Kitty progress – so excited!

Okay, so we’ve been having good progress with the littles overall.

Walnut and Leyendecker napping together is very good. Leyendecker will sometimes groom and play with them, but generally will just nap on my bed, and he’s good with having a little company.

Also, my blanket is absolutely covered in cat hair. Even after washing, there’s still cat hair stuck in the fibres!

Also, also, my carpet is horrific. The cats keep spilling the kibble bowls and kicking sawdust out of the litter box, but I can’t vacuum it right now. It would be too much of a terror for kittens we are working to socialize!

The bitty (we need a name for this guy!) has rediscovered the security of baby jail, and likes to chill in one of the upper level beds.

He is SO much more settled and getting socialized. Last night, I found myself being cuddled by both littles against my back. When I lie on my side, I have my top leg bent and my bottom leg straight. That turns out to create a perfect little nest for a bitty, and I’ve been waking up to find him there. I can tell it’s the bitty because of how tiny and light he is! He has also discovered that playing with fingers is a fun thing to do, and then he discovered this strange protuberance in the middle of my face that is quite fascinating. And tasty, apparently.

Also, he is very sharp.

What a way to be awakened during the night!

While nowhere near as greedy for cuddles as Walnut is, the bitty is really enjoying getting pets and cuddles.

Which is working out perfectly, because he’s now helping his soot sprite sibling settle in.

Yes!!!! We caught the other bitty!

I have had no opportunity to get a photo, but I’ll be sure to try to get one later.

For the past few days, we’ve kept one of the hard sided cat carriers in the sun room with the door open. When putting food out, I’d toss a handful into there. The cats had explored it, and I would often find a cat sitting on the blanket inside, just chillin’

This morning, I came into the sun room, and the little soot sprite was looking at me from the doorway of the carrier.

I very quickly just closed the door. The carrier opens from the top, so I used that to put some kibble in with it. I then quickly did the food and water for the rest of the cats – Broccoli was eating on the cat house roof, and while I could come pretty close, she would not let me touch her.

I’d really love to bring Mama in, and reunite the family! Especially since I see she is still letting even a much older kitten nurse her.

Once the food and water was done, I brought the carrier in and let a daughter take over while I finished my rounds. We’d already reached our forecasted high of the day, -15C/5F, though after having no wind yesterday, a wind chill of -24C/-11F was more of a downer. Still, I did finally switch out the memory card at the sign cam. We’re going to have to dig a path to there again. A lot of the paths around the house are now drifted over. With the more pleasant weather ahead, it’ll be good to get as much of that cleared again before the next snowfall.

Meanwhile, my daughter was able to put the bitty tabby into the carrier with his sibling, then gave all the cats some wet cat food, with the siblings sharing a bowl. They reunited quite comfortably. She had the door open a bit and the bitty tabby went out, but the bitty tuxedo didn’t go out until she opened the top. Once the carrier was available again, I took it back to the sun room. Who knows. I might catch Broccoli in there, too!

The bitty tabby immediately started playing with and chasing around his sibling. The tuxedo has been exploring, as well, but is nowhere near as nervous as the tabby was when we first brought him in. I’m sure the tuxedo remembers Walnut, too. Of course, the tuxedo still won’t let us near it, but I don’t think it will take long.

Marlee is not a happy camper. Anytime she sees a kitten, she starts growling!

Butterscotch and Nosencrantz seem more accepting of the new addition.

My daughter let Cheddar in. He when straight to the new kitten, snuffled it – then started grooming it!

Cheddar is such a good dude.

So now I sit, monitoring an exploring soot sprite, sitting in the world’s creakiest office chair, which isn’t helping things. We’ll need to take turns supervising the new addition. Not so much that we’re worried about the tuxedo, but more because Marlee is not enjoying them and we try to keep them away from her favourite corner as much as we can. The kittens pretty much ignore her growling and hissing, and sometimes want to go over and check her out in spite of it, and we just want to reduce her stress levels.

I’m just so happy we finally got the last bitty!!!!

The Re-Farmer

Today’s progress and news

The roofers were expecting to come early today, so I was up earlier than usual to do the morning rounds. One of my daughters was also up early, but my other daughter was up most of the might working on commissions, she she tried to sleep during the day, instead.

It almost worked! 😄

Meanwhile, I made a stew for the crew to have for lunch, along with some corn bread to go with it. 😊

The roofers were expecting to be done today, but I think he was also expecting to have a crew of five. They didn’t show up until almost 10, and there was only three of them. The supervisor had to do a lot of driving around to pick up the other crew members, and they don’t live anywhere near each other!

As they were working out how to set up, one of the things they wanted to do was move the trailer for the old shingles to the other side of the house, close to the sun room. The supervisor was very happy to find out that what he thought was the cover of a septic tank was actually the cover for our well, so he didn’t have to worry about driving over a tank. He’d wanted to have the trailer over the cap, with the wheels on either side, but ended up pulling in where I’d suggested, instead, just to one side. It wasn’t as close to the sun room like they wanted, but it was pretty much under the west side of the main entry’s roof, so it still worked out.

I remembered to talk to them about not being able to drop loads of shingles onto the roof of the sun room, like they did on the other side of the house. Those windows would shatter. They were able to accommodate by carrying up one bundle of shingles at a time, little by little.

Because the day was warmer and there was little wind, once everything was done inside, I headed out to do a burn. Along with our usual burning of paper garbage and the cat litter sawdust, I was finally able to get the nearby pile of wood done as well. When the branch pile was chipped and they left a stack of logs too big for the chipper, I piled them around some burnable garbage that didn’t fit in the burn barrel, so the whole thing could get done at once. Today, I finally got to light it!

Wow, did that bonfire ever throw heat! Even though the top was covered with snow, it burned very well.

When I heard them talking about stopping for a break, the fire had burned low enough that I could leave it to make sure the food was nice and hot. At one point, I noticed one of the guys head to the outer yard and took a look, only to find he’d gone over to the fire to warm up! 😁

After they had lunch and got back to work, I went back to tending the fire. We have a lot of rotten pallets that I’d originally intended to have hauled to the dump, but I’m just going ahead and burning them. Later, when it’s time to clean up the ash piles, I’ll have to make sure we clean out all the nails and other bits of metal in the process!

Eventually, I had a chance to wander around and see how things were progressing on the far side of the house.

The guy in the photo above is working directly over the bedroom upstairs – and my daughter that was drying to sleep has her bed under the slope of that roof. Every now and then, something would drop off a shelf of curios she has on her wall and fall on her head. When she put the shelf up, she did considered that possibility, so that side of the shelf has all softer items, and not her rocks and gemstones collection! 😂

One of the things that didn’t happen was the replacement of the roof cap from the bathroom vent. Typically, they would have removed the old cap, put on a new one, and sealed it in place.

Well… we have something different. We don’t have a top piece that comes off. It’s one long piece that goes all the way to the bathroom. To remove it, he would have had to cut a hold in the roof, replaced the whole thing, the patch the hole up again – something that would take at least a couple of extra hours. There was, however, no need to do it. What we have there is perfectly fine and doesn’t need to be replaced. So they’ll just reseal around it when they lay the new shingles down. That is going to be removed from the final bill, too.

I started to wonder, though, what was going on with the chimney, when I saw they were already putting new shingles down in areas. Eventually, I asked the supervisor about it.

He didn’t know it was supposed to come down!

He hadn’t noticed that on the work order, which gets texted to him. He was expecting to be here 2 or 3 weeks ago and, since then, he’s had four or five more work orders sent to him. He was very glad that I’d brought it up!

The East side of the roof is done, but they’ll only have to move two, maybe three, shingles to take off the chimney. They will set the bricks aside for me, rather than throw them away. There are so many bricks around here, and they come in so handy, I am happy to have more!

My brother will be happy that they didn’t take down the TV antennae, and just worked around it, instead.

There was no way they were going to finish today, though. The sun room side of the roof was taking a lot longer, partly because of the different angles coming together, and partly because of having to take off the old satellite dish, and move the Starlink dish. He did as us to shut off the dish while they were working around it, just in case, so we were without internet for several hours.

When they were removing the last of the shingles on the sun room, I asked about the leak there. He asked where it was supposed to be, because there was nothing they could see. I told him where we thought it was, and he said he would make sure to check.

There was no rot!

I’m just really amazed. I feared they would find all kinds of rot, but there was none. That is quite a relief!

They worked as long as they could, but we got hit with another snag. He had a trailer to haul the singles to the dump insured only until today. I local dump isn’t open on Fridays, but I got our card that we are supposed to show the attendant, as proof we live in the area (some landfills charge fees, so people had started going to landfills in other rural municipalities to avoid them). It has the days and times for two other landfills in our RM.

None of them are open on Fridays.

He had to start searching to find a landfill that was open today that they could get to!

They kept working and cleaning until it was almost too dark to see. Tomorrow, they will be back with just his truck, no trailer.

While all that was going on, I got word from the cat lady. The cats all had their spays and are doing well. She also saw her own vet with another cat and showed pictures of Muffin while there, for an off-the-record consultation. He doesn’t think the swelling is an abscess, after all, which is good news. Basically, he said to keep bathing the eye, monitoring and keeping up with the lysine.

Which we were able to start up again, today. I ran out a while back, and a fresh supply arrived today. I’ve set up a monthly subscription for three 300 gram tubs of powdered lysine to be shipped at the beginning of the month. The first shipment arrived, several days earlier than expected. With three tubs a month, we shouldn’t run out before the next shipment arrives.

Meanwhile, Muffin will need some TLC when she comes back to us, and we’ll probably get some antibiotics with her as well. We should be getting just the two cats back. It didn’t come up because we were focused on the care Muffin will need, but Plushy and Princess are looking like they will be going to a family with young children. These two love lots of attention, so that should work out just fine!

Speaking of attention, when one of the crew had come in for lunch, I noticed he seemed a bit distracted by something. It turned out our two, big tuxedo boys had come over to say hello, and he was quite happily petting both of them! Thankfully, he was not allergic to cats, like the other poor guy. We are a terrible place for someone with cat allergies – inside, or out!

Towards the end of the day, when the guys were still cleaning up, my mother called. I updated her and told her they were coming back to finish tomorrow. When I told her they didn’t find any rot on this side of the house, either, she just scoffed, then told me how she’d seen on the news about how some company and done a roof, and then it collapsed. I told her, they’re just putting on new shingles, not a complete new roof! It sounds like she saw a story about a construction company that did shoddy work and, because it involved a roof, projected it onto this roofing company. For all I know, she saw this news story a decade ago, but is just thinking of it now. It’s much the same with how she’d seen a story ages ago, about funeral homes that would sell caskets and then, after the funeral was done, take back the casket, replace it with a cheap one, and resell the fancy one, and now she thinks that’s what was done to my father’s casket. She even convinced herself that the foundation stone his monument is sitting on got stolen. It didn’t. It’s still there. But for some reason she got it in her head that the monument was lower than it should have been, therefore the stone under it was stolen. Never mind that heavy equipment would be needed to do something like that, and it would probably cost more to steal it than the stone was worth!

She also wants someone from the roofing company to visit her. I never quite got to figuring out just who she is talking about. The salesman? The crew? Some manager? Thankfully, one of the crew came in to update me. I had to call her back later, and the topic didn’t come up again. Instead, she started going on about how my brother wasn’t here (heaven forbid, he actually work at his own job!), and hadn’t phoned her. She was wondering about how the payment was going to be done. I told her that, once the work is done, they’ll know how much it actually cost to do it. Once they had the final bill, they’d talk to my brother about it, because he’s their contact person. But that won’t happen until the job is complete. My brother still fears she will try to back out of her promise to pay for it and try to screw the company over. If she does what she’s done to us in the past, she might demand to only pay part of it, not all of it. The last time few times she did that, my brother got stuck paying the rest. I’m really hoping she’ll behave, though.

As for the errands I was not able to help my mother with, she managed to do some of them herself. It was a very nice day today, so she took her walker out to the grocery store, did a stock up shopping trip, and the grocery store delivered it to her, later. The only thing she didn’t do was go to the pharmacy, which is quite a bit further. My sister, however, is now supposed to be there on Tuesday, which is when I’m taking my mother’s care to the garage, so she should be able to help my mother with getting her prescription refills. She still has quite a bit left, so there is no urgency.

Tomorrow is supposed to be even nicer. The temperatures are supposed to slowly keep climbing all night, rather than getting cooler, and things are supposed to stay mild for quite some time. I’m quite good with that!

I’m also quite good with the idea of taking some pain killers and going to bed very early today. It may have been a nice day, and the fire I was tending was very warm, but now I’m paying for standing around outside for so long (must remember to bring a chair!), and the pain levels are really starting to kick in!

Plus, I want to get up early to do my round again, then start on something for the crew for lunch. I’m thinking a meat loaf would be nice this time. 😊😊

The Re-Farmer

What a day!

So much good news today!

While doing my morning rounds, I was very happy to spot all of the bitties. I was worried about the orange caterpillar, as I did not see it at all yesterday, but he was there today!

The little tuxedo came outside to eat, even though there was kibble inside. I found the orange bitty, with one of the white and greys wrapped around him! A few minutes later I came back, and there was the grey and white tabby. That one is a very boisterous kitty!

Last night, I didn’t get much sleep. I had to close up the three kittens from outside in the baby jail we put together for them, as they were just too active during the night, and their presence was keeping Butterscotch and Noserncrantz from coming down to eat or use the litter.

When I woke in the morning, Princess was asleep at the foot of my bed. She is small enough that she was able to squeeze through the larger openings in the top level of the baby jail!

When it was time to head out, I had those three, plus Big Rig. We just managed to fit two hard carriers and two soft carriers all in a row in the back of the van.

Big Rig was most angry about the whole thing. The kittens, however, were pretty chill and were soon curled up and relaxing.

I was just starting to drive out when a truck pulled into the driveway, hauling a trailer. The roofers had arrived!

I was expecting it to be just one guy, checking the place out and maybe dropping off supplies, but nope. They were going to get started!

So that changed my plans a bit.

I stopped along the way to get some gas, and some cat treats for the kitties, then continued on to meet with the cat lady. We were meeting in the parking lot of the smaller, closer Walmart that I sometimes go to. Her husband was driving their SUV, which was a bit scary, since he’d just had that accident (their truck was written off completely). As we transferred the kitties, we talked about my coming out to meet them again on Sunday. That’s as long as she’ll be able to hang on to them after their visit with the vet. On Sunday, she’s going to be picking up litters with 8 kittens in total. They are outdoor cats that an older gentleman is doing his best to take care of, but the RM (Rural Municipality) is going to come shoot them on Sunday if she doesn’t pick them up! So she’s going to be taking the sickest ones for now, which means ours have to come back sooner, to make space.

But not all of them, perhaps.

I’ve just been getting updates from her. Apparently, she has already found a home for Princess!! It will be confirmed tomorrow. She told me that suddenly, she’s had a number of people that have recently lost their older cats to illness or old age, and are interested in adopting. She said she hoped to get more of our cats adopted out between Christmas and New Year’s – and now it looks like she’s already found a home for one of them!

When I meet up with her on Sunday, not only will I be taking back the kitties, but she already sent me a photo of cat food donations she has for us! Four big bags of kibble, plus two cased of large size cans of wet cat food! She wants me to give wet cat food to the bitties, but it would be very difficult to get wet cat food for them, without having the bigger cats come around and eat it all, first. With that much donated cat food, we’ll be able to spread it out among the kibble trays, then put some where the bitties are, and they’ll have a chance to actually get some!

After we were done, my plan had been to go the rest of the way to the city and do the Costco shopping, but in the end, I just went to the Walmart we were already so close to. Since I’ll be back in just a few days, I didn’t want the extra driving.

It doesn’t take much to convince me to NOT go to the city.

I’m glad I changed my mind on that. There were a few things that I couldn’t get, and I skipped going to the Canadian Tire to get pellets for the litter for now, but it meant I got home quite a bit earlier.

The outside cats were all over the tarps they laid out to catch what was being thrown off the roof!

Unfortunately, it turned out one of the guys was very allergic to cats.

When I got there, he asked if we could make some coffee and tea, which we were quite happy to do – it’s not like there’s a coffee shop they can go to for their breaks nearby! Actually, my daughter got that started while I brought the shopping in, then put away the van. She’s still pretty sick, so as soon as I was able to take over, she disappeared back upstairs, so as not to pass her cold on to the guys. It gave me a chance to heat up the chili I’d made yesterday, and I was able to offer them chili and rice as well. There were four guys working on the roof, but only two came in for tea and food during their break. I’m sure they had worked up quite an appetite by then, too!

They had cleared off all the old shingled and checked where we had problems with leaking. They could see where water had got in, but there was NO rot!

Amazingly, they kept at it until the east side of the house was done; the roof over the “new part” of the house, including the main entry, plus the section of roof above the second floor windows. It was fully dark by the time they stopped!

Things got really crazy after they’d laid down the plastic, and were starting to bring up the packages of shingles. They were dropping really hard – each package weighs about 80 pounds – and the whole house would shake! One particularly hard drop resulted in the plastic cover over the kitchen light to fall off, and it broke when it hit the floor. It’s a very old light fixture and has been needing to be replaced for a long time, so I’m not concerned about the breakage, but I did go out to let them know what had happened. There’s really nothing they can do about it, without risking injury. Still, we had a few things vibrating off shelves on our walls. Nothing else that broke, at least!

They will be back again to do the west side of the house tomorrow. Now that they know how to get here (they got lost, this morning! Someone gave them bad directions), I expect they were get here around 7:30 or 8 in the morning. They’ll be bringing another guy on the crew, which should make it 5 in total.

I will have to remember to tell them they can’t drop packages of shingles like that on the run room roof. It’ll shatter the windows. They’re going to have to find some way to drop them off higher up on the roof, or on the other side of the old kitchen.

Tomorrow, I was supposed to go to my mother’s to help her with errands. She’d told me my sister was also going to be visiting with her, so I called to confirm that. If my sister could drive my mother around, I could stay home while the roofers are here.

Well, it turned out my sister cancelled on coming out. I told my mother about the roofers being here, and that they were expecting to finish tomorrow.


The first thing she wanted to know is if my brother were here. She wanted him to be here while the roofers were here, and apparently he’d promised to do so. Which I don’t think he did. He can’t just not show up for work like that. I told her that, and said that’s part of why I wanted to be here, rather than at her place. I could keep an eye on things. Since she was already working herself up, being angry at my brother, I thought I’d tell her the good news about there not being any rot to repair, so far. Well, that made her angry, too, as she sarcastically commented “oh, sure… as if they’d know.” Which blew me away. Yes, once the old shingles were off, they would be able to see if there was any actual rot. Then she started ranting about making sure there was “insurance” (she meant warranty). I said yes, there are warranties. At least two of them; a materials warranty, and a workmanship warranty. She wants it written down. Yes, Mom, it’s part of the contract. It’s all spelled out. Oh, sure, she says; they’ll give us a receipt, but she wanted the warranty in writing.

My brother and I have both been trying to explain to her that this is a professional company that deals with contracts and warranties and roofing is all they do. I even commented on how she was used to just hiring some neighbour, and one that drink so the job, too. But he did a good job, she insisted! My response was “did he?” Apparently, she’d hired him to do the roof of the storage house. Where the eavestroughs were never put back on again, and are just hovering, several inches away from the eaves. That roof is also a simple roof compared to the house. One thing is for sure. There would have been no contract, no warranty, and maybe – maybe! – just an invoice. But she would have had no problem with doing that again, instead of hiring a professional roofing company!

I had to change the subject back to tomorrow. My mother has simply decided that the roofers are going to go a bad job, they are going to over charge, and they are going to try and cheat her, because she’s an old lady, and companies always cheat old ladies. Never mind that they’re dealing with my brother, not her. She is determined to be angry about all of it!

She was still upset when I finally finished the call but, in the end, I will not be going over there tomorrow. I will call in the evening and see about coming out the day after, though it will be with my van, since her car isn’t booked with the garage until next week.

That was the only sour note of the day. Well. That and the amazing crashing on the roof when they dropped those packages of shingles!

It’s not even 7pm as I write this, but I feel ready to go to bed already! Hopefully, get some actual sleep, too. But first, I think I’ll make some stew for the crew for tomorrow. And we’ll be sure to have a pot of coffee, and a kettle going for tea, too! It’s supposed to be a lot warmer. The forecasted high is now -4C/24F tomorrow. If it’s a calm day, it would be a good day to do a burn, too.

We shall see!

The Re-Farmer

A double whammy of good news!

The cat lady contacted me last night. After finding homes for the two bitty babies we found in the field, she now has someone who wants to adopt the last surviving bitty!!

Which meant, of course, that we had to bring him inside as quickly as we could. I wasn’t able to do that last night, as it was too dark to see, so we left it until this morning.

When I first topped up the kibble and water bowls, I couldn’t see him anywhere, but I’ve often seen him out after I’ve finished my rounds, so did those. Making my way back around to the kibble house, I was greeted by an orange tabby.

It wasn’t Rolando Moon.

Nutmeg is back!!

At least I assume it’s Nutmeg. I suppose it could be Toesencrantz, but I was able to pet him, and Toezencrantz was never socialized.

The kibble was already mostly gone in most of the trays, so I topped a couple of them to make sure Nutmeg got a good meal. He wasn’t too friendly with the other cats, but food was a higher priority for him! He looks really healthy, though. Usually, when the wayward males come back for the winter, they look like pretty starved.

Then, I spotted the bitty baby! He had finally emerged from the cat house, so I snagged him.

He’s now in my office/bedroom with me, and has had his first meal of wet cat food. As I write this, he is exploring the room, climbing things – especially the little cat tree we have in here – and checking things out.

Cheddar and Leyendecker were immediately curious about him and followed him around, sniffing. Bitty sniffed right back and there was lots of purring.

Butterscotch and Nosencrantz are not too sure of things. Butterscotch is perched in the window sill, and I’ve heard her growling at him. Nosencrantz is on her top shelf by the ceiling, watching him from above, looking shocked, but has not tried to come down.

And I just had to pause typing the above because he climbed up onto my desk. Now he’s climbing the shelf to Nosencrantz, but he’s too small to get very far.

I think I’m going to be very busy supervising a baby today!

The Re-Farmer

Holy Smokes! It’s done! (plus amazing news!)

So I emailed the plumber earlier, not expecting to actually hear from him until Monday.

He called less than 2 hours later. After he got our location, he said he’d be here in about 20 minutes.

I don’t think it took him that long!

After checking the pipe out in both basements, they got to work and brought out the auger. (His assistant was a guy that spoke Ukrainian, and seemed to have almost no English. Likely a war refugee.) They sent that thing well past where the block was – he could tell when they hit it. Given the age of the pipes, he said the block was likely really, really old, hardened kitchen grease, and all the things that go along with it.

After they augered the pipe, he went to the laundry drain and used the super industrial drain cleaner we’d finally tried. When I saw it, I mentioned that to him and said that, when that didn’t work, we knew we had to call in a plumber! He was nodding his head before I even finished. If that stuff doesn’t work, no amount of drain cleaner will do it.

Once that was in, we had to test it out. We ran water, and it seemed fine but, from the kitchen sink, it was a problem only when we had to pour out large amounts of water at once, not just from the tap running. The kitchen is far enough away from the tanks and pumps that there just isn’t that much water or pressure coming out of the tap. I ended up filling one sink a couple of inches, while also having water in a container, then draining the one sink while dumping water down the other at the same time, while he poured water into the laundry drain.

When I came around, there was water puddling under the washing machine.

It was also smoking.

The water, I mean. The puddle of water under the drain was smoking.

Remember that industrial strength drain cleaner I mentioned?

Yeah, there was still some in the pipe, and it leaked out with the water, and was smoking.

He had to pull the washer and drier out, so he could see what was going on. After pouring water into the laundry drain again, he discovered the P trap was leaking.

And smoking.

After fiddling with it a bit to see if he could stop the leak, he ended up just cutting it out and replacing it.

While he was doing that, I brought over some old towels that he used – while wearing gloves – to wipe up the puddle. By the end of it, two towels went straight into a garbage can that I brought over, so there was no chance of coming in contact with this stuff.

After that, a new P trap was installed, we waited a bit, then tested it again. This time, he took one of the hoses off the washing machine and ran water straight into the drain.

No leaking!

Then I did the double sink thing again, while he ran water into the laundry drain.

No leaking, and no backing up.

The real test, of course, will be doing a test run of the washing machine, which we will do later. He also recommended using drain cleaner regularly, especially over the next few weeks, to keep the pipes clear of built of grime. Time to get more of that septic friendly drain maintenance stuff we had been using for exactly that purpose!

After doing some more mopping up, the washer and drier were put back, and they were off.

The final bill was higher than when he cleared our septic drain, as I was afraid it would be. The drain clearing plus 1 hour was a set rate, plus the cost of part, and it came to just under $400. With everything being so much more expensive now, though, I’m not actually surprised. However, we had enough squirreled away that I could pay the bill, and not have to go into the money for the tree guys. We actually did have 30 days to pay the bill, but I wanted to get that done and over with. I hate owing money!

Oh, my goodness!!!!

I am texting with the cat lady as I write this. She just gave me the most amazing news!

The two bitty babies she rescued for us are soon to be adopted! They’re getting their vaccines next week, and they’ll be in their new home at the end of November! Someone who recently lost her two 18 year old cats is adopting them both.

I am just so incredibly excited to hear that! Plus, after she has adopted out another cat she’s fostering, she’ll have room for 2 more of ours for placement.

Plus, the 2 spays and a neuter she still has planned for us.

All this, while waiting for her upcoming organ transplant…

The cat lady is just so amazing!

Also, she just informed me that Cabbages actually allows their dog to pick her up and carry her upstairs to her bed. I would love to see pictures of that!!!

Okay, this day is ending on a really fabulous note – even with a hit to the budget!

I’m just so happy right now!

The Re-Farmer

More good news!

I left really early to take my mother’s car to the garage. It was a pleasant enough day that I didn’t mind having to find something to do for a few hours, and with the history of my mother’s car, I would not have been at all surprised if the tire blew out on the way.

There’s a reason I’m paranoid about tires.

As I headed out, I paused to look around for the bitty baby that had been under the cats’ house earlier. As I looked around the entry, I startled Junk Pile, who was in the cat bed inside, next to the window. She jumped out of the cat bed, and I could see she had been nursing two of her white and grey kittens.

And a bitty baby looked up at me, smacking its lips.

She was nursing him, too!

We may not know who the mama is, but it’s good to see that a lactating mama with an older litter is willing to take care of another cat’s baby!

The trip into town was uneventful. The tire held its air and didn’t blow out on me. 😄 After dropping off the key, I headed up into the “downtown” area. Since it was about lunch time, I was thinking of going to a particular restaurant, only to find it was partially boarded up and closed! From the damage to the door and frame, clearly someone had broken in. Such a shame! I hope they will be able to reopen. Most of the restaurants along that strip are only open in the summer, for tourist season. This one is normally open all year. They only have five or six tables. Most of their business is take out.

So I decided to have lunch at the Chinese restaurant I used to go to when I was driving my younger daughter to her previous job at the pharmacy for a Sunday shift. They were only open for 4 hours, so it wasn’t worth driving home and back, so I was stay in town, and usually had Chinese buffet for lunch. I was thrilled to see their buffet was open again. This place is also where we will sometimes get a special occasion take out. When we do that, we order enough to last the four of us a few days, so it’s a pretty big order! The owner actually remembered me when I came in, commenting that it’s been quite a while. Yes it has! I didn’t realize how much I missed them until today. It’s not like we ever go out to eat often in the first place! I haven’t had an actual sit down meal here in about three years.

While I was there, I took advantage of having good signal coverage and messaged the cat lady to let her know that I saw the bitty baby being nursed by the one lactating mom that’s still hanging around. She was very happy to hear it. 😊

On my way back towards the garage, I was able to stop at several places for errands. One of them was the pharmacy. We’ve been getting our prescriptions delivered, but have skipped for the last few weeks. One of my husband’s medications, a weekly injection, which I am now also on for a different reason, has only limited coverage with his private insurance. It covers 90% of the cost, but only up to a certain “reasonable dose” amount. At 90%, we were still paying about $70 for one injection pen, which means the retail cost per pen is almost $700. Each pen comes with 6 needles, which gives an idea of what doses are typical, but my doctor had me building up to a dose that is basically the entire amount in the pen. Double what my husband was on! So for my husband, he’d need a new pen every two weeks, while I would go through a pen a week at maximum dose. Even with insurance, my prescription alone would have taken up almost our entire prescription budget for the month – and we already had to increase it because of rising costs! I was on the maximum dose only once when we found out it was no longer covered by our private insurance.

Now, this province has its own public coverage for prescription medications, though it’s something that has to be applied for. After a deductible is paid, the province’s health care system covers the cost. For those prescriptions that are covered by both the provincial and our private insurance coverage, the private insurance covers the 90% cost until the annual deductible with the provincial system is reached. Then it switches to the provincial insurance, which covers the costs 100%. These injections are not normally covered, but when our doctor found out we were having problems, he applied for special coverage. When I went to the post office to pick up the replacement phone, my husband and I both had letters letting us know it was approved.

So I stopped at the pharmacy and got it double checked. Their system showed it was good to go – and they had the prescription in stock, so I was able to get both our prescriptions. I’ve been off it for so long, though, I’ll probably have to build up from a low dose again. Which I don’t mind doing, since it means one pen will last a month, instead of a week. Also, when I last spoke to my doctor about it, he reduced my dose to what the insurance company will cover, so now I’m on the same dose as my husband.

What I’m not looking forward to are the side effects I had from it. It took me a while to figure out that this prescription was the cause of my… volatile intestinal distress, shall we say. The doctor wants to try me on this medication for a year, but if these problems come back, I’m going to ask him to put me back on the old medication. Not only is it cheaper, but I didn’t have any side effects from it.

It took a while for that to get cleared up, and my husband also had his bubble packs ready, so I was able to get our prescriptions done. While waiting for the injection prescriptions to be filled, I used the time to look for some lecithin powder for the outside cats. I did find some, in capsules, but only one brand of supplements. It was also soy based, which is NOT recommended for cats. When the prescriptions were ready, I asked about it, and that was all they had available.

I’ll have to ask the cat lady where she gets hers, because she said she got it as a human supplement (rather then from a vet) for really cheap – and the capsules I found were not very cheap! So many of the kittens have gooby eyes, but there’s no way we can get them to a vet or treat them. The ones with the worst of it are too feral.

So, that will have to wait.

One of my other errands was to get my driver’s license renewed, which required a new photo this year. The vehicle insurance and registration for both our van, and my mother’s car, needed to be renewed as well. So that is now all taken care of, well before our deadline.

By the time I made it back to the garage, they had my mother’s car in, and the tire off, early. My timing was just right; they were in the process of examining the rim.

The tire had nothing wrong with it. It was the rim that was leaking air. With the type of rims my mother’s car has, the chrome starts to peel after a while, and that compromises the seal. It just needed to be cleaned up and smoothed out. After they explained it to me, I was able to drop my bags off in the car, then head across the street for one last errand; a quick stop at the grocery store across the street. By the time I was done, so was my mother’s car.

It cost less than $35 to get it fixed! I don’t think I’ve ever had such a low car repair bill! 😄😄

Before I left, I messaged the family to let them know, and ask someone to leave the wagon by the garage so I wouldn’t have to back up to the house to unload. When I got home, my older daughter was sitting on the front step, absolutely enveloped with kittens running around and climbing her, as she tried to pet them all at once! I think she had something like six kittens, all at once, when I came up with the loaded wagon!

She helped me bring things inside, then I stayed out to refill the kibble bin, then top up their kibble trays outside. I wanted to get all the kittens out of the sun room, so I could close it up for the night. I don’t want any more racoons getting in and eating all the kibble I’d just added to the bin!

I then stayed out to pet as many kittens as I could, do a head count (the number kept changing, but I counted anywhere from 21 to 26!), and look for the bitty baby.

I thought I spotted him, so I stuck my phone past the carpet strips covering the entry to the cats’ house and tried for a photo.

There he was!

After a while, I spotted him climbing the carpet strips again, and I was able to reach in and grab him.

Oh, he’s still a spitfire! That little one was really trying to fight back! I’m happy to say, though, that once I had him in my hands, he does look like he’s grown a bit. He did eventually calm down, and after a good little cuddle, I put him back inside the cats’ house.

I’m so happy he’s doing well and being taken care of!

I think I’ll have to ask one of the girls to take a flashlight, get down on the ground, and look under the cats’ house, though. I was hearing some noises from under there that didn’t sound very catlike to me. It didn’t sound skunk like, either. I did hear one of the cattens making a similar noise later, though, so maybe I’m off base, but if there’s a racoon or something that has made a den under there, I’d like to know about it! It seems unlikely, since when I put kibble on the ground where they go under the cats’ house, I usually end up seeing at least three, sometimes five, little kittens faces at the food. I don’t think they’d be under there, if there were something other than a cat under there, with them!

So today has been a good day. We have good news about the bitty kitty, good news about my mom’s car, good news about our prescription coverage, and even good news about getting my driver’s license and vehicle paperwork taken care of early.

And while I was working on this, the girls made supper, and the house smells delicious! Time to go eat. 😁

The Re-Farmer

Tree protector, and good roof news!

Last night, I finished off a section of chicken wire salvaged from row covers from last year’s garden, and made a protector for the ash tree sapling my mother gave me to transplant. I sprayed it with the high visibility paint last night, so it was dry and ready to set up, this morning.

You can’t see them, but it is pegged to the ground.

This should keep it safe from getting eaten by deer or something!

This afternoon, we were outside harvesting our potatoes, which I will share about in my next post. While we were out, I got a message from my brother, on his way home from our mother’s. Once he was home, we were able to talk on the phone.

The short version: my mother agreed to one of the estimates, and provided my brother with cash for the deposit.

We’re getting a new roof.

As expected, she did start to back off and starting saying maybe someone else could pay for half of it. My brother reminded her that if she started playing her games again, he would simply cancel the whole thing and the roof won’t get done. There is a possibility she’ll try again, but if it comes down to it, he will use his Power of Attorney to make sure the company gets paid. She can’t mess around with people like this, but has a long history of it. For now, she is following through with her promise.

While talking to my brother, I told him about how, in her efforts to lure us out here, my mother insisted that this place was “perfect”. We didn’t need anything. We could leave everything behind and move right in, because everything we needed was here. Everything was “perfect”.

Of course, we knew that wasn’t how it would be, but we were still thrown by just how bad we discovered things had gotten. As I put it to my brother, my mother didn’t keep up her end of the bargain, in her efforts to get us to move out here. Now her habit of making promises, then backing out of them when it came time to follow through, is costing her thousands of dollars more than if she had followed through on the roof situation back in 2019.

There is one possible thing we can do to help with that, though. Since the court ruled against our vandal (and he now owes me $500 in court costs), he had 30 days to appeal. I’m not sure if that was 30 calendar days or 30 business days. Either way, I’ve not been served with anything. Which means we might be able to get a scrap dealer out here to get rid of the old cars and other metal junk our vandal was trying to get money from me for. I don’t expect we’d get more than a few hundred dollars out of it, but who knows. It’s not something we’d do until spring, though.

The main thing is, we’re getting a much needed new roof. The work will likely be done in November, though their schedule might allow for something in October. We shall see.

I’ve sent an email and phoned the company to start the ball rolling. I hope to hear from them tomorrow, though they might contact my brother directly for the financial part of it, first.

I wish I could say I feel relieved, but I probably won’t feel that until the work is done and paid for!

The Re-Farmer

Our 2022 garden: fall planting, garden progress, and exciting news!

I’m just going to start with the exciting news.

The tree guys came today! They’ve been here all morning, and have just headed into town for a lunch break. They have finished the big pile in the outer yard. When they come back, they’ll do the small pile by the garage, then work on the piles in the maple grove.

Now, when the owner of the company came here for an estimate, we talked about getting as much done as possible for 3 hours, because that’s what my budget is.

When the guys came this morning and I was walking around with one of them, showing him where the piles were, and where they could dump the chips, he told me I’ve got them all day. He knew I had cash for them, and whatever else it cost, we can pay them as we are able.


Which is good, because that big pile took about 4 hours to do.


Check out the sunflowers we have opening now! We did not plant any sunflowers this year, though it had been in the plans. There are a few things we didn’t plant, with how crazy this spring was. And yet, we have several sunflowers growing, all planted by the birds. And it looks like the extra bit of fertilizer they were in helped, too! 😉

The Little Finger eggplant in the black grow bag are blooming! It would be awesome if we actually got some eggplant before the first frost hits.

I finally got to working on the cleaning up the lettuce bed.

I kept at least two of each variety of lettuce to go to seed.

After working on pulling out as many weed roots as I could, I decided it was not worth trying to plant anything at the end closest to the house. There’s just too many things spreading into there.

On the left is the Bloomsdale spinach I already planted.

Between the kittens and the grasshoppers, I decided these needed to be covered. I had some longer plastic coated metal stakes I got last year. The metal was hollow tubes, and they bent and broke easily in our soil. I ended up breaking some of them in half, to have me a bunch of shorter rods. I finally got to use the PEX tubing I picked up for this purpose. They fit over the metal stakes perfectly.

The small space near the Bloomsdale spinach got more Bloomsdale in it, while the longer space got Hybrid Olympia spinach planted in it.

After lashing the last of my 6′ bamboo stakes to the middle of the hoops, I grabbed the shorter pieces of mosquito netting from the main garden and set them up here. They are not pegged to the ground. I’m hoping to not need to do that. As they are now, it would be a simple matter to slide the slips up the hoops to be able to reach under. The excess on the ends are rolled around boards, which can also be easily moved, if needed.

The netting does have holes in it, so insects could still get in, but not as much.

When cleaning up this bed in the fall, I’m hoping to start adding walls to build it up higher. I’m just not sure what I’ll have available to use for that. I don’t expect to make high raised beds here, but I do want to have something in between a high and a low raised bed. Partly to make it easier on the back, but also partly to get it up and away from all those invasive plants! That and working around the lilac is a pain. This bed will be a maximum of 2′ wide, so we’ll be able to each all of it from just one side.

Oh! I see the tree guys coming back on the garage cam. Yay!

I am just so excited by the fabulous job they are doing!

The Re-Farmer

Ginger, sliced and snipped!

We have good news!

We just got a call from the surgeon at the vet clinic.

The surgery went very well. His heart rate was steady the whole time, and there was minimal bleeding. When she called, he was starting to try and lift his head.

And yes, he got snipped too, so when he is all healed up, he will also be safe around the ladies.

We will get more instructions when we pick him up, which should be about 4 hours from the time I am writing this. I mentioned that we will be keeping him isolated in the sun room and asked for how long we should do that, before bringing him in with the other cats. She said to wait until the wound is fully healed, which should be about 2 weeks. That will give him time to get used to the leg not being there anymore, and puts him at less risk if there are any altercations with other cats. I mentioned we were thinking of slowly introducing other cats to him, in the sun room, and she thought that was a good idea.

He will be coming home with more the pain killers we have already been giving him, plus another that had me laughing. My husband is on the same medication! She said it might make him groggy, and I just had to add, “it does that to humans, too.”

We will be getting another call with what the final bill will be (it wasn’t finished at the time she was calling me), so we know what to expect when we come to get him at the end of the clinic’s day. It sounds like they have just started to open on Sundays, because the doctor had to actually look up what the “end of the day” meant. 😀

The main thing is that all is well with the Ginger bug!


The Re-Farmer

Good news!

And it only took 2 years and 5 months.

My husband got a letter from the pain clinic in the city today. He has an appointment for next month!

Which will make it almost exactly 2 1/2 years since he was first put on the waiting list.

It took 2 years and a new doctor making some noise just to finally get their 14 page (or was it 17 pages?) questionnaire. That got sent in, but then the lock down happened and my husband, like so many others, got knocked off the priority list for health care.

He had to call in to confirm, then answer pandemic related questions. He was also told if he doesn’t have a mask, they’ll provide one.

He had a little chat with our daughter, and she will be making him a pirate mask.

Finally, he’ll be able to talk to a specialist about managing his pain. Who knows what will come of it. At the pain clinic before we moved, he had a team of 5 different specialists overseeing his case. The heart clinic out here has a team of 5 specialists, too, but they all work together on the same things, so when he comes in for an appointment there, he can see any one of them. At the previous pain clinic, each team member focused on a different area, such as pain medications, physical pain management, etc, with one primary care giver. We have no clue what to expect out here. So much of the health care in this province is different from before. Even with basic health care, they do things slightly differently, though at least part of that is the difference between living in the city, or in the boonies, like we are.

I am really hoping this is the start of some sort of treatment plan to at least get the pain under better control. We’ve known for some time – and at least one specialist made sure we understood this – that my husband will never be not-disabled again. He will never be 100% pain free. The best we can expect is an improvement in quality of life. Any improvement at all will be a blessing.

The Re-Farmer