Matched set

I have started to leave my door open during the day, in hopes the cats will start getting along with Butterscotch and Nosencrantz. If nothing else, they are just too hot to fight!

Cheddar always steals my butt spot. Turmeric joined him. They are such a matched set! Cheddar is about 3 times her weight, though. 😁. Turmeric is such a tiny thing, and Cheddar is a burly beast.

Turmeric is the one that has been the most dedicated to going after Nosencrantz. We have no idea why. Meanwhile, she gets along so well with Cheddar. Of course, Cheddar gets along with all the cats. He’s a special one!

On a completely different topic, my keyboard woes just got worse this morning. Out of the blue, while I was in the middle of doing stuff on the computer, I suddenly lost use of the y u i o keys. I ended up making drafts of posts with just the images I want to use in them, and am now using my phone to complete them.

I really dislike using a touch screen! But, hey. Whatever works!

We’ll be getting an identical replacement ergonomic keyboard as soon as pay comes it, since I can’t seem to be able to use any other type right now. Meanwhile, I tried cleaning the keyboard. Pulled out a small animal’s worth of cat hair. Made no difference.


The Re-Farmer

Rough morning

I could really use a full night’s sleep!

Got awakened by cat shenanigans in the wee hours, repeatedly.

Don’t they look so innocent?

Actually, only Cheddar was responsible for some of the noises. David and Ginger are among those who can’t be in my room overnight. David is sometimes allowed in, but Nosencrantz and Butterscotch hide from him. Ginger actually becomes aggressive towards them! Cheddar, they are content with, but he has a terrible habit of scratching at the door to be let out – but when I get up to let him out, he runs over to the food bowls and starts begging, instead! Nosencrantz, meanwhile, has troubles getting to a spot on the shelf that she likes. Normally, she can go from my vanity to the window sill to the shelf, but the window sill now has a fan in it. What she hasn’t figured out is that she can still get to the spot on the shelf by using the office chair, but she won’t do it. The noise of her attempts to get at the shelf, and the things that get knocked about (including the fan, in spite of it being braced) is getting very tiresome.

And that’s just the start of the nightly interruptions – but it’s still better than all out cat fights!

I eventually gave up trying to sleep and headed out to do the morning rounds a bit early. Nice and cool, but my goodness, the mosquitoes were insane!

It looks like we have one, maybe two, losses among the sweet potatoes. They don’t look like they’ve been eaten by anything. One just looks withered away. The other still has a leaf trying to grow, while the rest has withered away. The rains might have something to do with it. I don’t know. We did have two extra slips in our package, though, and the grow bag is probably too small for 3 plants, so this is not necessarily a bad thing.

I don’t think we got more rain last night, though we are very humid, so everything was soaked by dew and there is still standing water in a few places. I’m hoping things will dry up enough to get some weed trimming done, if not actual mowing. We are supposed to reach a high of 19C/66F today, which shouldn’t be too bad to work in. People are getting a bit freaked out because we’re supposed to hit 31C/88F in a couple of days, as if this was some new thing. Which I don’t understand. The record high for today was 37C/99F, set back in 1995. The record high for the day we’re expected to hit 31C/88F is 32C/90F, also set in 1995. As far as I know, most of the people alarmed by the predicted highs are old enough to remember a much hotter June in 1995. As much as I dislike the heat, it’s still preferable to today’s record cold of 4C/39F, set in 2001.

Then, just to make my morning even more “fun”…

The enter key on my keyboard stopped working last night.

Which is when I discover just how constantly that key gets used. In some places, like on Discord, it’s not even possible to post comments, because there is no “post” button to click on. The family has a Discord channel we use to message each other, as it’s the one app we all have and use regularly.

So this morning, I went digging around for spare keyboards. We have some from upgrading computer systems. We never use the keyboards they come with, as they generally suck. My own keyboard is an old Microsoft ergonomic split keyboard. It’s painful for me to type on anything else. When I wore off the keys from my original one, my husband got me a split keyboard with letters that lit up, so that wouldn’t be a problem anymore, but I wasn’t able to use it. So my husband gave me his keyboard, which was identical except you could still read the keys. He tried the light up one but had issues with it, and ended up using my old one. He doesn’t use the alphabet keys as much as he uses the number pad and arrow keys, so not being able to read the keys wasn’t a problem for him.

Yes, I do touch type, but sometimes, I just need to see those keys.

While digging around, I found the original keyboard for my husband’s desktop and tried that. It is way too tiny, and hard on my wrists. My husband found the split keyboard he’d bought me, so I tried that again. Typing on that was worse than the standard keyboard. All the keys are slightly off, but worse of all is that they split the space bar, so it’s under the hand instead of across the middle. I went back to the standard keyboard, and soon gave up trying to type on that.

I ended up going back to the one with the enter key that doesn’t work. I’d completely forgotten that there is an entre key with the number pad. That one still works.

I’m willing to put up with that, so I can finally type again!

I do find myself wondering how long I’ll be able to type at all. The arthritis in my fingers is getting worse. The pain isn’t as much of a problem as the reduced mobility. I’m slowly losing the use of my hands, and fine motor control is being lost even faster.


Bah. Enough of the negative stuff. I have work to do. I can still do that!

The Re-Farmer

Silly boy

Cheddar is the one cat that Butterscotch and Nosencrantz will tolerate. He knows he can go in and out of my office/bedroom pretty much any time he wants, if he sits by the door. I let him in while walking by. When I came into the room later, I found him like this.

He seemed very perplexed as he walked around my bed, with the neck pillow on his shoulders!

Best guess: he tried to burrow under my covers and burrowed into the neck pillow, instead. 😀

The Re-Farmer

Matched displeasure!

Nosencrantz and Butterscotch remain in my office/bedroom. They don’t want to leave it.

They are also unimpressed when I let the other cats in.

The only other cat they accept is Cheddar. They will even cuddle with him. They have no desire to associate with any of the other cats, and most of the other cats don’t like seeing them, either.

We’ve never had cats so completely at odds with other cats like this, and certainly never had any that keep themselves to only one room. They actually seem quite content in their private domain – until other cats show up.

I don’t know how to fix this.

At least they get along with each other and Cheddar, but I’d really like to not have a litter box in my room!

The Re-Farmer

Passed by

It looks like the storm is finally passing by – at least in our area! Right now, we’re just dealing with high winds. Ontario and Quebec continue to be hit with snow and rain, though.

The winds are coming from the north, so I was able to shovel out the nearest cat paths wearing just my reading jacket (a sort of cross between a shrug and a cardigan), with the house sheltering me from the wind. The cats were very happy with a kibble top up. Funny how, with 4 trays in the kibble house, they still crowd together like that. I saw several cats inside the cat’s house, and The Distinguished Guest, who is looking like a wet rat right now, came out of the shelf shelter against the sun room window. I’m glad I put those pieces of rigid insulation back, and made the opening smaller. A much cozier spot for weather like this.

Potato Beetle, meanwhile, remains happily in the sun room, which is just under 10C/50F. I was able to take a peak at his leg, and it seems to be healing up quite nicely. I couldn’t tell if he was favouring it or not, though.

Nosencrantz seems to have an idea of how good she’s got it right now! 😀

As for the storm, we are still getting rainfall alerts, and there is a long list of regions with either overland flooding or high water levels. None near us. As crazy as the weather seems to be, I think we all tend to have short memories. I was looking at the 30 year average and records for today, and the record low of -7C/18F was set in 2021 – just a year ago – while the record high of 23C/73F was set in 2000. I think we like to remember the warm and pleasant times better than the cold and snow. The average high for today is 11C/52F, and the average low is 0C/32F. As I write this, we are at -3C/27F. Which made finding this article timely. (click on the headline to read the rest of the article)

Reality check: April is never really that ‘nice,’ Canada
Digital Writers
The Weather Network
Thursday, April 21st 2022, 5:41 am – Spring – the season the breaks the hearts of Canadians year after year, when in reality, it shouldn’t.

We do it every year, Canada. The calendar flips to spring and the country immediately awaits the chirping birds, budding blossoms, and early trips to the beach. When in fact, more often than not, Canada spends the entire spring actually waiting for it to be…spring.

“It’s the season that most often breaks our hearts,” says Tyler Hamilton, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. “We have that expectation of the spring and the beautiful picturesque weather, beautiful sunshine and temperatures into the 20s, but the reality is, it’s a season that can bring everything from snow to hail and cold, cold lake breezes.”

This month as a whole as been the perfect reminder of just that.

It certainly has!

Oh! The “rainfall alert” just went away. We’re still looking at isolated flurries and blowing snow for the next couple of days. Power outages are also a possibility.

One thing I’m really appreciating.

We still have internet.

Looking at the StarLink app, it showed we had dozens of outages, last night and through the morning, yet we’ve had no noticeable disruption in service. The longest outage was for about a minute. Most were mere seconds. With our previous satellite internet, we would have lost our internet repeatedly, and for long periods. What a difference!

The Re-Farmer

Rainy morning

While we’ve had the odd bit of rain this spring, today is the first real rain we’ve had. It’s been coming down for a while now. Looking at the weather radar, it seems the main part of the system has already passed over us. As the Colorado Low pushes it northwards, the system spreads wider, with severe rain being pushed to the east, over Ontario and Quebec, and snow to the west, over Saskatchewan, with Manitoba in the middle, getting bits of both!

With our colder climate and short growing season, I can’t help but feel a bit of envy when I see people sharing photos and talking about what they’ve got growing in their gardens, what they’re planting, what flowers are blooming already, and seeing the complete lack of snow on the ground. Then we have times like this, where I see the most severe weather conditions are all to the south of us, and think… you know? I’ll put up with the cold and snow. 😀

Right now, we’re still getting snow forecasts for tomorrow, with most of it hitting the southern parts of the provinces. We’re also still supposed to reach highs above freezing tomorrow, but Monday is supposed to dip down. I am thinking that, now that Potato Beetle has escaped the sun room and won’t let me bring him back, I can get away with putting the ceramic heat bulb out overnight, for that little extra bit of warmth for the seedlings. As warm as the sunroom can get during the day, it doesn’t hold any of that heat, and is not much warmer than outside at night.

I saw very few cats outside this morning! Wise kitties, staying out of the mud and rain! There’s the 6 here, and then I spotted Broccoli later on.

I have a strong suspicion that she has a litter of kittens in that junk pile. While I did zoom in for the photo, she still would normally have run away if I got as close as I did. Mind you, she could also just be not wanting to move in the wet, unless absolutely necessary!

Speaking of wet…

This is what I had to slog through to get to the sign cam. The water extends under the snow in the background. We need to keep this in mind, when we plant our silver buffalo berry here. While this area is low and collects melt water in the spring, once summer hits, most of this area starts baking and is incredibly dry. Particularly where I’m standing to take the photo.

The remains of the dugout in the old hay yard is the fullest I’ve seen since we moved here. I find this encouraging. It shouldn’t take much to dredge this out again and make a nice pond.

We most definitely need a ditch, if we ever want to plant fruit trees along here!

I look forward to being able to take that fence out. Most of those posts are rotted out at ground level, and only being held up by the barbed wire and the few strong posts left.

It would be good to open up this drainage ditch as well, too. Maybe even put in a small culvert. I’ve found one among the scrap beyond the outer yard that might be long enough and looks useable.

The rain is supposed to continue until the wee hours of tomorrow morning, when it’s supposed to change to snow, so we’ll be getting quite a bit more water. There are warnings for overland flooding for some areas, but I think we’re safe from that, here. Still, even the driveway is mostly standing water right now, so I’m glad we don’t need to drive anywhere. The driveway is in bad enough shape as it is; I don’t need to be making deep ruts in it, too!

Today is definitely a good day to stay inside.

Right, Butterscotch?

She most definitely agrees.

I’ve been keeping the door to my office/craft/bedroom, so that the other cats won’t bother Butterscotch and Nosencrantz. Butterscotch is finally coming out of her little corner in the shelf and now spends most of her days on the blanket we have for the cats on one corner of my bed. I’ve even been finding her on the window sill, and sometimes she’ll play with Nosencrantz! Nosencrantz, meanwhile, has discovered the spaces on my storage shelf that are set up for the cats, and has found a new favourite spot to snooze.

Among the other cats, the only one was let in regularly is Cheddar. He doesn’t bother them at all, so they’re good with him. Sometimes, we’ll let David in, too, but he’s not as interested. Fenrir, Beep Beep and Tissue, on the other hand, are actively aggressive towards Butterscotch and Nosencrantz, and even Ginger and Layendecker will bother them. Which is unfortunately, because hate having to keep the door closed. Butterscotch and Nosencrantz still show no interest in leaving the room, but sometimes I’ll open the door and find a crowd of cats, sitting there… watching… waiting… ready for an opportunity to leap into the room… and not just because they want to nap on my bed!


What a pain. But we love them, anyway.


I went through the rest of the seeds to start indoors last night. Most of them actually say to plant 3-4 weeks before last frost. Which would be another 2 weeks or so from right now. I find using the “days to maturity” a bit more useful. I think I’ll be starting some melons today. I was surprised to not find any pixie melons, though. I thought we still had some. We don’t have any saved seed from them, either. I wish I’d remembered that, because I would have ordered more. Still, we have the Halona melon, both as leftover seeds and saved seeds, plus we saved seeds from other cantaloupe type melons from the grocery store that I want to try.

Looking at the days to maturity on our summer squash, we could actually direct seed all of them and still have enough of a growing season left. I still want to start some indoors, though, just in case, but those can wait another couple of weeks. After the melons, we’ll start some pumpkins, including the hull-less varieties, then the remaining gourds, winter squash and cucumber. The summer squash can be the last ones to start.

If all goes well, we’ll be able to do the earliest direct sowing of cool weather crops in about a month.

For now, however, I will appreciate the rain we are getting, as that will help the ground thaw out a bit faster, too. As long as we don’t get too much at once, we’ll be good.

The Re-Farmer

Kitty Progress!!

My younger daughter snagged Nosencrantz and ended up sitting on the couch for a long time, just holding her. Nosencrantz even fell asleep. For a while, she had Fenrir (!!!) on her lap as well, with no fighting happening, and Cheddar on the armrest.

Cheddar then slithered down beside her, and began snuzzling Nozencrantz, who seemed quite alarmed by this.

Clearly, she got over it.

They’re still like this, as I am writing.

This is some major progress. Being out of my room AND cuddling with another cat!


The Re-Farmer