Murky waters (convoy talk)

With the Emergency Measures (formerly War Measures) Act being invoked by our Prime Dictator, it can be expected that the rhetoric, accusations and false information is going to kick into high gear, to try and convince people that these measures are somehow justified.

Early during the protests, trucks were seen dropping off loads of rocks, and piles of bricks were also found. This is something that happened during previous protests that turned violent, so truckers and their supporters would immediately call the police and stand guard until they arrived, to make sure no instigators would start trouble. It would be no surprise if the same would be done with guns. Our media and Prime Dictator have been working very hard to portray the protesters as violent, and failed time after time, as on the ground, independent video showed how much of a lie that was. They are getting desperate.

The backlash over what T2 has done by invoking the Emergency Measures Act is rippling around the world.

In the “breaking news” category, Ottawa’s Chief of Police, Sloly, has resigned.

Something I wanted to clarify about our Prime Dictator invoking the Emergency Measures Act (EMA).

It is not in effect, even though many are acting as if it is, including banks that are freezing people’s accounts.

Once the EMA is invoked, there is a process that needs to be followed. First, T2 has 7 sitting days to table a motion in Parliament. There are specific conditions that must be met that demonstrate the extreme conditions that justify invoking the EMA. It should be noted that, among the extended definitions of what is exempt from the EMA is protests. It’s not in the Act itself, but is linked with a CSIS definition (that’s Canada’s version of the CIA). None of the conditions required are met, so there is zero justification for invoking the act. In tabling the motion, T2 has to try and prove in Parliament that those conditions are somehow being met.

It then has to be voted on by both the House of Commons and the Senate.

Only after both vote in favour of it, can the invocation of the Act be enforced.

There are two problems with this.

The first is that, by simply invoking the Act, it is being treated as if it is in force. Not just by ordinary citizens on the street, who may not have even known the Act existed until now, but by the media, politicians and even law enforcement. Basically, just like all the other illegal measures, the powers that be simply keep on going as if they have the power and authority to do what they are doing, and people complied. As long as people complied, it became harder for anyone to stand up to the illegal measures.

The other problem is, while T2 does not have a strong Liberal majority in government that will vote his way, the NDP have already stated they will support enforcing the Act. Which means, between the two of them, they would have enough votes to push it through, even if the conditions are not met. The Senate isn’t exactly balancds, either, and it’s possible they would vote to enforce it, too. All the fail safes designed to prevent the Act being abused could … well… fail.

Many provinces, meanwhile, have spoken out against it, but that hasn’t made much difference in the past couple of years. After all, some of those provinces spoke out against the lockdowns and other restrictions, too, saying they would never implement them, only to turn around and do exactly that, after the federal government offered “aid” funding to the provinces – on the condition that they locked down. So they already have a history of untrustworthiness.

One of our mainstream media websites has a daily poll. Today’s question is asking of people agree with T2’s invocation of the EMA. I’ve looked at it a few times this morning and, even as the total of votes rises, the percentages have stayed the same. 19% agree with it. Which is really quite disturbing.

Which is why it’s encouraging to see things like this.

Oh, one more note about the “blockades”. I’ve mentioned this before. They have never been complete blockades. Traffic was delayed, but not completely stopped. For example, lanes were always kept open for emergency vehicles and trucks hauling live animals were allowed through at border crossings with as little delay as possible (they still had to get through customs and the police blockades, too). In cities, people could still get to and from their work and homes. Hospitals were very specifically kept clear.

Hhhmm… back to the “breaking news” thing, just minutes ago, it seems our Prime Dictator walked out of Parliament again, refusing to answer questions about the justification for his invoking the EMA.

What a mess.

From the looks of it, things are just going to get messier.

All of which could have been ended long ago, if our Prime Dictator had wanted it to.

The Re-Farmer

Early Mother’s Day

My morning rounds includes checking the various growing things, and I finally got a decent photo of my daughter’s tulips emerging!

The leaf mulch has made it hard to see them in photos, but at this angle, you can see quite a few! There are more, out of frame. We’re so happy they survived their first winter! 🙂

This morning, I headed out to be part of a surprise for my mother. My older brother was able to acquire a nice scooter, and he wanted to bring it over for her to see and try driving. While getting her to test drive it, he was going to get her to a nearby park, where we siblings were planning to surprise her with a picnic lunch together.

The problem was, we weren’t sure where the picnic tables were, so we weren’t quite sure exactly where to meet. We also weren’t sure the park was officially open for the season, yet. People could walk in any time, of course, but the entry gates get closed to traffic in the off season. So I left early to check it out.

I think we timed it just right. Not only were the gates open, but there was a crew of people doing all sorts of maintenance and clean up started. I was so focused on looking at where the picnic benches were, I didn’t realize I drove right past my brother! He’d had the same idea I had, and come early to scope the area.

There were quite a few clusters of picnic tables, including a whole bunch under a shelter. There was one that was closest to the entry that we considered moving closer to some buildings, because of the wind. As we walked around, though, we realized there would be no point. The wind was swirling in all directions. There was no shelter from it, anywhere! It was a warm enough day, but we knew the wind would be an issue, so my brother was going to make sure my mother dressed warmly.

My mother loves her fried chicken, so my contribution for the day was picking some up. We were so early, though, I had time to play some Pokemon Go, first! 😀 I didn’t want to get it too early, even though I had an insulated bag to keep it hot. I still ended up back at the park early. Which worked out okay, because I soon saw my brother and mother making their way down the road. It was fun to sneak around the building and wait for the opportune moment to step out and surprise her! 😀

My mother, being my mother, was determined to be miserable. She makes a big deal about not liking surprises (except for those times when she tells us how much she likes surprises…), so she was already giving my brother a hard time. She refused to get a warmer coat or a hat, and wouldn’t even put on shoes; she was wearing house slippers! Then she saw me, and that was another surprise she didn’t like. 😀 But then we got to the picnic table and I started setting food out. It turned out she hadn’t had lunch yet, and … well … there as fried chicken and wedges to be had! 😀 My sister had the day off, so she was able to join us, so that was one more surprise for my mother. By then she was eating, so she skipped being miserable. 😉 Among the things my sister brought was a big thermos of hot tea, and today was certainly a day for it! I’m glad I had my picnic backpack; not only did we have real plates and cutlery, but I had room for actual cups. If we’d gone the disposable route, everything would have blown away!

We managed to have an excellent picnic outside, even with the wind. Plus, we brought enough food that my mother would have enough for another meal or two. 🙂

As for the scooter, because my mother has been waffling back and forth between wanting one, because her knees are hurting so much, and not wanting one, because apparently, someone has told her it would be too much for her to take care of (apparently, plugging in the charger would be more than she can handle?) and too much responsibility. So my brother made sure to tell her that it was his, he was not leaving it for her, but he wanted her to try it out and think about it. If she does decide she wants one, it would mean getting rid of her couch (which she doesn’t use, anyhow), and probably at least one shelf. Her apartment is very tiny, and she would need to be able to turn around with it in her living room. I know quite a lot of people who use motorized wheelchairs or scooters, and they tend to have very little furniture, so they had room to maneuver – and they had much larger apartments than my mother’s! She wouldn’t miss the couch, but she does love her little tchotchke!! And not-so-little ones. I forget. She’s even got a garden statue of an angel in her living room, and that thing’s pretty darn big!

But now that she’s had a chance to drive this one around a little, she can think about it, and decide what is more important to her; maintaining independence as her knees get worse, or her bulky furniture and bric-a-brac.

I do think she’ll eventually agree to taking it. Especially as we assure her that she just needs to plug it in to charge the battery; any other maintenance is stuff my siblings and I can take care of, for her. It’s not something to load up like her walker (I have ramps and can load it into my van, but it’s very hard for her to get in and out of it), but it’ll let her make runs to the shops in town as needed.

We shall see.

I’m glad we were able to get together today. Our province has decided to lock down even harder again, starting tonight at midnight. I’m not entirely sure why, but we were already listed as “critical” (even as our Schrodinger’s Virus numbers, which were never all that high to begin with, continue to go down as the season progresses). Not sure what word they’ve come up with to be scarier than “critical”. Anyhow, it was already illegal for more than one person visiting at a time – and even then, only because my mother lives alone, so she has an exemption. That was why we met at a park, though my mother’s apartment is so small, we couldn’t have all fit comfortably in there, anyhow. More than a few people have noticed that these intensified lock downs and restrictions happen right before every special date or holiday, regardless of what the actual data is, or that the lock downs themselves have been completely ineffective. I’m quite content to be a hermit, but for people like my mother, who thrives on social interaction, it’s making life more … well, like no life at all. Today’s visit will, I hope, provide a bit of relief from the malaise I’ve been seeing in her lately. She tried to be critical and miserable about the surprise, but I could see that she was really enjoying herself – even with the wind!

When I got home, it was early enough that I considered getting some more gardening in, but not only was it still quite windy, the girls convinced me to back off a bit. It’s a good thing I’ve got them watching out for me, because I have a terrible habit of overdoing things, then ending up out of commission for several days. 😀

So I made mocha chocolate truffles, instead. Not the best I’ve ever made, but good enough to satisfy a craving! I did accidentally make a double recipe, though. The recipe I was found called for 1/2 pound of one type of chocolate, and 1/2 pound of another. I didn’t have fancy chocolate, but I did have lots of chocolate chips that were suitable, so I broke out the scale. It’s in metric, and 1 pound total of chocolate is 2.2 kg, so I started weighing it out. It was an awful lot of chocolate, so I decided to do a half recipe. It wasn’t until I’d poured the hot cream into the chocolate to melt it that I realized I had it backwards. 1 kg is 2.2 pounds, not the other way around! I’d weighed out 1.1 kg.


Thankfully, part of the reason I was making it was to use up the cream before it expired, so I just doubled the rest of the ingredients.

It worked. 😀

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

So frustrating!

Well, today – after three delays due to pandemic lock downs – I finally went to court for our restraining order application against our vandal.

Only to find it was delayed for a fourth time.

The frustrating part is that I called to confirm, just a couple of days ago. I was even put on hold while the person talked to someone else to be sure. Then she gave me the number for the Crown office, where I could get other questions I had answered, and I spoke to someone there, just yesterday. Though the prosecutor I spoke to had no connection to my specific application, as far as he knew, this courthouse was open.

Worse, my brother booked a day off work to be there for me.

We both came very early (more on why, later) but couldn’t figure out which court room was going to be used. One of them turned out to have a trial in session in it, but I went to the court office nearby and asked.

image source

One of the people there recognized me and remembered my call from a couple of days ago. As far as she knew, I had been told of the date shift. Everything had been delayed again, until April 23rd. Near that date, I’m going to have to call again to find out if it’s been shifted again, or if I have a new court date. While I was there, the person at the counter looked up the file, and it did say today’s date. However, only those files that have legal representatives are going ahead today, virtually, through the big city. Mine is a private prosecution, so even if our vandal lawyered up, it still would have been shifted.

I had actually gotten through to the Crown office, yesterday, so I knew what to expect. There were three possible outcomes, assuming our vandal showed up. The judge would first ask if both parties agreed to the application. In his experience, the person the order is being applied against never accepts that option. Next, we would be offered mediation. For this, we would sit down with a third party, who would try to work out an arrangement between us. I don’t know if our vandal would agree to that, but even if he did, I don’t know that I would. After we pressed charges when he broke our gate, he had to go through some sort of program where he was seeing a psychiatrist (or a psychologist? I don’t know. We were never informed) regularly. Once the program was complete, the charges were stayed. The thing is, even while he was going through the program, he was still making abusive calls to my mother, and actually using it against her. He still hasn’t taking any sort of responsibility for his actions. If that didn’t work, how would mediation be any better? Anyhow. If mediation was not agreed upon, it would then go to a hearing, another court date would be booked, and for that we would be able to file additional evidence, affidavits, bring witnesses, etc.

None of this can happen, though, because everything got shifted again.

This is getting beyond ridiculous. We have been fortunate, in that our vandal has (so far) only engaged in property damage, creeping around the driveway, watching us from the road, and verbal abuse. However, considering the sudden bunch of calls he left on my mother’s answering machine not long ago, he is not all there. For all we know, he might go on a drinking binge after his wife leaves for work, have another “mental break” (as his wife described it), grab one of his many guns and come after us. We may have a crossbow now (and yes, it’s assembled, but the scope isn’t sighted yet), but that isn’t much defense against a gun.

How many other people in similar situations – or worse – are there, whose applications are being repeatedly delayed like ours? In our province alone, likely dozens. And for what? Schrodinger’s virus, where we hadn’t even been part of the pandemic until our provincial government created the very environment that would create an epidemic? Even at the highest rates, our uptick of excess deaths at the end of last year happened after the strictest lock downs, which cannot possibly stop a virus, were enforced, and includes people who died because of the restrictions – and still didn’t reach exceptionally high rates. We’ve had much higher spikes in excess deaths just within the last five years. The increases in suicides and other deaths of despair, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence and child abuse is a consequence that is being acknowledged in at least some places. People have been trying to warn for months about the increases in deaths due to lack of timely medical care that are happening now, and which we’re going to be hit with for years, because of the restrictions. Situations like ours isn’t even on anyone’s radar, from what I’ve seen.

Okay. Rant over.

The session was supposed to start at 10am. The smaller city it was to be held in is about 45 minutes away, on the highway. Last night, we started to get a combination of snow, sleet and rain. Not heavy, but enough to make the roads more dangerous. Normally, I would have left and hour + early and taken a particular route, but this morning, I left 2 hours early and took a route that was longer (in time, not distance), but less isolated. I am glad I did, because it took me more than an hour to get there. I was happy to see the plow trucks out, clearing the slush away. It seems the conditions had actually improved by the time I was on the road. I saw one car (empty) far into a large ditch. What was more telling was the tire tracks I could see in the slush on the shoulders. Something happened in that area that had people swerving all over and, in some areas, I could tell people had reversed and pulled over.

When I got to the building the courts and court office is in, it was mostly empty. Not seeing security guards at the door should have been my first warning, but I was so early, I thought they might not have set up yet. After a quick run to the washroom, I came out to find a single person walking down the hall towards the court rooms, and that was it.

That person turned out to be my brother. I didn’t recognize him, because he was masked. *sigh* He recognized me, though. Even with the light from windows behind me, I was the only person with a visible face (I had my Mingle Mask). That and, let’s face it, I have a rather distinctive short, rotund silhouette. 😉

We were trying to figure out which court room was going to be used when I saw a lawyer looking dude come around, so I asked if he knew which room was being used for general session. He only knew of a trial that was happening in one room, already started, and suggested we try the court office. Only one person was allowed in at a time, so my brother waited in the lobby while I went in, and that’s when I found out about the shift.

So my brother and I headed out – he happened to park right next to my van – and talked along the way, but there’s nowhere to even sit over a hot non-denominational beverage (I don’t drink coffee… LOL) and talk. He booked a day off work, drove all the way over to the courthouse – about the same distance as my drive – and it turned out to be for nothing. Watching my gas gauge on the way home, I figure it cost us about $30 in gas for this trip. Each.

At least I was able to take advantage of it and make a quick Walmart run. My brother just headed home.

Once I was safety parked, I made a point of calling my mother to update her on what happened. Or, should I say, what didn’t happen. She was frustrated, too. She is really worried about our safety.

But what can we do? Apparently, nothing at all.

I’m not going to waste my time or energy worrying about it, and will just do what we can for now.

So I promptly let it go and did my shopping.

Walmart is getting their Easter inventory in. There were so many eggs, they were on pallets in the aisles, rather than in the fridges! (For those outside of North America, our eggs get washed before they get packed in cartons, which removes their coating, so we have to keep our eggs in the fridge to keep them from spoiling). I don’t think it was much of a concern, though, considering how fast people were already grabbing eggs from the pallets. I’d actually forgotten about Easter preparations. It’s still too early for that, isn’t it??

They did get more canning supplies in, but I didn’t see more 750ml jars. I didn’t see a lot of snap lids or rings, either. Thankfully, I don’t need more rings or lids right now. I got another case of 500ml jars. We will continue to stock up on the jars throughout the summer, little by little. They sell out fast, but I don’t think there is currently any shortage of canning jars at the moment. I imagine there will be, later in the year. A lot of people will be gardening for the first time this year.

Speaking of which…

I decided to pick up some Jiffy pots. I’ll talk about why in another post, but as I was going through the till, the cashier asked me about them. She wondered if you had to somehow use the Jiffy pellets in them, and I told her that she could use whatever soil mix she wanted, and that they were designed to be buried with the transplants. It turned out that she was going to try growing a garden this year, but she is in an apartment and would be growing indoors. I told her that, if she were growing in containers, she could still bury the pot with the transplants in her containers.

I hope her indoor gardening attempts work out well for her. 🙂

I hope the same for all the people who are going to try growing their own food for the first time this year!

For us, if nothing else, focusing on the gardening and taking care of this place helps relieve the frustration of dealing with our vandal. Very good for mental health! 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Still a bit chilly, and unexpected things

We’re still on the chilly side these days, and will continue to be for a while longer. As I write these, we are just below freezing, and our predicted highs aren’t going to be much warmer. It’s like that mild weather we had, and my being able to do some clean up in the spruce grove, was just a tease!

I think the cats are still appreciating the kibble house, and not having to be on the frozen ground to eat. Their water is freezing solid overnight again (except for the heated water bowl, of course), and they’re enjoying the warm water they’re still getting every morning.

I look forward to when we can take that tarp off the kibble house and give it a good paint job! It’s still too cold for paint.

At least the snow is mostly gone, so I can extend my rounds, checking the fence lines, etc. Which is where I found this poor little pussy willow, desperately trying to develop its catkins! 😀 At least since we cleared this fence line, it is finally getting morning sun and warmth.

One of the things we will need to do today is go into town and retrieve my mother’s car. A bit late to help my mother, though! Yesterday, shortly after noon, I got a call from my mother. When I asked how she was doing, she told me she was “dressed”. Meaning, she was dressed up and all ready to head out. !!

We had been talking about me helping her with errands when I got her car back, and I was suggesting Wednesday or Thursday, hoping it would be done by then. Somehow, my mother thought it had been settled for Wednesday! So she was all ready to go for her errands, and for me to show up at the usual time. Of course, I didn’t show up because I didn’t know this! 😀 I told her I didn’t have her car, but she had quite a few errands to run, and didn’t want to delay them. So I headed out right away and, just in case, brought our little step stool for her to use to get in and out of the van. She has one just like it, but I wasn’t sure if she’d grab it or not. I’m glad I did, because she had forgotten hers. She realized this while waiting for me, outside the door where I usually meet her, sitting in her walker. She was going to give me her keys so I could run in and get hers, but it wasn’t necessary. It turns out she doesn’t need it so much to get out of the van, but getting in is much harder for her.

One of the stops she needed to make was at the Senior’s centre which, unfortunately, has stairs, so she has to leave her walker outside and hobble in. 😦 I helped her with the door and saw there was quite a few people inside, so I told her I’d wait for her outside. One of the social workers that I’ve been talking to about the horrible caretakers in my mother’s building came out to chat. She asked how my mother was doing, since my mother has a habit of saying she’s having troubles when she’s actually doing pretty well, but saying she’s doing well when she’s having troubles. Which isn’t all that unusual, I’ve found! 😉 One of the things I mentioned was that my mother was getting some serious cabin fever.

Which is when I found out something interesting. Not a good interesting, either.

When our province locked down even harder (which, as I predicted a year ago, actually caused an increase in deaths and illnesses; the first uptick of excess deaths our province had was during the annual winter increase, since the pandemic bypassed our province entirely until then, and no one in either of our municipalities has ever tested positive), buildings such as my mother’s locked their doors and only “authorized” personnel were allowed in, while residents were told to stay in their own apartments as much as possible, though they were “graciously” allowed to not wear masks within their own homes. :-/ “Authorized” personnel included the social workers, and people making deliveries. Because of the caretakers, my mother would sneak me or my siblings in through a side door, as we brought her groceries in. Yes, technically we were allowed in the building to do this, but the caretakers look for any excuse to harass people. Especially my mother, who is one of the few people to stand up to them.

Well, it turns out that my mother’s building is the only one that’s still locked up. All the other buildings run by the province are open. The social worker speculated on just who was responsible for keeping the residents locked up, and I half-joked that it made it easier to “control the inmates”. Unfortunately, the joke was too close to reality. She told me that one of my mother’s neighbours is considering putting a sign on her door to turn her apartment number to “Cell ##”, because she feels like she is in a prison. To be honest, in a real prison, they’d have more freedoms than the people living in my mother’s building, it seems. The frustrating thing is, there’s nothing we can do about it. The people living there are too afraid of the caretakers to complain, and since it’s a government run building, instead of a privately run building, getting abusive employees fired is pretty much impossible. The social workers have been trying to get the problem addressed for years – long before my mother has lived there – and had their own jobs threatened, instead.

It’s so frustrating. I was hoping my mother was serious about escaping to another building in town – one where meals are included, so she wouldn’t even need to do grocery shopping – but she chose this building because her church is right across the street. She wouldn’t be able to walk to church from the other building. That and she really doesn’t want to go through the hassle of moving again, even though this time I’d be available to help with our van. Truthfully, with the exception of the caretakers, this place is pretty ideal for her. She shouldn’t have to move, just to get away from crappy employees.

What a mess.

After my mother finished at the senior’s centres, we did the rest of my mother’s errands, finishing with some grocery shopping. After everything was brought in and put away, I was even able to stay for tea. Before I left, I gave my mother a big hug. She almost started crying. 😦

Just before I got home, I heard my phone going off, so I checked my messages before unlocking the gate. It was from the garage, letting me know my mother’s car was ready! It was too close to their closing time, though. I suppose I could have grabbed my daughter and left immediately, but since I had just finished helping my mother with her errands, there was no longer any rush.


Today, I need to focus and prepare for tomorrow. We finally have our court date for the restraining order against our vandal. I really don’t know what to expect. I think the most likely thing to happen is that they will run through the docket as quick as they can, and it’ll be rescheduled for a hearing at a later date. Of course, what I hope will happen is that the restraining order will be granted. A restraining order is just a piece of paper, but it does give the police more to work with and, more importantly, our vandal will have his guns removed, and he’ll have to stop drinking. The order is for a year, and then I would have to re-apply, if I felt it was warranted, but I would hope that a year of being dry, and having to prove it regularly, will make a difference in his mental state. It’s a faint hope, but it’s there, nonetheless. There’s still his vexatious litigation against me to deal with, but that court date is in July. If he were at all sensible, he would drop that, as he has no case. It’s basically just his way of getting back at me for applying for the restraining order after he tried to break the gate again.

What a mess.

As crazy at it is, I have no regrets for moving out here. The positives far outweigh the negatives, and it’s still better than what we left behind.

Still, it would be nice if all we needed to do was take care of this place for my family, which is why we moved out here to begin with!

The Re-Farmer

Stormy day

If all had gone to plan for today, I would be just arriving at my mother’s right now, to help her with her grocery shopping.

This morning, things were looking just fine out.

Some of the cats still didn’t want to go out in the relatively warm temperatures! 😀

Switching out the memory card on the new camera was a problem this morning. I had my little bowl under it and pushed the micro SD card in to unlatch it, but it didn’t pop out. I tried several times, eventually getting it looser, but I still couldn’t get the card out. It has a little ridge at the end for taking it out of card reader adapter, but even pulling on that with a fingernail was not getting it loose. It did eventually come out, dropped into the waiting bowl I was holding under it…

Then bounced out, and fell into the snow.


I put the replacement card in, then went hunting. Thankfully, the snow was really soft under the camera, and I could see a little slot in the snow were the memory card sliced through. I scooped a handful around where it fell, but still couldn’t find it. The snow was so soft, it fell even deeper! So I had to very carefully dig around in the snow, and I did find it.

I then had to make sure it got good and dry before using it!

I also have to come up with something better to catch the memory card, that I can also fit in my pocket. Ideally, I’d have a little tray attached to the post, under the camera. Figuring out how to rig one of those up would probably be better.

It’s a good thing we’re not actually trying to hide the camera or anything like that! LOL

There has got to be a better way to do this, though. :-/

When I finally tried to upload the files, however, I realized I’d forgotten something important.

I hadn’t formatted the second card. There was nothing on it.

When setting up the camera with the first card, I was able to format it right in the trail cam. When I switched cards yesterday, I wasn’t able to get the screen working (likely due to the cold), and I forgot completely about it needing to be formatted before use.

So there’s a day or recordings, lost! I even saw our vandal going by on his quad, in files on the other camera, turning around near our driveway. It did look like he was just turning around, not stopping or doing anything nefarious, but I really would have liked to have had the different view of him.

We shall see how things work tomorrow.

That’s if I switch out the cards tomorrow. I might skip a day, with the weather we’re having right now.

On seeing that it looked like the storm was actually going to hit us, and fairly soon, I called my mother to see if she was up to doing her shopping earlier. She was, thankfully. She had other places she wanted to go to as well, so we picked up the groceries last. Unfortunately, there was a line up outside the store, which she had never seen before! With the restrictions on how many people can be in the store, they had someone outside (poor kid was NOT dressed for the weather!), counting people. He was a sweetheart and got a cart for me that I could bring to my mother so she could use it as a walker. Thankfully, the line was moving fast, so my 89 yr old mother with her damaged knee didn’t have to stand outside in the cold for very long!

I’m rather incensed about that. Not only have there been no cases of Covid traced to retail outlets in our province, there are none at all in her town.

The storm reached her town while we were in the grocery store. I was able to bring her groceries to her apartment, at least (her building is locked down, but it turns out they do allow deliveries). I wasn’t able to stay and put her groceries away for her, like I usually do. I didn’t want to get her in trouble with the abusive caretakers. Things didn’t look too bad in town, but once I reached the highway, I could see the storm had reached town. I actually drove out of it on the way home, but in the last couple of miles to the farm, I could actually see the storm coming in from the west. Not longer after I got home, my mother phoned to say how glad she was that we did her shopping earlier, because it was really blowing hard around her building! By then, we were getting fairly heavy snow, but not the winds. As I write this, the snow has actually let up a bit. The south of the province is getting the blizzard warnings. It’s a large system, but we may be far enough north to get just the edges of it.

The good thing is, we are well stocked and, now that my mother is also well stocked, we don’t have to go anywhere for some time. We could probably hunker down until after New Year’s, if we needed to. Not that I expect to need to. The storm should pass by tomorrow, and we’re supposed to get a couple of cold days, and then its supposed to get mild again. And by “mild”, I mean around the -10C/14F range.

About the only thing that is going to be an issue is our internet connection. Which we just lost, so I’m not sure when I’ll be able to publish this post! Oh, it’s back again!

Better publish this while I can! My apologies for any typos I’ve missed. 😀

The Re-Farmer

Catching up

Before I catch up on things, I just had to share this photo.

This is Little Braveheart, now known as Tissue, cuddling with “grandma”.

That is the protective foam insert that came with the new washing machine. Our old mama cat has claimed it as her favorite bed, but she doesn’t mind a kitten joining her for cuddles!

They do like to chew on it, though. 😀


Yesterday, I bit the bullet and headed out to do some bigger shopping. It’s really mostly cat food and litter, where the price difference makes it worth the cost of gas to drive so far to get it. That, and supply. Locally, not only are the prices higher, but they just don’t have the space for much inventory or selection. After hearing about what people have gone though in the city, where we usually go, I wasn’t sure it was safe for me, so I went to the smaller city instead. It’s big enough to have a Walmart. 😀 It’s a small store, but it carries what I need, and they don’t bat an eye when I walk in with a shield instead of a mask. I did remember to bring our pulse oximeter, and was glad to have it. It still amazes me that even a shield causes my blood oxygen levels to drop like that. The kitties are now well stocked in kibble again, though. 🙂

I had a bit of a surprise later on, when looking up the tracking numbers for various orders that we have numbers for. Our new trail cam is supposed to arrive today, along with some other stuff – maybe. Lots of stuff are now coming up as delayed, as Canada Post is overwhelmed. When checking this time, though, I realized the trail cam wasn’t being sent by mail. It’s being shipped by UPS! So now I’ve got the garage security camera aimed at the gate, with the sound on, to keep an eye out for the delivery. Assuming they even find our place. We don’t exactly show up on GPS. :-/ The first time we tried to have something delivered by UPS, they had the hardest time finding us. The last time, they left the parcel at the general store/post office for us to pick up. So I’m not sure what will happen.

I don’t like ordering things online, and this is another reason why. It’s just that much harder to actually physically get things out here! I’d much rather get things locally, but so many things just aren’t available here.

I look forward to getting to a point of self-sufficiency, where we don’t have to depend on questionable delivery services, supply chains and such. It’ll take quite a few years to accomplish, but with all the stuff going on right now, it’s really been hitting home, how necessary that goal is for us, out here in the boonies. It’s hard enough to get things we need at the best of times, and these are not the best of times!

The Re-Farmer


A few days ago, I wrote about doing this…

Most of the sunflower stalks had been stripped of their leaves and tops, but the tallest ones were beyond the reach of the deer. I bent the stalks on each of those to bring the tops down.

This morning, they all looked like this.

They are all now stripped bare of leaves and seed heads! The deer were most efficient.

In other things I am happy to say I was able go pick up our new pasta maker in the mail. We look forward to using it soon! It had actually arrived on Friday, but I was expecting other things to be in by now, so I waited. Alas, nothing else had arrived. Including my Rare Seeds order. At this point, I suspect we won’t see either order from there from there until January, but the first part of my Veseys order should arrive next week.

Like everywhere else, people are ordering online a lot more, as local stores are either closed or not allowed to sell “non-essential” items. Like clothing. Our lock down was supposed to end on Dec. 11, but it’s already been announced that it will only be “relaxed” a bit. You still can’t buy new clothes, but now you can go to a thrift shop and buy used ones. You still can’t buy new toys for your kids, but you can buy wrapping paper and decorations, though those items are only temporarily allowed. Kids still can’t play hockey or go to the playground, but the NHL team is allowed to have practices now. They finally allowed the drive through light displays. Church services had been banned, but some had drive in services. After ticketing them for 10’s of thousands of dollars, the drive in services are now allowed, but with very stern warnings about compliance. The crazy thing is, these parking lot services went above and beyond, right from the start. Even the cars themselves were physically distanced, as if the virus can get through glass and steel and leap from vehicle to vehicle. They’re just a scapegoat, of course. Just like anyone who can’t wear a mask.

Something happened in the city just a few days ago that was incredibly disturbing. A young woman with PTSD had tried to go to a Giant Tiger to buy some groceries. Normally, why a person can’t wear a mask is not to be talked about, since it’s a privacy violation, but in this case, the young woman and her mother (who first shared the story on a group we’re on) were willing to tell why. This young woman had been raped as a child, and her rapist held his hand over her mouth as he attacked her. She now cannot have anything in front of her face without triggering her PTSD. Not a scarf or a blanket, nor a shield or mask.

When she went into the store, she was told she needed to wear a mask. She explained that she was medically exempt. Instead of honoring the mandate, which explicitly states when people are exempt from wearing a mask, they called the police.

What happened next was horrific. SIX squad cars responded. When she tried to explain she was medically exempt from wearing a mask, she was attacked, thrown to the ground, handcuffed, and a mask forcibly put over her face. She was then arrested and taken to a police station.

In the end, they let her go, because she had done nothing wrong. Later, after so many friends came to her door to check on her, she made a short video of herself, so she wouldn’t have to keep describing what happened, over and over. As you can imagine, the whole thing traumatized her all over again, but she assured those who cared for her that she was NOT suicidal, and that she was going to get through it. She just needed to be left alone for a little while.

This sort of thing is increasing. A politician in another locked down province recently shared what happened to his own son. His son and a friend were in a bar, which are allowed to be open. They are both medically exempt. His friend went to the bar to order a beer and was told he had to wear a mask. He explained he was medically exempt. They called the police. The politician’s son tried to stand up for his friend, explaining they were both medically exempt.

He ended up being tazed in the back.

As you can imagine, as someone who cannot wear a mask, these sorts of things really concern me. It’s not too bad when I go to local stores – I only go to the ones I know are safe – but I will have to go to the city to do the second half of our monthly shop. I was hoping to be able to do it after the lock down expired on the 11th, but that no longer matters. Nothing of substance is changing. I’m fortunate, in that I can get away with wearing a shield for a short time, but in some places, not even those are accepted. They say you have to wear a mask under it. Meanwhile, I struggle even with the shield, if I wear it for too long.

Part of what’s frustrating is when well meaning (and sometimes not so well meaning) people suggest wearing a mask anyway, to avoid all this. It’s just a few minutes, after all. That’s like telling someone with a peanut allergy that they should just try a different brand of peanut butter. :-/

Well, I’ve gone off on a tangent. I do try to keep things on this blog neutral but, from the start, I wanted to keep things as real as possible, talking about both the positives and the negatives of restarting our lives here. I didn’t want to put forward any illusions that things are sunshine and roses, because nothing ever is. Personally, I think we often learn more from the negatives than the positives! I never imagined I would find myself writing about being stripped of our basic human rights and dignity, but it is what it is. It’s one of the things we have to deal with.

I will say, though, that I am really, really glad we are no longer living in the city! The province we moved away from just entered a new lock down, too. Things are even worse, there – and I don’t mean with the virus.

We’re living in a house that needs major renovations, on a farm where most of the usable tools disappeared before we moved here, are being sued by the person who took them, for more money than replacing the roof would cost, and have to maintain security cameras in case our vandal does something stupid again, while our peace bond application against him has been delayed due to the Covid restrictions.

And I am still grateful to be living here.

The Re-Farmer

This is going to be an odd Christmas

Today is the first Sunday of Advent.

Leyendecker is undisturbed by human regulations and restrictions! 😀

Normally, our tree would have already been decorated, and the Advent wreath, with its candles, set up.

It doesn’t look like we’ll be able to have a tree this year. The cats just seem to wait until we’re not around, then go after it. The main problem is, there’s really just one place that works well for a tree in this house, and there isn’t any way to stabilize it. At least not without making holes for hooks in places I really don’t want to put holes.

So we’re thinking of using a garland that looks like spruce branches in place of a tree, and focus more on decorating the house.

At least, up near the ceiling! 😀

As for the Advent wreath, I forgot we no longer had candles. There are supposed to be 4 of them. Three in blue or purple, one in pink. One after another is symbolically lit on each Sunday of Advent. A 5th candle, in white and representing Christ, can be included, to be lit on Christmas day.

If I’d remembered we burned away the last of our supply of these candles last year, I would have gone hunting for them long ago. I’d found them at Michael’s before, but outside of boxed sets specifically put together for Advent, it’s hard to find the right colours, this time of year. Michael’s, of course, is shut down right now, along with all the other “non essential” stores. Churches are shut down, too, so there’s another potential source no longer available.

I did have other candles, though. I have a silver candelabra my husband bought for me years ago, that holds 3 candles – and I had kept the candles from the last time we’d used it. They’re gold instead of blue or purple, and only about 4 inches long, but they’ll do. In place of the pink candle, I have a white one. For the Christ candle, I have another white one, marked with a cross, that had been included in our traditional Easter basket for blessing.

Yesterday, I helped my mother do her grocery shopping. Her building is closed off to all but residents and staff, so she had to meet me outside. She wasn’t wearing her face shield, but the surgical mask under her nose again. When I asked why, she ignored me, so I suspect she’s afraid of being hassled, even with the shield. She had to go to the bank, first and had called ahead to make an appointment the day before. She was told she could come any time during opening hours, and given instructions. They don’t allow anyone into the bank anymore. There’s a table set up in the vestibule. Only one person allowed at a time. Not that there’s room in there for more. My mother filled out what she needed, then knocked on the door. When someone came over, they couldn’t even open the door very far, because there was no room with her walker in there.

I waited outside while she sat in her walker. Some guy came by, wanting to go in. After confirming with me that my mother was not waiting in line, but had already been helped, and that I was not waiting in line, either, he read the signs while putting on his mask. He read the “one person in the vestibule at a time”, then asked, “what’s a vestibule?” 🙂 It is not a word that is commonly used out here!

Then he decided to try and get into the bank.

Yup. Went in, with my mother, and tried to open the locked inner door.


I don’t know what my mother said to him, but I heard him answering “I know that” as he left. 😀

We started chatting about the ridiculousness of it all (seriously; in that tiny space, if the virus were an issue around here, which it isn’t, it’s like they’d created the very conditions it would most likely be spread!), and he started going on about how the reason we were having so many problems was because all the kids are allowed to go to school and spread the bacteria.

Yes. He said bacteria.

Thinking he may have misspoke, I mentioned it was a virus, and he just brushed it off and kept talking about how all these asymptomatic kids are getting everyone sick by spreading the bacteria.

Thankfully, my mother was soon done and I had to help her with the doors. Because, of course, they’re not using the entry with automated doors for persons with disabilities.


The rest of the trip was uneventful, and my mother is now well stocked for a while. I made a point of bringing our folding wagon along, so while my mother unlocked the side door closer to her apartment, I loaded it up and brought it over. She then had to push her walker while pulling the wagon to get her groceries in, then bring it back. If I weren’t concerned about her being hassled, I would have gone in anyway. 😦

Since I was out with my mother yesterday, it was today that I started something for Christmas that I’ve been wanting to try for some time.

I cooked up a baking soda and cornstarch dough. My intention was to make cookie cutter ornaments with it. I have a set of cutters that are meant more for gingerbread house type dough, that make interlocking pieces. Once dry, the pieces can be put together to make a 3D tree, star or reindeer. I had another set of cookie cutters in a variety of Christmas themed shapes.

It didn’t work.

I think I might not have cooked the dough long enough or something, but I cooked it until it was so thick, I couldn’t stir it anymore, so it should have worked. Yet it was way too soft to be able to do anything after cutting the shapes I wanted. After several attempts, I gave up and offered the dough to the girls. They made a bunch of little sculptures, instead, which will take several days to dry.

I guess I’ll just stick with the orange slice decorations I was going to start on while the baking soda dough ones dried.

It’s funny. With having moved so many times over the years, and now with my husband’s mobility so reduced, there is nothing unusual about having Christmas with just the 4 of us. Since we were already living on my husband’s disability payments, we’re used to being extremely fugal. Living in relative isolation, a lot of the restrictions and regulations don’t affect us directly most of the time. Yet, the long tentacles of government overreach is affecting even us. When we do go into town, we’re not allowed to buy anything Christmas related (unless it’s for pets; you can buy all the Christmas themed pet toys you want, but you can’t buy toys for human children), nor books and magazines, most clothing, and so many other things government talking heads have decided are not “essential”. All of this is affecting everyone, as prices for basic necessities, have to go up in response. So people like us and my mother – who at least have incomes, as small as they are – are going to be having a harder time of it. Gas prices are going down again, but there is nowhere to go. Supposedly, the lock down is going to end on Dec. 11, but our premier is already saying it’s not going to be lifted much, and telling people not to get together with family for Christmas, even with the reduced restrictions.

Meanwhile, it’s our seniors in long term care in the city, surrounded by people in PPE, but no family or loved ones, and no activities to help combat cognitive decline or loneliness, that are dying. Not necessarily of the virus, but of starvation, dehydration and neglect. Meanwhile, my mother can’t even find out how her sister is doing; her niece isn’t returning her calls (not sure what’s going on there), and my mother can’t navigate the automated phone system to talk to a human being. I’m not on the list of people they’re allowed to talk to, so I can’t find out for her.

I think I’ll call, anyway, and ask them to phone my mother or something.

It’s going to be a very strange Christmas.

The Re-Farmer