t a single place I could push the wire through before being blocked by buried rocks. I ended up folding the bottom of the wire mesh under, then weighing it down with bricks. When I checked this morning, there was no new damage.

At this point, we’re thinking we’re not going to get an Crespo squash. The plants are using their energy to recover from critter damage. Of the flowers we’ve seen, there have still been no female flowers, and as long as stuff like this is happening, they won’t have the energy to produce fruit. If any fruit does start to develop, there is no longer enough of a growing season left for them to fully mature.

I did not invest all this time, effort and money to feed rodents instead of my family.

Those critters have got to go!!

The Re-Farmer

The hoard, and a frustrating update

Oh, my goodness!

I’d been hearing on some of my local gardening groups that people were having a really bad time with grasshoppers. I knew it was just a matter of time before they moved North.

And here they are.

Do you see them on the gravel? All those specks?

The dry grass is hiding many, many more. As I was driving and walking along our driveway, I was startling clouds of them.

I don’t think my phone picked up the sounds, but while walking paste the garage, I could hear the metallic noises as they bounced off the door.

I remember the grasshoppers being bad last year, but not as bad as this!!

As for why I was back and forth on the driveway, I had a very frustrating morning.

I heaved out very early to get to the court house in a nearby city – applying for a restraining order doesn’t get dealt with in the small, local courts. I was met by my brother, who was technically still at work. We had time to go over my papers a bit while we tried to figure out what to expect, and he kept up with work on his phone. We were told things would start at 10, so we walked over for 9. Always before, we had been able to come in and wait.

But then, always before, things turned out to be cancelled.

I think we were the first people to show up. The security guard recognizes me by now. No issues with my Mingle Mask. Because we were so early, we were told to wait outside, or come back closer to 10. So we walked back to my brother’s care and we went through our papers some more, trying to figure out what we might need – if anything at all – and he continued to work. When we walked back again, it was shortly after 9:30. There was another security guard there, and she asked our names. It turns out my name was not on the docket; just our vandal’s. After clarifying what we were there for and our connection to the file, she took the list and left to talk to someone about it. When she came back, she told us that they would not see our file until after 11, explaining the order that things were going to be taken, starting with federal files. As my application was done by me, as an individual, and not a crown case, it would be among the last files addressed. We talked about coming back at 10:30 and she said we could, but we might be waiting as much as an hour.

So we left again. That’s when I mentioned I hadn’t had breakfast yet, so we started to think about where we could walk to. As we did, we saw our vandal and his wife drive by, so my brother wanted to get a move on, so as not to cross paths with them. Our province is still locked down, despite never having had a need to be, even over the winter, so I wasn’t sure where we could go that I would be allowed in. We finally decided to try a restaurant across the street. Signs said groups from one household only. When we went in, they didn’t say anything about the Mingle Mask and were going to seat us, but then we were asked if we were from the same household. My brother said we were family, but not the same household. We were then asked if we were vaccinated. Which is actually illegal to do, as it falls under the Privacy Act, but I didn’t think of that right away. My brother just got his second shot (which is a problem, because now I have to stay away from my family as much as possible for the next while), but not me.

I was then told I would have to eat by myself.

My brother was willing to, but I walked out. I will not comply with medical tyranny, any more than I will put up with our vandal’s abuse.

Speaking of which, as we left, we saw our vandal walking into the court building.

There was a nearby grocery store. Unfortunately, I had already heard that they illegally discriminated against people with medical exemptions, but things had supposedly eased up in our province, so maybe that changed?

When we first walked in, no one said anything, so I thought we would be fine. We were walking around to find where they had sandwiches or a deli, but before we could, a manager looking person walked up to me, demanding my papers. Meaning, my medical exemption note. Which is illegal to ask for, not required, and which doctors have been ordered not to give out. I just walked away. He kept talking at me and, while I shouldn’t have done it, I flipped him the bird over my shoulder. His response was to wish me a nice day, in the most sarcastic voice ever. I don’t comply with discrimination, either.

After that, we went to sit in my mother’s car, which I used because it has working air conditioning. My brother was taken aback by how I was treated. He’d never seen anything like it before, but then, I’m apparently the only person he knows that can’t wear a mask.

What I wish I’d thought of was to point out that they had no problem with me in the court building, so why would a restaurant and grocery store have a problem with me?

So we stayed in the car while he worked and we talked, until I could no longer stay seated, as I was starting to have troubles breathing and needed to be upright again. Which is why we were on the sidewalk, heading back to the court building, to see our vandal leaving the building and crossing the street with someone we assume to be his lawyer. We figured he was told to wait outside until 11, too. My brother wanted to avoid him, so we walked around the other side of the block to get to the court building.

When we got there, there was a whole bunch of people waiting outside, but not our vandal. I looked where the car we’d seen him to do had been parked, but didn’t see him there, either.

Since we were still early, I popped in quickly to asked the security guard what the status was.

August 6, he told me.


Yup. Our vandal and his lawyer had been taken in, and it was over and done with. Judging from when we saw them outside, they would have been taken in shortly after 10. The time we were told our file would NOT be seen.

I asked what happened to the 11:00 thing, and the poor guy could only slump and shake his head. He looked so defeated, even with half his face hidden.

My poor brother. This is now the third time he got himself away from work to be there for me, only to have this happen.

The problem it, we don’t actually know what happened. Only that there is a new date. Is it a trial date, because he’s contesting the application? Or did they defer because I wasn’t there? My name wasn’t on the docket, which suggests they didn’t need me there, but I keep getting told by the court office that I do need to be there.

This is so, so frustrating.

After my brother and I parted ways, I took advantage of being in the city and swung by a Walmart to pick up more cat food, and a bagel to eat on the way home. Like the court building, this Walmart has no issues with me. From there I went home and unloaded, then got my husband to call the pharmacy to let them know I was on my way to pick up his refills (he forgot to request delivery) in town, that it would be a parking lot pickup, and give them permission to put it through the till. Because, unlike the court building, the pharmacy still discriminates against people with medical exemptions and I’m not allowed to go in.

When I got back and gave my husband his medications, he found one of them had not been included. We weren’t billed for it, either. So he called them back about it.

It will be delivered on Monday.

Meanwhile, I’ve called my LegalShield firm. My file is updated, and my lawyer will call me about it. I don’t know that there’s any more advice he can give me, but hopefully by then I will have got through to the court office (my call went to voice mail, and the mailbox was full, so I couldn’t even leave a message) to find out what actually happened.

Oh, how I wish LegalShield still had a firm in our province! If I needed to, they would find me a local lawyer at a discounted price, but not as good of a discount as I would get if I were working directly with the firm. Mind you, we probably couldn’t afford even the discounted price, but at least we’d have a better chance of it.


I think I’d rather deal with the hoards of grasshoppers, than with all this garbage.

The Re-Farmer

Dragging on

Let’s talk about pleasant things, first!

Here is an adorable photo of Ginger for you. 🙂

Doesn’t he look so sweet and peaceful?

Not at all like the mischievous bugger I had to stop from trying to attack one of the trunks of the big jade tree in the living room! 😀

I did very quick rounds this morning, since I had to head out early, but I did manage to check on the mulberry tree.

It clearly has handled being transplanted just fine!

It’s also doing very well with the cooler, wet weather we’re having right now.

I haven’t been able to get much done for the past couple of days, and not because of the weather.

Yesterday, I called the court office to make sure today’s court date was still on. As expected, with the long weekend, our provincial government increased restrictions even more than they did before Mother’s day. They don’t come into effect until midnight tonight, though, so…

Well, I could only leave a message, as there was no answer. I had to go to my mother’s, on a related matter, so I quickly headed out in the afternoon. Of course, that’s when I got a call back, but not with an answer to my question. I called back, left another message, but never heard from them by the end of the day.

Thankfully, my daughters were able to continue working on things in the garden while I waited for the call. There’s one area ready for one corn variety, then they began working on a trellis for the peas. The plan was to do more clean up in the spruce grove, and use the poplars we’re cutting down to make an sort of A frame on the existing supports, but we haven’t been able to work in that area at all, lately. So they decided to use what we’ve got now and made pegs to hold the twine we were going to attach to the frame, instead. They didn’t get to finish it before they had to come in as the temperature dropped, but it’ll be a while before the peas will be big enough to need the support. I didn’t get any photos yet.

I headed out to the courthouse this morning, leaving early enough to get some fuel and still have time for delays, like road construction (there was some, but just a short stretch) and meet with my brother, who booked the morning off work so he could be with me. We deliberately set a time to meet an hour before court was supposed to start. Just in case.

When we got there, I saw security guards, so that was hopeful. From previously visits to the building, there were security guards only when court was in session.

Well, not this time. It turned out they were there for the court office! The first guard we spoke thought that court had gone virtual, so he went into the office and talked to someone for us, then came back with a number for the crown office, in the bigger city, for us to call. While we were still talking to him, the woman he spoke to came out with a printout for him, and it said everything was delayed until June 18, because of the increased restrictions.

So my brother and I went to his car and I called the crown, only to be told they knew nothing about any virtual court dates; that would be with lawyers only, and the court office of the city we were in to schedule. She was quite frustrated when we told her we were just at the court office, and they told us to call the crown!

We went back to the court office. I wasn’t allowed to go in until I emptied my pockets and they scanned me with a metal detector, while I got the usual covid questions. I did get asked about my Mingle Mask, but when I said I was medically exempt, they were fine with it. My brother had to quickly dash back to his car while I went in (only one person allowed into the court office at a time, anyhow). When I asked about the virtual court session, she told me only lawyers could call in to those (?!?!?!), but that they weren’t doing restraining orders, anyhow. After we talked for a bit, she got my name and the name of our vandal to look up our file. She remembered talking to someone about it and asked if I’d called a couple of weeks ago. I had not. I called yesterday. It had to have been our vandal. Or, more likely, his wife. My voice may be low, but not low enough to be mistaken for our vandal! She then went to look things up while I went to wait in the lobby.

Shortly after, my brother got back and, even though we were only going to wait in the lobby, the security guards still had to scan him, and we both got our temperature checked on our wrists.

When the woman came out again, she told me she’d got through to our vandal’s lawyer, and he agreed to a court date of July 9 – if the courts are open then.

Our vandal’s vindictive civil suit against us is scheduled for July 12.


I do, however, now have the name and phone number for our vandal’s lawyer – something I should have had long ago, but it’s not like anything it working the way it’s supposed to right now. The worst of this is that this is for a retraining order. It’s a safety issue for us, and it just keeps getting delayed. This is now the fifth time!

She said that, if I chose to, I could call the lawyer myself and potentially work something out privately and bypass the courts completely.

Well, I suppose that’s an option, but I really don’t think there’s anything our vandal would agree to that didn’t involve completely dropping the whole thing. Considering that he’s still calling my mother with his bizarre rants about how we’re all laughing at him, his mental state is clearly a concern.

So that was another wasted morning – and another day my brother booked off work that was wasted, too. At least we were finished early enough that he could still make a meeting.


I made sure to call my mother before I headed home, because I knew she’s be concerned. As you can imagine, she wasn’t happy, either, but is having a hard time understanding why the court office isn’t calling us to let us know about the cancellations. It’s almost as if she thinks ours is the only case they’ve got, or that there are very few of them. Meanwhile, they probably had a couple dozen files or more, just on this morning’s docket, all cancelled. The extra frustration is that they DO call the lawyers (more likely just their firms, really), so there’s a sort of two tier justice system. People who can afford lawyers (or are willing to go into debt for one) and those who can’t. Though to be honest, it’s always been like that, so nothing’s really changed, there.

Once I got home, I contacted my LegalShield firm. That membership has more than paid for itself! It’s been so long, the file was actually closed, but it was reopened, and the lawyer assigned to my file will call me. Given that today is the Friday before a long weekend, I don’t expect to hear from him until Tuesday. It’s possible our membership will cover some action between our lawyer and our vandal’s.

I also looked up our vandal’s lawyer. There is a Canadian website that lists all lawyers, and I found his profile – with no photo, and a different phone number from what I have. It listed him as “in good standing” and included the name of a firm. I looked up the firm, which was not linked from the profile, which turns out to specialize in criminal defense. This lawyer was not listed on their website. It’s not even a matter of there being more than one person with the same name. The guy has a somewhat unique surname, and only one in Canada showed up in my search. This is also not the same lawyer or firm our vandal has worked with before. I wouldn’t be surprised if they found a way to drop him from their case load. Still, it all comes across as very strange.

So now I wait for a call back from my lawyer. We’re also somewhat stuck indoors today. We’re getting actual rain right now. From the weather radar, the worst of the weather will be hitting the southern regions of our province, but it’s big enough that we’re getting at least some much needed precipitation. We might even get some of the storms they’re predicting to happen overnight, though I doubt it. What has been happening, though, is repeated loss of our internet. As I am writing this paragraph, we have no internet connection at all. Again. Hopefully, we’ll get enough of a connection that I can publish this, soon!

Traditionally, a lot of people put their gardens in on the May long weekend, but from the looks of the weather this year, few people will. Particularly those living closer to the Rockies, where they have been getting snow! From the zone 3 gardening groups I’m on, quite a few people had taken the chance and started transplanting outdoors, and are now struggling to save their gardens. Thankfully, everything we’ve planted so far is frost hardy. They should be okay, even without being covered. Hardning off our transplants is getting delayed, though I can at least open the inner door to the sun room. Between the screened window of the outer door, and the ceiling fan, the seedlings will get exposed to differing temperatures and some wind. Rotating the bin the purple corn and giant sunflower seedlings are in seems to have made a difference, too. The sunflowers that were looking all floppy and leggy, yesterday, are now standing tall under the lights. That’s encouraging. Now, if only the purple sunflowers would start germinating!!!

Oh, our internet is back! Time to see if I can publish this before the signal is lost again…

The Re-Farmer