Butt Warmer

The cats really like that heated water bowl.

Especially when it’s empty.

The Re-Farmer

Recommended: Lost in the Pond

Welcome to my second โ€œRecommendedโ€ series. Here, youโ€™ll find various sites and channels that Iโ€™ve been enjoying and wanted to share with you. With so many people currently looking to find ways to be more self sufficient or prepared for emergencies, that will be the focus for most of these, but Iโ€™ll also be adding a few that are just plain fun. Please feel free to leave a comment or make your own recommendation. I hope you enjoy these!

Today, let’s go for something fun; Lost in the Pond; America’s Finest British Import. Lawrence Brown moved to the US from Britain, and has turned his culture shock into some fantastic and hilarious YouTube videos, in his “…quest to uncover all of the memos that Britain and America Lost in the Pond!” He also has a presence on the usual social media, a website and a Patreon page.

Some of his earlier videos were so popular, they have gone on to become series.

Such as his videos on American Things Britain Doesn’t Even Have a Word For.

He’s also been working his way across the US with videos on how to pronounce different US place names.

Ha! Someone should do videos like with with Canadian place names, too. ๐Ÿ˜€

My favourites, though, highlight the differences in ordinary things.

Like kitchens…

… refrigerators…

… bedrooms…

Okay, I didn’t know the US had so many HUGE bed sizes.

Then there’s ordinary household objects.

To me, the faucet is the part the water runs from. The tap is the knob or lever you turn to make the water flow.

There’s also the differences in hotels.

He would get a laugh out of some of the elevators I’ve been in, that have things like M for Mezzanine, G1 or G2 for different ground floors, and buttons for the front or the back doors of the elevator. I once lived in an apartment building where my 3rd floor apartment was on the ground floor at the street level main lobby, while the 1st floor, ground level was two floors down, but opened out to a courtyard near a lagoon. It also had two underground parking levels, the side lane entrance to which was under my 3rd floor, street level apartment.

I really enjoyed this one.

After our second daughter was born, I got a cookbook that covered how to make meals that could be adapted for adults/older kids, toddlers and baby food, all from the same recipe. It turned out to be a British cookbook. It took me forever to figure out what courgettes and aubergine were!

Also, what they’re calling as either a gyro or a … donna kabab? Is that what he’s saying?

We know them as Donairs. That’s a Canadian thing.

Oh, how I miss a real Donair.

Gotta love the winter related ones.

Being Canadian, some of the laughs I get is because we are such a mix of both the US and Britain in our everyday lives! ๐Ÿ˜€

At the time I’m writing this, there are 6 years of videos to enjoy, and I do hope you have a chance to go through many of them. They’re a hoot! Well worth recommending.

The Re-Farmer

Strange hair!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Last night we had some rain storms blow through. High winds were the main issue. Having rain now, when the flood waters have yet to finish receding, probably didn’t help much, but I don’t think we got enough for it to be an issue. Mostly, it was the winds that were of concern.

Since things have warmed up, there are far fewer outside cats to greet me in the morning.

I only saw 5 or 6, in total. The amount of kibble needed has also dropped considerably. For a while, I was putting food out twice a day, and sometimes even a third little top up got done if I was up in the wee hours and saw they were out again. Now, I’m finding kibble still left in the trays at the end of the day!

That’ll make things a bit easier on the budget!

While switching out the trail cam memory cards and checking the state of the garden beds, I noticed something rather unusual.

The straw bale had grown hair!

Green hair.

Looks like last night’s rain was enough to get the seeds caught in the straw to sprout, enthusiastically! It’s even growing out the sides exposed by the straw that had fallen away from the bale over the winter.

Too funny!

I’m going to just leave it. Once the soil had dried enough, we’ll be bringing the wood chipper over and running straw through the shredder chute for mulch. Last year we tried that by running the lawn mower over the straw, and it worked much better than non-shredded straw, but doing it that way clogged up the air filter on the mower like you wouldn’t believe! We are very happy to have the new wood chipper available.


Having sprouted greens included with the dry straw for mulch is just more nutrients for the soil. ๐Ÿ™‚

It should be interesting to see how tall it gets by the time we’re ready to do the shredding.

The Re-Farmer

We forgot!

When preparing for this year’s Easter basket, we did three different types of pickled eggs.

While going through the fridge, I noticed a container that got pushed to the back and…

… discovered we completely forgot about the soya sauce pickled eggs!

So I had one with my breakfast.

We were missing the Mirin sauce, but it was still quite good. Definitely something worth making again. It’s too bad we forgot about them for our basket. They would have looked a lot like milk chocolate eggs in there! ๐Ÿ˜€

The Re-Farmer

Cat Sandwich

So this happened, and I had to get a picture.

Beep Beep is sandwiched between her babies.

The size differences are almost disorienting. Cheddar is just this huge, Costco-sized block of cheese. Then there’s his waif of a baby sister.

They’re a year apart in age, but Layendecker (who spends most of his days upstairs) matches Cheddar in size, and he’s Turmeric’s litter mate. They both started out really small, too.

How does Beep Beep grow such big boys? ๐Ÿ˜€

The Re-Farmer

What I woke up to this morning

Since I no longer had to keep my door close, to make sure a sick Cabbages didn’t take off somewhere, I actually got a lot more sleep. I didn’t have cats constantly clawing at the bottom of my door, to get in or out!

This morning, I was awakened by this cuddle pile.

They actually started out on the other side of my head, where there was just a few inches of space, clambered over me and settled in to this aggressive grooming session.

Which I can’t complain about. We had to keep Turmeric in my room with me for about a week, because she kept turning into a snarling beast at the other cats for some reason. Particularly when a tuxedo came by. Beep Beep would also go after other cats, but she would stop as quickly as she started, and just always does that. It took days for Turmeric to calm down, and now she’s back to grooming and snuggling with cats she had been snarling and growling at. !!

I could feel another cat at my legs, so I used my phone to find out which one it was.

Only to discover it was two cats! I wasn’t twisted around enough to see Tissue. ๐Ÿ˜€ Which is funny, because the cat I felt was not the cat I could see!

Tissue really, really loves jamming herself against the back of my legs, or my lower back.

The cats are all very happy my door is open again. They missed having access to my bed. ๐Ÿ˜€

Silly kitties!

The Re-Farmer

Too cute!

It was pretty nippy this morning, with the temperatures dropped down to -26C/-15F. Thankfully, with no wind chill! That’s the coldest we’ve had this winter so far (and yes, I know; technically, we’re still fall), and the coldest we will be for the next few weeks, at least. As I write this, my desktop tells me we are at -22C/-8F with a wind chill of -30C/-22F, but my phone’s app tells me we are at -20C/-4F with a wind chill of -23C/-9F. My phone app seems to be the more accurate one.

With the cold, I did a short version of my rounds, mostly just making sure the critters had fresh food and warm water. My older daughter assisted with giving Tuxedo Mask his eye drops, then stayed with him to make sure he didn’t get out, as I had to go in and out of the sun room. It got cold enough that his water bowl actually froze! My daughter put some pieces of rigid insulation on the concrete floor in a few strategic places.

We also decided to allow Agnoos into the sun room to keep Tuxedo Mask company. They are brothers from the same litter and get along, and Agnoos already allows us to pick him up and cuddle him, so he was the least disruptive choice.

I just spotted this, outside our bathroom window.

They are just smooshed together, on top of the board the ceramic heater bulb is mounted to! Something out there sure has their attention!

I’m glad we brought Agnoos in. ๐Ÿ˜€

The Re-Farmer

My family is silly, and court update

First, the fun stuff!

My family is silly.

Yesterday, I roasted some chickens for the next few days and, since I had to get up earlier this morning, I had and early supper. I set out a bowl for the “bones and oogy bits” and labelled it before going to bed.

This is what I found this morning.

My younger daughter asked if “oogy” was a technical term, so which my husband said yes, while my older daughter added the headless chicken carcass.

What a great thing to find in the morning, when I was so dreading heading out!

I made sure to feed the cats before I left, but I was gone so long, the outside cats needed a top-op.

They were very appreciative! Another cheerful sight. ๐Ÿ™‚

As for my court date… it went as well as could be. It’s on our vandal to respond now, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

The session was booked for 9am. I planned to leave by 7am, if not earlier. I took the time to actually eat breakfast, which I normally never do that early in the day, before heading out, and when I started the van, the clock read exactly 7am. The drive to the town my mother lives in, where I stopped for gas, was not too bad, though there were parts of the highway that had been blown over and covered with ice and snow. Bad enough on their own, but it was starting to melt a bit, too, which added another level of “gotta be careful!”

Once back on the highway after getting gas, I thought things would be better, as that part of the highway is busier, but nope. It was quite a lot worse, which made for slow driving for a while. By the time I reached the divided highway, though, it finally cleared up… just in time to hit the construction zone, where four lanes with a ditch in between bottle necked into two lanes on one side.

Still, by the time I reached the city, I was making good time. While I knew where to go from checking on the map, I had my phone’s map on navigator, so I had a voice telling me when and where to make my turns, just to be on the safe side.

That worked well, right up until I reached the street the court offices were on, and I was to make a left turn. As I reach the lights, I see a sign under them.

No left turn.

Okay, I’ll just go to the next intersection and drive around the block.

As I drive through, the navigator auto adjusts and tells me to make a right turn at the next street. Which I can’t do, because I’m in the left lane during rush hour, and changing lanes was just not an option, never mind trying to move 3 lanes over.

Next intersection?

The sign says, no left turn.

No left turn.

No left turn.

No left turn between 7am and 9am.

One way only.

No left turn between 7am and 9am.

One way only.

By this time, I’ve crossed the river and the navigator is telling me to make U turns, which I could not do.

Finally, I found a street I could turn left onto – with my phone telling me to take a U turn again – drove around the block and made my way back. When I got to the street the court offices was on, I saw a parkade just up the block and went straight there, as I no longer had time to search for parking.

By the time I parked, walked back to the street I needed and found the building, it was just before 9am. I also just managed to get into the doors to stand at the back of the line to pass through security.

Thankfully, I had the phone number for our vandal’s lawyer, so I called him and told him where I was, and he said he would pass that on to the judge for me.

Thankfully again, the line moved quickly.

Our province is in an odd situation right now. With the pandemic response, emergency status was lifted a while ago. The mandates, as far as I know, expired as well. But the province is still enforcing mask rules (there were signs for distancing all over, which were being ignored by everyone). Also, as many expected, they brought in more restrictions after Remembrance Day, but most apply only to churches in the south of our province (where not a single case of Schrรถdinger’s Virus has been traced to) and kids from 12-17 who want to play hockey. There are others as well, that make just as little sense.

I expect them to implement another illegal full lock down before Christmas.

Anyhow, I didn’t have the energy for a hassle, so I wore my Mingle Mask and hoped for the best.

No one said a thing to me while I was in line.

As the line was moving forward, I remembered I had a pocket knife in one of my parka’s pockets, so when I got to the security station and put my things into a bin, I started reaching into my pocket to give it to them. The security guard, who didn’t bat an eye at my Mingle Mask, started to tell me I didn’t need to empty my pockets, my parka would go through Xray, until I pulled out the pocket knife and told him I’d forgotten about it. He was quite happy with that and took it aside while I went through the metal detector (none of this procedure is in the court offices we’d been going to in the smaller city!).

I fully expected to lose the knife. I’ve been through court security in another province before moving here, and they even confiscated the metal travel chopsticks a friend of mine had in her purse. Happily, I was wrong. When I got to the other side, another security guard had a Ziplock baggie with a form on it, got my name and got me to initial it, then told me where to go as I left, to retrieve it! I was quite pleased by this, as my husband gave me that knife, and it is a very good one. It got quite a few admiring glances from the security guards.

After getting directions, I found my way to the courtroom our session was going to be in. Just the lawyer and court clerk was there, and the court clerk left, probably to let the judge know I had arrived. It was about 10 past 9 when I got there, and it took another 5 or 10 minutes before the judge came in, so the lawyer and I had a chance to talk.

The first thing I asked was if our vandal was there. He didn’t actually answer, but started asking me about what conditions I might be willing to agree to.

Smart man, not having our vandal there. He would not have been able to shut up.

I actually feel sorry for the lawyer. Nice guy. Doing his best for our vandal, of course, but I think he’s figured out his client is a problem.

Then the judge came in and things got started.

He wasn’t wearing a mask. I could actually see his expressions! It was wonderful!

I think we spent about an hour in this session, and covered a lot of ground. The judge started by asking the lawyer about where our vandal was, and he explained that he’d told our vandal he could stay home, since the lawyer was there to represent him. The judge then began grilling the lawyer, before having a lot of questions for me. Much time was spent clarifying things like what our role was on the property, who actually owned it, when the ownership was transferred from my mother to my brother, and so on. Our vandal’s civil suit came up, even though it is a federal matter, not a provincial one, but the two files are so connected. The lawyer brought it up briefly and tried to move on, but the judge had a lot of questions. His expression when he clarified that the suit was against me – who doesn’t own anything here on the farm – and not my brother, was something to see. The lawyer is not representing our vandal on this case, but he did make a comment on how this was not the wisest of moves on the part of our vandal. Civil law is not the specialty of either of them, though, so they couldn’t say much else.

After much discussion, what I was willing to accept was a no-contact order, coupled with a restriction on drinking; our vandal (who does not believe he has a problem with booze) can drink all he wants at home, but he can’t leave his property while under the influence. The lawyer got an extra week to have time to bring the proposal to our vandal, so two weeks from now, he will have to show up in court. The lawyer had the option of calling in. If he accepts the conditions, we have a de-facto “peace bond”. A court order that expires in a year. If he does NOT accept it, it will go to trail. The judge made sure to explain that, if it goes to trial, then I take on the role of prosecutor and have to present evidence to justify my application. That would be a year from now, at the earliest. Of course, I have to give copies of any evidence I want to present to our vandal’s lawyer. The only issue is that, if I want to use the phone messages my mother got, my mother has to actually be there in court to confirm that yes, these are from our vandal and yes, these were from her answering machine.

Which my mother is willing to do, but she’d be 91 by then, and who knows how mobile she might be in that time?

I have no doubt the lawyer is going to impress on our vandal, the wisdom of accepting the conditions.

Whether our vandal is smart enough to do it is another thing.

The judge even knew where we live, more or less, so when he started to explain to me how to get a copy of the order (if our vandal accepts), he stopped and said he would just get them to send it to me, and made sure to have my mailing address to do it.

Once an order is in place, things then fall into the jurisdiction of the RCMP.

Which is about the best outcome we could have gotten out of this session.

So that is done for now. The lawyer will inform me of what our vandal decides.

After that, we’ll just have the civil suit to deal with, and the court date for that is in the summer. Unless our vandal is smart enough to drop that one, but I highly doubt it. I don’t know what he thinks he can accomplish. Not only do I not claim ownership of anything he says is his, but I told him long ago that he could take his stuff, if he could prove ownership. He never responded, and didn’t file suit until after he was served in regards to our restraining order application, more than two years later. He has no case, and just doesn’t seem to understand that.

Ah, well. All we can do is hope for the best and prepare for the worst!

As for me, I’m going to go debone some chickens, so my daughter can make some stock for a nice chicken soup later on. ๐Ÿ™‚ Life goes on!

The Re-Farmer