What a wonderful day!

Today has been such a great day!

And not just because we can use our plumbing again. 😀

When I checked the basement this morning, everything had dried up so much, I could unplug the blower fan. The house gets so dry in the winter, it doesn’t take long, even without the fan.

The highlight of my day, however, was being able to get together with a friend from out of province, who happened to be in town for a few days. We were set to meet for a late breakfast, and ended up spending many hours together. It was so fantastic.

This is also the first time I’ve eaten in a sit-down restaurant in more than 2 years. This wasn’t something we did often, to begin with, so when the restrictions started, many places refusing to recognise medical mask exemptions, and then organic humans getting segregated, it just wasn’t worth trying. We just did take out with the placed we new were on the green list, and will continue to stay away from the places that got on the black list.

It’s also been ages since I’ve had the chance to go to the lake, and where we were meeting was right near it.

The ice fishing huts are gone, but it looks like the ice driving track is still in use. Or perhaps those are the lanes to get to and from the huts. Normally, once the ice is thick enough to support the weight, this area has what looks like an entire village of fishing huts.

After my friend and I had a lovely breakfast, we checked out some of the shops that were open; there are a lot of “new” ones, and shops I remember are long gone. One of the “new” shops turned out to have been open for 3 years!

As you can tell, I don’t shop much.

We ended up spending quite a long time in one particular store and got to chatting with the owner, and I discovered we are “neighbours”. She has an amazing store but, unfortunately, it’s been very hard for them. It’s very much a tourist town so, like many shops, they pretty much close for the winter. They have a lot of really amazing clothing, including some in my size, so I will definitely need to come back when I have a clothing budget. Normally, I just by work clothes for myself, but it’s nice to have something not designed to survive heavy manual labour for a change. 😉

We hung out together long enough that we ended up going for a late lunch together, too. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get together again before she has to leave.

Chadiccus was happy to see me when I got home!

I noticed their water bowls were frozen, and the heated bowl in the sun room was almost empty again. This morning, I looked out the bathroom window and saw one of the ‘iccuses curled up in the empty water bowl, sleeping! I’m glad they can use it to keep warm, but with the outside heated water bowl not working right now, and everything freezing again, I don’t want them to run out of water.

We’ll have to pop open the roof of the cat’s house again and check the cord. It looks plugged in at the outlet inside the cat’s house, when I look through the opening, but it may have been knocked loose by wrestling cats or something. The bowl itself appears completely undamaged.

While I was out galivanting with my friend, my daughters were hard at work at home, catching up on all the dishes we couldn’t get done until the septic and drain was dealt with. It was a huge job. It’s amazing to see how many dishes, pots and pans get used in just a couple of days, when you suddenly can’t wash them!

On top of all that, we are finally feeling warmer again, mostly because the winds have started to die down again. Starting tomorrow, we’re supposed to warm up to just around the freezing mark again for a few days, then it’s supposed to go above freezing and stay there.

In preparation for that, the municipalities have finished cutting a channel in the snow in one of the ditches that stretches from the highway near our place, all the way to the lake, to prevent flooding. Driving in town today, I noticed a lot of the paved roads are already torn apart by the freeze/thaw cycle. Driving on the gravel roads is already a combination game of “dodge the pothole” and “dodge the big rocks heaved out by frost”. It’s going to get muddy.

It’s going to be great. Everyone is SO done with winter right now!

The Re-Farmer

Change in plans (and fire update)

Plans for today have changed a few times! 😀

But before I get into that, we had some activity in the feeding station yesterday evening!

Two pairs of deer came by – but they were NOT together! They kept fighting each other and chasing each other away from the feed. I do try to spread it out, but by the end of the day, there isn’t much left.

I managed to get some video, since I had to use my phone to take the pictures anyhow, and put them together. I’m trying to move away from YouTube, so I’ve uploaded to Rumble. Please let me know how this works for you.

!function(r,u,m,b,l,e){r._Rumble=b,r[b]||(r[b]=function(){(r[b]._=r[b]._||[]).push(arguments);if(r[b]._.length==1){l=u.createElement(m),e=u.getElementsByTagName(m)[0],l.async=1,l.src=”https://rumble.com/embedJS/ubwqqr”+(arguments%5B1%5D.video?’.’+arguments[1].video:”)+”/?url=”+encodeURIComponent(location.href)+”&args=”+encodeURIComponent(JSON.stringify([].slice.apply(arguments))),e.parentNode.insertBefore(l,e)}})}(window, document, “script”, “Rumble”);
Rumble(“play”, {“video”:”vcq2ed”,”div”:”rumble_vcq2ed”});

If that doesn’t work for you, please try clicking here.

They were really cool to watch!


I had considered going to my mother’s church this morning, to have our Easter basket blessed, but the church was needing to have people register and so on, in advance, so we decided to skip it this year. At least they had it this year. Last year, it wasn’t allowed.

So we were to assemble our basket today and just bless it ourselves. I did want to take advantage of things being open to make a run into town. I was going to do it in the afternoon, but I got a phone call from my brother. He and his wife had found a new recliner chair small enough for my mother and wanted to bring it over. I agreed to meet him and help assemble it, in the afternoon.

Which meant I headed into town earlier today, then went straight to my mother’s town to meet my brother before we headed to her place together.

The main thing I wanted to do today was get a second battery for the baby chainsaw. I also brought in the little corded chainsaw we found a while back. It should hopefully just need to have the chain sharpened. Otherwise, it should just need a new chain.

After starting a work order for the chainsaw, the lady tried to find a battery for me. After confirming they had none in stock, she went to the Stihl site to check their inventory.

They had none.



Which I suppose makes sense. Most people buying a battery operated tool will order a second battery so they can set one battery to charge and continue working with the second battery. This little thing has a matching little battery, so a lot of people buying these would not have a matching battery already and be getting a second one at the same time. Since this thing is so popular, they can’t even manufacture them fast enough to keep up with the demand, they would probably be going through more of that type of battery than the cordless pruner itself.

She did place an order for one for me, but has no idea when it could be fulfilled. They will call me when it comes in, though. Until then, I’ll just have to make do with one battery.

Since I was there anyhow, I picked up an extra bottle of oil for the bar, plus an extra chain. These fall into the category of “better to have them and not need them, then need them and not have them!”

Once the little electric chainsaw is in cutting shape again, it will be enough to meet most of our needs. We won’t be taking down any big dead trees with it, but it will go a long way in helping cut up the already fallen ones to make them easier to clear away.

That was taken care of rather quickly, and I had time to visit the beach for a little while.

The ice fishing shacks are long gone, but the ice is still thick enough for people to walk on it, and do a bit of ice fishing without a shack.

Then it was off to my mother’s town. I made a stop at the grocery store there, because I remembered seeing them carry the same type of deer feed and bird seed we usually get.

Not today, it turns out. All sold out! We at least still have some deer feed left, and the birds like that, too, so it can wait a bit. 😀

It did give me a chance to pick up a few things for my mother that I noticed she runs out of very quickly.

Then my brother and I met up, heading to my mother’s and surprised her with a new non-electric reclining chair to replace her old arm chair that she’d been complaining about. Of course, she had nothing nice to say about it, complaining that it was too big (it was the smallest they could find!), or that she didn’t need it, etc. The complaining was less than usual, however, which tells me she was actually very happy with it! 😀 I am hoping she will be able to use it to sleep on, every now and then, as she still has breathing issues when she sleeps, and being slightly upright should help her with that.

So that worked out well, and we even stayed for a short visit. Then we loaded all the packing materials, and my mother’s old chair, into my brother’s truck, so my mother had nothing to worry about. Since the chair needs to be further forward, to have room to recline, than her other chair, things needed to be shifted around, and she now actually has slightly more space to walk around than with the smaller chair. 🙂

On the way home, my route took me past where the recent fire was.

I am happy to say that the house tucked in the trees I was concerned about untouched by flames. There’s a drainage ditch that cuts through that quarter section, and it acted as a bit of a fire break that kept it from spreading to another house in the same quarter. The only thing that burned was open field. It was “just” a grass fire.

Driving around that quarter, however, showed that a LOT of that field was burned! When controlled burns are done, they tend to focus on specific problem areas, not entire fields. I could see where it had burned out of control, and the tire tracks from the emergency vehicles going in.

It was after I’d turned onto our road that I saw just how far it went. Plus, oddly, there was a burned out car in the middle of the field. ?!? Yes, farms tend to collect old cars, but they don’t leave them in the middle of fields they grow crops in!

As I got closer to the quarter we are on, I saw where the fire had actually jumped the road to our neighbour’s field. It didn’t go much beyond the ditch, thankfully. Another thing to be thankful for; the renter plowed the field he’d grown corn on. It would have acted as a fire break, since there wasn’t enough fuel available.

What I also saw was that the fire had actually burned past the fence, into the quarter section belonging to the younger of my brothers. Not far, thankfully. His quarter is mostly hay, so there was plenty of fuel available for a grass fire!

Which means the fire reached less than half a mile from our place, and my brother’s.

So thankful that no homes were lost!

Meanwhile, while I was away, the girls took care of assembling our Easter basket. Well. Except for the stuff that needs to be kept refrigerated. 🙂

Looking forward to celebrating Easter tomorrow!

I hope you are, too. May your Easter be a blessed say of peace and great joy.

The Re-Farmer

Town stuff, and new fish set up

My day in town, after dropping my daughter off at work, turned into an all day in town!

I had a 9:30 drop off time at the garage for my van. As soon as he saw me, the mechanic came over to let me know that several other vehicles already dropped off ahead of me. I’d even come early! No worries, though. I was planning to meet my daughter for lunch, anyhow.

I did have some confusion when I parked next to what I thought was my mother’s car, though, and then saw my mother’s car in a different spot. I kept looking at the license plate, then back and the car, wondering how my mother’s car got so dirty? And why was there damage at the back?

And how did it turn into a Chevy?

It turned out to be another generic little black car with a license plate only one digit off from my mother’s! 😀 The car I’d pulled up next to really was my mother’s car! 😀

There were a couple of downsides to having several hours to myself, but no vehicle. With the shut down continuing (and extended once again, as of today, even though there have been zero new cases of the Wuhan virus in our province, which never got hit hard by it in the first place), there was no place to go just to sit for a while. No seating in restaurants or coffee shops available, and what stores are open are not open to simply browsing anymore. The other downside is that it rained most of the night and even the outdoor seating was wet.

Ah, well. I had a 5km goal in my Pokemon Go to meet, anyhow.

Which I hit rather handily.

One of the places I went through was a park near the lake, were I spotted this contented couple.

They were just fine ignoring me as I walked by. 😀

I also went to the beach.

Yes, there’s still some ice on the lake, some of which got blown into a corner against the main dock. The wind off the lake was freezing! That didn’t stop people from fishing off the dock, or families visiting the beach. There were plenty of joggers and dog walker, too. It’s the first day of a long weekend, and plenty of people were determined to enjoy it!

My daughter’s lunch turned out to be perfectly timed. It was nice and sunny by then, too, so we were able to eat comfortably on a picnic table not far from where she works. After lunch, I walked back to the garage and arrived moments after they’d finished with our van. I still had some errands to run that needed a vehicle, and by the time I was done, there was no point in driving all the way home, so I stayed in town until my daughter was done her shift.

It’s a good thing my to-do list for the day was kept flexible and tentative!

I did get one big job accomplished, and it was one I’d started last night.

We have had issues with our 20 gallon fish tank. Part of the problem is that it was next to the kitchen window. Sunlight tends to promote algae growth. The other problem seems to be our well water. While it’s great that we don’t need to deal with chlorine, when I did a 20% water change last spring, we had all sorts of problems show up, from a suddenly algae bloom, to pond snails appearing.

No, we don’t drink our well water from the tap anymore. I’m hoping, now that the sump pump is draining well away from the well again, these issues will resolve themselves!

We’d managed to get control of the algae a bit, though over the past year it killed off some fish and most of our plants. We’re down to one fish – an algae eater that doesn’t eat this type of algae! – and I’d fairly recently added a bunch of new plants. The snails, we were okay with, since they seemed to be helping keep the tank clean. There was some concern that they might take over the tank, but I think the fish keeps the snail population under control!

Then a few days ago, the water, which had been turning increasingly green, suddenly turned completely green and murky. We hadn’t even topped up the evaporated water or anything. The only thing that has been changing is the angle and amount of sunlight.

That poor little fish.

What we ended up doing was buying several 15L bottles of spring water and, last night, we completely emptied the tank and cleaned it out. I’d put some of the water in a gallon sized jar and stuck in the heater to warm it up before adding the plants and that poor little fish. The water was so murky, I couldn’t actually see the plants. I got them out by feel. At the same time, I removed sheets of algae growth that we couldn’t see through the water. !!!

The next several hours was spent emptying the tank, removing the substrate and decorations, scrubbing, rinsing and scalding everything we could – with no cleaners, since we didn’t want to accidentally poison the tank. I even kept what snails I could find. 😀

The cats were absolutely fascinated by the entire process.

In preparation for this, we decided on a new spot in the living room, found a old table in the storage shed, and set it up.

The cleaned out tank was then set up in its new location and filled with the bottled spring water and the appropriate additives.

The fish and plants, however, had to wait. The heater was set up in the cleaned tank, but it took quite a while to warm the water sufficiently. I wasn’t able to get the plants and fish in until morning.

We have an extra 15L bottle of the purchased spring water to top off the tank, instead of using our well water. Hopefully, this will solve the main problems. I don’t expect to never have algae problems again, but we shouldn’t get the crazy growth we had been!

Also, the cats are obsessed with all this. Susan is sitting on top of the big tank that we can’t use, since the part that broke on the filter during the move apparently is not available for purchase, even from the manufacturer. We found a way to cover the top solidly, and it has become a favorite place for the cats to hang out.

Now, they’ll have something else to watch from above!


Hopefully, the surviving plants will establish themselves and spread, like they are supposed to. I saw some pretty good root systems had started to develop. Once we get some good plant growth in there, we will get a few more fish again. 🙂

This turned out to be a much bigger – and longer – job than I expected. But it’s finally done, and I think the fish is much happier in clean water again! 😀

The Re-Farmer

On Ice

Oh, what a gorgeous day it has been, today! Warm enough that, after dropping my daughter off at work, I went and parked by the beach and actually went walking.

The lake and beach were very busy. There is an ice structure on the beach right now, and many people drive right up on the frozen sand to take pictures.

Why, I’m not sure, since the parking lot is, like, right there.

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On Ice

I was able to swing by the lake this morning. I’d been able to swing by yesterday, as well, and saw that the first few ice fishing sheds were being put up. Today, there were a few more.

I stayed nice and warm in the car to take this photo – I wasn’t about to walk to the beach just to get pictures in this cold! LOL

To the left of the photo is a large mound on the beach. That is sand that was dredged out of the storm drain, after the blizzard we had in early October.

The ice is now thick enough to be safe to drive on, so ice fishing season can start. The “road” to this area is cleared of snow.

I wasn’t able to get pictures, but on the other side of the ice road, I could see vehicles in the distance, and snowmobiles pulling loads across. This is the area where a track has been cleared and people could get lessons in ice driving. Police and ambulance drivers also used the track to practice on. It looks like the organizers are starting to set up with that. No track is cleared yet, but that didn’t stop one car that I saw from going on the ice and spinning around through the loose snow.

That brings back memories! As a passenger, though, not a driver. 😀

It’s interesting to think about how there are entire industries and businesses that rely on ice like this!

The Re-Farmer


This past Sunday, the weather was mild enough that I was able to spend some time on the beach.

It was really fascinating.

The sand was frozen solid, but you could see the effects of water and ice. One dramatic visual was at the outflow for storm drains.

At the time I was there, the tide was still going out. There was ample evidence of how high it had gotten.

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A day of rest

With the timing of things for my daughter’s Sunday shifts, I haven’t been able to continue our search for a new church to attend, but I do try to take advantage of her short shift to make Sunday a day of rest.

So many kittens! And their uncle/big brother.

Oh, to be a cat, some days!

This was actually taken on Saturday. From left to right, we’ve got Creamsicle, Potato Beetle, Doom Guy, Two-Face, and even Pump Shack and Junk Pile kittens! All packed in like sardines, keeping warm and cozy.

Things were not so warm and cozy at the beach in town, yesterday!

Snowfall over the lake.

I didn’t stay out for long; I hadn’t brought gloves, and it was really quite chilly!

This guys seemed to handle it well.

Geese grazing near the marina.

No rest for them! The geese need to eat as much as possible in between their migratory flights.

I’m finding I really enjoy these few hours in town, once a week. It’s a good time to recharge.

The Re-Farmer

Bonus pictures: a pebble’s eye view

I was in town this morning, and had the chance to visit the beach. Since I was last there, the town has pushed all the rocks and pebbles that the storm had pushed across the entry onto the main dock back onto the beach.

The beach is still very changed in this area, from before the storm. Much of the organic debris has been washed away, but the big rocks next to the dock itself are completely covered with sand. There is no sign that they are there at all!

With every tide, a new sand ridge is created in the area, though.

Where I took this photo, the ridge was probably about 8 inches high.

New layers of pebbles are slowly being washed back onto the water’s edge. So many colours and textures! I just love it. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

On the beach

This past Sunday, as has become my custom, I stay in town during my daughter’s short shift. It turned out to be a beautiful day, and I was able to have my first visit to the beach since the blizzard.

I have to say again, how incredibly fortunate we were during that storm. Yeah, we got some tree damage and were snowed in until we could shovel our driveway out, but we really didn’t have a bad run of it. Just yesterday, I was reading that there are still some 2000 people without power. The electric company, with help from other provinces, has about a thousand people working to restore power. In some places, generators were delivered or where on the way, to provide emergency power. The remote areas they workers are in, and the conditions, make these last northern areas much more difficult; in some places, workers are trying to restore power lines while chest deep in water and mud! A rough estimate was that the storm resulted in about $100 million in damage to the electrical system, though there is no way to know for sure until after it’s all done and the numbers are crunched.

We have much to be thankful for.

How the storm hit could be very different, depending on the area. Especially with the lake effect. The one time we did go by the beach, it was amazing to see no snow at all, yet just a couple of blocks away, people’s yards had about 6 inches of snow.

People living near the beach and marina posted videos online, and it was astonishing to see the waves crashing over the breakwall on the main dock.

There were some significant changes that I could see, right away.

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