Getting better, and it’s a smol cat!

Yesterday, the entire family spent as much time as possible in bed, getting plenty of rest and fluids to get over our colds. I’m happy to say we’re all improved quite a bit today. Yesterday, I had to get the girls to do the morning cat feeding, but today, I was able to do it myself again.

Look what I found!

So smol!!!

This is one of the kittens from what had been the youngest litter until the bitties showed up. We’ve had some progress socializing them, though it’s hard to tell at times. There are so many white and grey kittens from two litters – eight, altogether – and they run around so much, it’s hard to keep track of them. I think this is one that has allowed me to pick it up before, but I’m not sure!

This morning, I did a head count and reached 27. Then I counted again and counted 28. I get a different number, every time I try to count heads! 😄

Yesterday, we were predicted to hit 4C/40F, but ended up reaching at least 5C/41F. Today, we’re supposed to reach a high of 3C/37F. My husband’s disability payments come in on the last business day of the month (private insurance) and third last business day of the month (CPP Disability). However, then those days fall on a Monday, as the CPP Disability has this month, it actually shows up in our account on Saturday. So we got his payment today. Normally, I would take advantage of that, and the warm temperatures, and head into the city to do our first big stock up shop for the month. However, when I was cleaning out the ground floor litter boxes this morning (we were behind on that, with everyone being sick!), I actually broke into a sweat. So while I’m feeling a lot better today, I’m still weak as a kitten (a smol kitten!), and definitely not well enough to drive to the city. We’ll see how things are over the next couple of days. I hope I can make the trip tomorrow, because the forecast for the day after says to expect snow showers. I’d really prefer not to be driving on that. More because I don’t trust other drivers! 😁

So today is going to be another quiet day of focusing on recovery.

The Re-Farmer

Goodbye, Bitty, and the kindness of strangers

Well, it’s done.

Cheddar was willing to cuddle, but when Bitty started trying to get under him to nurse, it was a bit too much!

The cat lady now has the bitty baby. She plans to put him on antibiotics right away, since his eyes are leaky (I don’t include the lysine with the inside cats’ kibble). She showed me pictures of his siblings, which is when I discovered even more good news. When she told me she found someone who worked in a vet clinic willing to adopt Bitty, I figured this was someone different, but it turned out that this is the same person who is adopting the other two! This is someone who had lost her two cats after 18 years, not long ago. For her to now adopt three yard kittens from the same litter is just amazing! I had sent photos to the cat lady, so I’m guessing she at least saw pictures of him, but that’s it.

I had an extra surprise when the cat lady and I met up in town.

Another donated cat bed, more blankets, and 6 bags of kibble! Plus treats.

The cat bed will go into the cats’ house. Maybe the blankets, too. Those are knitted and donated by volunteers.

As for Bitty, he settled into the cat carrier and never made a peep until just before he got transferred over.

I gave him the hat he likes to sleep in to keep. I can make another one!

Previously, we had talked about getting the last 2 indoor females done, plus one outdoor male. The cat lady would have come to our place, driven them to another city, further away, to get done, then hung on to them for a week to recover, then bring them back here.

Clearly, something had happened, and she never got back to me on that.

It turns out that she’s been having issues with vets cancelling appointments, lack of communication, and even people she’s trying to help making it harder for her. Plus, vet costs are getting astronomical. There isn’t much we can do to help, but I can at least drive the cats to the local vet, or meet her in town like today. Apparently, this is not common. 😥 However, our sun room is now winterized, and our nearest vet has moved to a new, bigger, location, so we can take care of things like driving the cats to and from, and have a recovery room for them.

She also has funds left from a generous donation specifically to have cats spayed and neutered in the area – and where we live is considered “in the area” because we are willing and able to drive them to town. It turns out there is a sports celebrity that has a cottage in the area, and after she was the only person willing to come out to help a stray in -40C/-40F, this is his way of saying thankyou. As long as she spends the money on spays and neuters, he will be making monthly donations!

I brought up that, because we had so many kittens this year, we really need to focus on getting outside females done. Once she was assured that we had a place for them to recover, and that we could drive them in, she said she would try the nearest vet clinic again. If all goes well, we will get two females, then two males, done before Christmas – and before the real cold is expected to set in! I’m still holding out for a mild winter, but January and February are typically the most several months (and the reason we work to have at least a couple months of supplies in stock, in case we can’t get out!).

So she will work to arrange that, then get back to me, and we’ll have to work on socializing more of the females! Calicos and torties are almost always female, but they won’t let us near them. The white and greys are getting friendlier, but we’re having a hard time telling them apart, and only a couple are confirmed male. When the girls were tending the fire pit yesterday, they had cats all over them, and every now and then would pick up a white and grey kitten, only to realize it wasn’t one of the friendlies they were expecting.

A good excuse to get the fire pit going more often! 😁

The only down side is, certain mystery health issues came back with a vengeance. My breathing issues came back a few days ago and it doesn’t seem to matter if I’m sitting or standing, lying down or leaning. Even when I was helping my mother with her shopping yesterday, I had to pause a few times because I was starting to get dizzy and ill. I made sure my mother never saw it, though! Then last night, the mystery pain in my side suddenly hit me while I tried to get into bed, making it difficult to sleep even after the spasms were under control. The pain hasn’t gone away, and at times I am having trouble standing upright.

I should go to the doctor about it, but I don’t see the point. Clinics still have to demand masks, and I can’t wear a mask. I mean, who thinks making someone with breathing difficulties wear a breathing barrier makes sense? Never mind that it’s been repeatedly demonstrated to have no benefit, while causing plenty of harm. The other thing is, I was referred to a respiratory specialist over 2 years ago, and have still heard nothing. My mother hasn’t heard from the kidney specialist she was referred to, either. Unless it’s the Vid, or an emergency, people just aren’t getting health care right now, and those testing positive for the Vid are being badly damaged or killed by the treatment protocols. Frankly, I don’t think it’s even safe for someone like me – old, broken and fat – to go to a doctor right now. I could barely get taken seriously even before all this BS. Nothing like being sent to test after test, scan after scan, procedure after procedure, with all the tests coming back normal to have doctors start looking at you funny and suggesting it’s all in your head. If they can’t find it, it must not exist.

Bah. I’m just venting right now. I’m having trouble sitting up in my chair and breathing properly as I type this, and it’s distracting.

So, back to the topic at hand!

The Bitty is now away with the cat lady, and will be reunited with his siblings in a wonderful new forever home.

I’m going to miss him, but I’m so very happy for all the bitties!

The Re-Farmer

Our 2023 garden: garlic planted, and topping up the high raised bed

Earlier today, I made a trip into town to hit the hardware store. I found the screws in the size I needed, though the cost was insane. A box with only 100 screws was $12.99 – about $4 more than the last time I got a 100 count box! Still, we’ll be able to finish the water bowl shelter now.

I also picked up a glass cutter. We have one somewhere, but I have no idea what happened to it. While I was in the city yesterday, the girls worked on clearing the broken glass from the inner pane of one of the sun room windows. There are still pieces that are firmly attached at the sides. Until that’s done, we can’t let the cats into the sun room. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get that cleaned up soon.

I was really happy to find the lever type door handle I was looking for. Just a simple, inexpensive handle for an interior door. It was easy to install, and it now no longer hurts to open my door!

Later on, my older daughter and I headed out to do some work in the garden, including planting these.

The Nootka Rose garlic on the left are a soft neck garlic. On the right, above the cloves, you can see the hard necks from the middle of the bulbs. They do make it easier to break the cloves apart! The cloves are larger, and there are fewer of them. Of the four bulbs, one of them had only three cloves!

The soft neck garlic has nothing like that in the middle. Just smaller and smaller cloves. I’ve never planted soft neck garlic before. While the hard neck garlic should be planted in the fall, in our climate zone, we can plant soft neck garlic in the spring – but we’re planting both now.

We moved the mulch aside and planted them the same way as the first row we planted a few days ago. The row in the middle of the bed got the hard neck Music variety, because there are fewer of them. Less reaching needed when it’s time to harvest!

After laying out the cloves to see how to space them, the kittens absolutely would not leave them alone! They also really, really wanted to dig in those freshly uncovered rows!

After planting, the rows were lightly covered to reduce compaction while watering – and protect from kitties.

Which didn’t work very well. Several of them started digging in to them to poop! One wouldn’t stop even while being directly spayed with the hose!

*sigh*

We did eventually persuade them to go elsewhere.

With the Nootka Rose garlic, there were enough that we planted only the largest cloves.

The remaining smaller cloves are now in the kitchen for us to taste test. 😊

That done, my daughter did some other clean up and gathering of support poles, while I turned my attention to the high raised bed.

The chard remains were pulled. They’re actually looking better after several frosts then they have all summer, now that there are no longer grasshoppers eating them. We were never able to eat any of it!

As expected, the soil level has dropped a fair bit, as the organic material buried in layers below, settle. It looks like some mice may have been trying to tunnel in one corner.

I have no doubt Rolando Moon has taken care of that problem for us already.

The last of the vines from the squash patch were added for more organic material – then smashed as flat as I could get it before adding fresh soil. The remaining soil sifted from what is now the garlic bed came in quite handy!

It had settled enough that it took three large wheelbarrows full of soil to top it up! I probably could have gotten away with two and a half, but it’s going to continue to settle, so a little extra is fine.

It then got a light, thin mulch of grass clippings before I gave the whole thing a thorough watering. I just want to protect the soil surface, not insulate it. In the spring, the mulch will be removed so the soil can warm up and thaw out faster.

We haven’t decided what to plant here next year, yet, but I think we should give it at least one more year for the upper layers to break down before we try to plant any deep root vegetables in it.

I feel like I’m really behind on preparing the beds for the winter. The girls aren’t able to help as much as usual, either. My younger daughter has been having knee issues to the point that she’s now using a cane to get around the house. She did try to go to a doctor about it, about 2 years ago, but it wasn’t taken seriously because she’s so young. It was already a battle to get her to see a doctor in the first place, so that certainly didn’t help. Anyhow, she does the best she can but, right now I’m actually the most able bodied person in our household. Which is kinda scary, considering how much I’m hurting this year! I didn’t expect my hands to be the main problem, though. Usually it’s my wrecked knees and feet. They’ve actually been relatively good, lately. Either that or the pain in my hands is making it seem like they are better.

Ah, well. We do what we can. It won’t be the end of the world if some beds don’t get weeded before winter and need to be done in the spring. There are other things that are higher on the necessity list.

Little by little, it’ll get done.

The Re-Farmer

Morning disasters, and morning cuteness

What a rough start to the day.

But first, some cuteness.

I think we can safely assume this tortie is a Broccoli baby. I’m starting to see it slightly more often, though still not as much as Broccoli Baby! 😁

It’s hard to say, but it’s possible that Broccoli’s kittens are actually the oldest ones. I seem to recall seeing her showing up at the kibble house looking not-pregnant, before I discovered Junk Pile’s kittens in the cat’s house. The difference in ages would be less than a week, I think.

My morning started out pretty sh***y. Literally. While sitting on my bedside, I spotted something that looked wrong in an empty shelf. I have a wall that’s almost completely covered with salvaged shelfing. Parts of it has blocked by my craft table, so they shelves there are empty. The cats like to use them to sleep in, but this one shelf at floor level, we’ve had problems with Nosencrantz using it to poop in, instead of the litter box. It’s hard to see under there. When I discovered this had happened, one of my daughters had to crawl under the table to clean it up for me – I physically cannot get at it.

Well, it had happened again.

That shelf is now cleaned up and blocked off with a box. The cats have lost one of their napping places.

While my daughter worked on that, I went to head outside to do my morning rounds.

I found this.

The sun room was completely torn apart. I took this picture after picking up the kibble bin, which had been pulled right out of its shelf. Thankfully, the lid mostly stayed on and very little had spilled out. Stuff had been knocked off the shelf above the kibble bin, and it looks like something tried to get in behind the rest, as it was knocked askew. I was using kibble bags to hold garbage; one paper bag with burnable garbed in it, one plastic bag with non-burnables for the dump. Both were torn up. Buckets knocked over, and the litter box completely covered in stuff. It’s actually in the photo, on the left, but you can’t see it. Even the water bowl somehow got messed up, my mini-chainsaw, its case and charger, knocked off the archery target it was resting on, etc.

What a disaster.

With kittens running through it.

They were very excited by my cleaning up the mess!

The sun room still needs a thorough cleaning, but that will require taking most of the things in it out completely, so we can wash the concrete floor, but the weather has not been good for that.

My guess is, skunks. Either that or racoons. The down side of having the doors propped open for the kittens. Other critters can get it, too! I try to tie off the doors so that when a kitten squeezed in through one door, the line pulls the other door more closed. Then, when a kitten pushed through the second door, the door behind them gets pulled closed.

The problem is, even larger critters can often squeeze through some very small spaces. And some of the skunks are already pretty small, so it won’t take that much squeezing. The only reason I think racoons are a possibility is because of the kibble bin being knocked down, and signs that critters tried to get behind things on the shelf above. Skunks aren’t good climbers, but I think a racoon would have done more damage. Hard to know for sure. They left nothing behind for us to find and identify either way.

The fuzzy little grey tabby was okay with my working around it. Not only did it not run away, but it let me pick it up and cuddle it – and even started to purr!

Socialization progress increased!

Once I finished with the sun room, I could finally get out and do my morning rounds, before having to head out to my mother’s.

Which is when I found this.

My guess is, kittens jumped on top of one of them. With the other, they got under at one end, then perhaps panicked, and ran through the end where the mesh is rolled around a board to hold it down.

Which means we’re going to have to peg down the edges. Which makes it such a pain to get at the space to weed or harvest. Better than having the seedlings eaten by grasshoppers when they germinate. Now if I can just keep the kittens from crushing them, too!

I found that as I was finished my rounds and was almost ready to head inside, when I found this.

The kittens discovered the toy I left for Potato Beetle while he was isolated in here.

This group of kittens has pretty much moved into the sun room; the four little ones from one litter, and the two out of four older ones, that have been hanging out together for quite some time, now.

We’ve had some pretty heavy rain, off and on, for the past couple of days. There was more last night. As I was unlocking the gate to go to my mother’s, I saw evidence of just how much there had to have been, at some point.

When I mowed the sides of the driveway, grass clippings were blown over and mostly covering the gravel. Here, you can see that there was actually enough “wave” action to create ripples of dried grass clippings, all the way from under the gate (which the water tends to pool), to where the culvert runs under. The driveway starts to incline after that line.

What a way to start the day.

Beyond that, the phone appointment for my mother ended up being late. My mom and I have the same doctor, and I’ve had phone appointments with him where he called as much as an hour early, so I made sure to be there well before then. It ended up being late enough that I called the clinic to see if there was a problem. I was told he was running later and it might be a while.

He called not long after. After some confusion, it turned out he had no idea why we had this appointment. He had already called my mother to talk to her about the sleep study results.

He called her on the very day I’d made this appointment for her. The clinic had called her, but she wanted me to be there, so I called them back. He must have called later that afternoon.

My mother didn’t tell me about it, and had forgotten about it until he brought it up. Of course, I was confused. Though my mother did finally remember he had called, she couldn’t remember what he’d told her. So he explained it all to me again.

Yikes!

So it turns out my mother does have a form of sleep apnea – one very different from my husband’s severe obstructive sleep apnea. She’s been referred to the sleep clinic. In 6 – 8 weeks, she’ll have an appointment with a specialist, and will do and overnight sleep study at the clinic, and they will start talking treatments with her.

If my mother ends up having to use a CPAP or BiPAP, I’m not sure she’ll be able to handle it. Not so much being able to use the machine, but being willing to put up with wearing hoses on her face, and nozzles up her nose, night after night.

We will deal with that when the time comes.

The main thing is, the referral is in, and the sleep clinic will take things over about it from here on.

That done, I was able to help her with a few errands before heading home. We’re still getting rain here and there, so I will have to catch up on things tomorrow. The next couple of days should be good weather for working outside.

The Re-Farmer

Cat pile, progress and update

There are two cats in this photo.

Cheddar slowly managed to squirm his way under the sheet, little by little, until he was completely covered!

Meanwhile, we had a whole pile of cats, chillin’ on the front step.

There were also several inside cats at the storm door, sometimes sticking a leg through the window to bat at a cat outside! 😀

Yes, we’re still draining out washing machine out the door. Partly because none of us have the time to sit and supervise the machine if we put the hose into the drain pipe, just in case it starts backing up again (which it shouldn’t, but still…), but also because we’ve got enough water flowing into the septic tank and triggering the pump to drain, just from the water seeping into the north side of the old basement, and the weeping tile under the new basement, both going through the same floor drain. This area of the yard is high enough that none of the water is accumulating, so we’re not adding to the much problems, either.

It was a lovely, warm evening, so I popped out to do a bit of set up in the old kitchen garden… which promptly got catted!

I set out the line to support the netting that will go up after it’s planted. I’ve done similar with the L shaped bed, too. I had several cats very interested in the entire proceedings! Then, once I was done, Nutmeg went under the lines and tried rubbing up on practically ever one of them!

The lines will be in the way while seeding the bed, but this way I’ll be able to cover the bed right away, without giving cats a chance to walk all over it, or use it as a litter box, before it’s covered! 😀

On a completely different subject, my brother was able to update me on how things went with my mother at the ER. Based on how she described the pain, he was thinking her kidneys might be the issue, but when she talked to the doctor, she described it differently. They did do blood and urine tests, but when she described the pain as feeling like she was being stabbed in the back, on one side, the doctor sent her for Xrays right away.

The funny thing about my brother describing what happened, I actually recognized the doctor. He didn’t remember the name, but when he looked up the photo he took of my mother’s new prescription, it confirmed I was right. There have been times when I took my mother into the ER and this doctor had seen her. My mother was in good hands. 🙂

The staff was running ragged, and all the examination rooms were full, but with my mother’s pain levels, they got her in quickly. It’s a good thing I didn’t try to take her in, though, as they made them wear masks. Since I can’t, I would have been told to leave.

Long story short, my mother has a compacted disc. She actually has quite a bit of damage to her spine, but this was new damage. The doctor kept asking if she’d maybe lifted something heavy, or twisted something, but she couldn’t think of anything. Most likely, this is just new damage related to her refusal to wear her leg brace. She keeps complaining about the pain in her knees, and one knee bends inwards, but she simply will not wear the brace. My brother even tried getting her a new brace that would be more comfortable for her, but she just won’t do it. Instead, she wears those stretchy knee pads, like athletes sometimes wear. They feel snug and warm, so she thinks they help more than the brace.

There is nothing that can be done about her back, though. My brother even made a point of asking the doctor about possible surgery, just to make sure my mother heard the answer, and no. Surgery is not an option. What he did do was give her a prescription for anti-inflammatory painkillers, and before they left, she got an anti-inflammatory injection.

I haven’t called her again today. After so many hours dealing with everything, I knew she would be tired, so I’ll call her tomorrow. My poor brother was more mentally than physically exhausted. When helping my mother with her appointments, a lot of energy is spent explaining things she couldn’t understand, or asking her lots of questions to try and drag out information from her that is relevant. Or just keeping her on topic. She has a terrible habit of wasting time asking people personal information that’s none of her business, when she should be focusing on the reason she’s there. It gets very draining.

One thing my brother did try to make my mother aware of is that the pain she was feeling right then, was the sort of pain my husband feels constantly. For him, it’s actually a lot more, since he has multiple problems all in the same area, with a crumbling spine being just one thing – and not even the worst source of pain. My mother has had difficulty having any sort of empathy or understanding, because he’s “too young” to be having problems like this. He was hoping it would help her feel some sort of compassion for my husband. It probably won’t make a difference. After all, she still complains about how she’s taking “so many pills” every day, without quite understanding that she doesn’t actually have a lot of prescriptions for her age; she’s just taking some of them twice a day. So in her mind, each one of those pills is a different medication. I’ve told her how many prescriptions my husband is on – some of which are taken 3 times a day, others “as needed”, plus his injections, but it’s not about her, so she doesn’t get it. Ah, well. All we can do is try.

So my mom now needs to take these anti-inflammatory painkillers for a couple of weeks, but we have nothing about after that. I’ll have to make a regular doctor’s appointment for her – the clinic is in the same hospital, but I know I’ll be able to go in with her there. Something else to talk about when I call her, tomorrow.

We’ll figure it out.

The Re-Farmer

Ups and Downs

Today is looking like it’s going to be a gorgeous day! We finally have some sunshine and warmth, and while it’s still muddy out there, the water levels continue to go down. Even the water seeping into the old basement is somewhat better.

There was a whole crowd of cats waiting for my by the sunroom door, eager for breakfast. A lot of the ‘iccuses are hanging out. Still no sign of Chaddiccus, though – the only one of them that we could actually pet. Agnoos and Tuxedo Mask are still missing, too. Still, I saw a dozen cats in total, this morning.

It was nice enough that I brought the transplants out earlier, too.

I managed to get a slightly better picture of the developing Wonderberries.

On the down side, it looks like my mother will be going to the ER today. She’s been complaining of back pain for a while now, but it was really bad last night. My brother was planning to come out to join her in church and visit her after, but planned to take her to the hospital instead.

Oh, now that’s timing. I just got a message from him. They’re at the ER now, and she’s waiting to get her kidneys checked. From how she describes her pain, that seems the most likely cause.

We did talk about my driving her to the hospital and him meeting us there, but he decided he would do it all. Which is probably just as well. Since we are still under restrictions at the federal level, I probably wouldn’t be allowed to go in with her. Hospitals as still demanding people be masked, even though provincial restrictions are lifted, and in spite of all the evidence and data out there that shows it’s not only unnecessary, but harmful. My mother shouldn’t be wearing one, but she does, anyhow, because she’s been bullied into it. The way things are now, she would probably be sent home from the ER if she wasn’t masked and jabbed, as so many others already have been, all over the province. A lot of places responded to the provincial mandates being dropped by doubling down on the restrictions, instead.

Even aside from that, it’s probably just as well I didn’t try to drive my mother. I was awakened quite early today with a sort of headache. The kind that feels like it’s from eye strain. The weird part was that it hurt more if my eyes were closed then when they were open, so getting back to sleep wasn’t going to happen. Driving would probably have not been a good thing for me to be doing.

With the day being so nice, we might be able to get the fire pit going to have a wiener roast, and even finally use the new cast iron Dutch oven for the first time. I hope to be able to get more garden beds prepped, too. The weather forecast is now saying heat and possible thundershowers in a couple of days, then it’s supposed to cool down again, but we should still be able to get the cool weather seeds in. The garden beds we prepped in the fall have crab grass and weeds that made their way through, so I want to get those out before we start seeding, as much as possible.

What I would really love to be able to do, though, is close my eyes for a while. :-/

The Re-Farmer

Never quite good enough, and bigger concerns

Before I get into my topic, here’s a Ginger picture for you to enjoy!

I interrupted his nap! 😀

Such a sweet baby boy he is! 🙂

Now, onto less fun stuff.

I mentioned in my last post about our garden progress, that I’d showed photos of the pea beds to my mother.

As expected, she had nothing positive to say.

When we moved out here, she had made such a big deal about us having to plant a garden and was so angry when we didn’t, and now that we are growing a garden – and a very large one, this year – she’s still angry! It doesn’t matter what I do; it’s never going to be good enough! I’ve learned to accept that, though. 😉

There were, however, other concerns.

In showing her a photo of the pea beds, she could not recognize where they were. She even asked if it was “in the yard” (meaning in the lawn to the south of the house), and there is nothing in the yard that looks even remotely like that area. She thought the poplar poles were steel, and was thoroughly perplexed by the “screen”; she used the Polish word for screen, but she meant the strings I’d put up on the one trellis for the peas to climb. It took me saying it was just twine I found in the basement, three times before she was willing to accept it. She also seemed confused about the poplar posts. I told her where I got them from, then dropped it. She was having a hard enough time understanding what I was showing her in the photos. I didn’t want to try and explain something she couldn’t see. I had even shown her where we made the bed for the tomatoes, at the chain link fence. She looked at it, but didn’t say anything. I’m not sure she recognized where it was, even though her flower bed and lilac bush were visible in the photo.

Of course, she had to make negative comments about the nice, new garden soil the peas were planted in. She tried to mock me for buying soil, only to put it on top of other soil (where else it would go?). That was when I told her that I’ve been testing the soil (still not finished doing that), and that is it low on nutrients. How could that be? She never had a problem growing things! *sigh* I had to explain – again – that nothing has been done for that soil for a very, very long time! It’s not that she doesn’t understand the concept. She just refuses to accept it.

I showed her a picture of all the cups of seeds we have in the big fish tank greenhouse. She asked about the cups, and I explained about the double cupping and – anticipating the objection I could see building up – mentioned that there are people who have been using the same cups for 10 years, and they’re still good. Then I showed her what I had in the little tank, and her only question was, no more fish? No more fish, Mom. Just plants!

From there she launched into how she should have told us, before we moved, to just sell everything (she’s upset that we have aquariums), because we could have moved right into the house as it was; it already had furniture, etc. I had to explain to her that no, the house was really unlivable. I told her about how my dad’s old bed broke, and the bed upstairs had mouse poop under the covers, and the state of the mattresses. We didn’t get past that. She was wondering how there could be mice, when there were cats, and I pointed out that the cats were outside, not in the house! Then the subject got changed.

The thing is, before we moved, she did tell us to just sell everything. And we did sell and get rid of a LOT of stuff, but this was a conversation we had many times. It was a major point of contention, because she convinced us to move out by offering to pay for the movers, but then basically tried to back out of it. I think she really believes we could have moved out with little more than the clothes on our backs, and everything would have been just fine. The odd thing was for her to bring it up as if it had never been discussed before.

We went back to talking garden stuff, and I showed her a picture of the tomato seedlings and luffa in the sun room. Then I tried to explain to her what luffa were. She cut me off in mid sentence, telling me she didn’t want to hear about it because she had never heard of them before and didn’t care.

I called her on her behaviour at that point. She tried to use her age to justify it; she could say stuff like that, because she’s older than me. I did run with the joke, but also pointed out that age is no excuse to treat people like this.

I don’t know that it sunk in.

Thankfully, I’ve reached a point in my life where she can no longer hurt me, but she can – and does – hurt others in the family, and is completely oblivious to it, so if I can get her to think about the effect her words can have on other people, I will try.

That part, at least, was pretty normal for conversations with her. I am having other concerns. Among them, she’s been complaining of dizziness and headaches. Her knees are bothering her a lot more than usual, as is her mystery pain in her side. Usually, when I come out to help her with her shopping, she takes advantage of having a driver to run other errands, but today, it was just the grocery shopping, and that was it. Yesterday, she had suggested going to the hardware store, because she wants to buy us fence posts for that section by the garden. I didn’t bring it up, because she clearly wasn’t up to doing anything beyond her grocery shopping.

It’s not just her physical health that is at issue. For the past while, in conversations with her, I’ve noticed what I can only describe as a sort of malaise. Usually, she makes quite a big deal of her aches and pains (there was a clear element of using them to get attention involved), following by loud proclamations about how she wants to live! She’s not ready to go to heaven yet! There are too many things she wants to do!

She hasn’t done that in a while. Instead, I’m having to ask her questions to find out about things like the headaches and increased pain. She’s also tried dismissing them as just being part of getting old, which is really unusual for her. Basically, I’m seeing red flags for both her physical health, her mental acuity, and her psychological state. Part of my concern is that she’s had her second jab recently. After her first one, she complained of pain in basically all her joints, nausea, etc. All reactions many other people have described having after getting the C19 jab. Now she’s got the headaches and nausea; also common reactions, but too common to associate with any specific thing. All I can say is that it’s unusual for her, and it started after she got her second jab. She’s not associating it with the shot, though. She’s convinced the nurse or whoever it was, faked giving it to her, because my mother never felt the needle. The malaise, though, had started after her first jab.

Another part of the problem is the continued restrictions. In fact, the province went and shut down churches again. Churches are not, and have never been, transmission hubs in this province (nor anywhere else, as far as I’ve been able to find; it’s always been mostly through either nursing homes and long term care centres, or other places indoors with extended contact, like family homes). All the social activities that my mother enjoyed so much are still banned. Even within her building, people are still having to sneak visits with each other, hiding from the caretakers. Her municipality – as well as ours – has never even had a single case. Being able to go to church again was pretty much the only thing my mother had left to look forward to.

I’m seeing my mother in decline, and a lot of it is directly because of our province putting everyone basically under house arrest and turning us into a police state, as if that could somehow, magically, control Schrodinger’s virus. (Thank God we don’t live in the city! It’s much worse there.) The very things that had her wanting to live have been taken away. Now, her biggest excitement is being able to go grocery shopping, and even that has started to cause her more pain.

This has got to change.

The Re-Farmer

It’s a fairyland out there!

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

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

The spruces are the tallest trees around, and their tops always get the fuzziest! 😀

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ah, well. It is what it is!

The Re-Farmer

Yesterday and today, with some odd stuff thrown in

I never got around to making a new post yesterday, so I’ll start with what I intended to write, yesterday!

While doing my morning rounds, I noticed the step ladder we’d left leaning against the storage building was no longer there. So I trudged my way through the snow, dug it out of where it fell and was half covered by snow, and set it aside in a better spot.

The space under this building is one of the places the cats like to go for shelter, with a well worn path in the grass from there to the yard.

The one in the snow is also well worn and…

… kind of drunk looking! 😀

There are deer tracks all over.

It looks like they found something to dig for under the snow!

This morning, while doing my rounds, I had a whole crowd of kitties following me. I thought it was 6 at first, then a 7th one popped out of the snow at me! 😀

There are three up them, watching me from under the garage door. 😀

There was some odd stuff going on yesterday.

For starters, my breathing issues have lessened… for now. I haven’t had those “gasping for breath” moments I had while driving to and from the city. It’s not gone; while I’m sitting at the computer, for example, my breath does feel slightly restricted, but I’m not suddenly gasping for air like I was earlier. Which is good, but leaves me wondering what the heck is causing it. When the clinic reopens after their lunch break (they don’t book appointments and stop answering the phone for 1 hour, every day), I’ll call about making an appointment for myself and one of my daughters.

I talked to my brother about what our van has been doing. His thoughts lean more towards something restricting air flow, rather than it being the powertrain control module, which is what my thoughts were leaning towards. He’s had critters make nests in his air filter that caused his vehicle to stall. That it’s happening when the van is loaded down makes him thing something might be blocking the exhaust.

I looked around the van yesterday, and plugged in my OBDII reader.

It wouldn’t connect to the ECU.

It hooks up to my phone app with Bluetooth, and that was working fine. I could also look at the “live” readings, with its animated gauges, so I could tell that data was being transferred. I simply could not do a scan for any error codes. It couldn’t talk to the onboard computer.

*sigh*

So I will have to call the garage, probably next week, about bringing it in for a quick look see.

Until then, we will use my mother’s car. Tomorrow I’ll be using it to take my mother out for her errands.

Which leads me to my final odd thing.

My mother got a strange call, yesterday, from a former neighbour. She and her husband used to own one of the quarter sections adjacent to one of ours. Our vandal has been using her as an example of what my mother should be doing with the farm, rather than willing it to my brother (now that she’s transferred ownership already and the farm is no longer part of the will at all, he still seems to think she should give it “back” to him, and that she’s actually given it to me… ???).

Apparently, this woman recently drove past our driveway on the way to visit her sons, saw a camera, and called my mother to ask why there were cameras.

Well, first of all, that’s none of her business. Who cares if there are cameras on someone else’s property? Second, there is no way she saw either camera while casually driving by. They’re close to the gate, but not that close! Someone would have to stop and be actually looking well past the gate to find them. The new one’s camo colours aren’t as good as the basic grey of the old one, but it’s still not that easy to spot unless you know where to look.

My mother knew immediately that our vandal had talked to her and told her to call about it.

The cameras where not the only thing that came up. Apparently, everyone is laughing at us, for taking our vandal to court.

Of course, this person had no idea what was really going on. So my mother told her about the vandalism, and how he somehow feels entitled to the farm and everything on it. This person did help my parents a lot, and we were very close in the past. My parents were also very generous to him, even as his behaviour became more erratic and abusive. They owed him nothing, and considering all the things he’s helped himself to before we moved out here, he owes my mother more!

At the end of the conversation, this former neighbour said she would call our vandal and talk to him.

Well, wouldn’t you know it, my mother got a phone call from him soon after. He had the audacity to start by saying how much he loved her. She called him on the BS, and when he started ranting again, she hung up on him.

*sigh*

And things had been so quiet, here. Unfortunately, what we’ve learned is that the quieter he is, the more likely he’s coming up with nefarious plans in the background. Like filing a suit against me.

One thing these calls my mother got has confirmed for me: our vandal is busily slandering us to whoever will listen, making himself out to be the victim instead of the aggressor. Since most of the people here have known him for decades, and we’ve been here for only a few years, they probably have no reason to doubt him.

Ah, well. We just have to work with the hand we’ve been dealt.

And now that our internet is back, I’ll see if I can post this before it cuts out again!!

The Re-Farmer