A Year in Review

A great big Happy New Year to all our wonderful visitors and followers! May 2020 be a year of peace and good health to you and your loved ones.

Out of all the millions of blogs out there, you chose to pop over and visit our little corner of the world, and I just wanted to say how much I appreciate it.

Last year, I did a list of this blog’s top 10 most visited posts. I was all set to do it again, only to find it couldn’t quite work out as I intended. It turns out there are too many “tied” posts. A 2 or 3 way tie is one thing, but a 13 way tie? 😀 I also noticed that the top visited posts are almost all from last year. I was going to try skipping those and just do posts that were written in 2019, only to find myself back in that tied-a-dozen-times problem.

So here is the list of the top 5 most visited blog posts in the past year.

Five: New Range Hood – part 1 Thanks to my daughter, we finally replaced the original range hood, which was installed in the early to mid 1970’s. Part 2 is when we finally got the new one wired and working!


Four: Sourdough Cornmeal Pancakes These are still my favorite pancakes. Recipe to make yogurt cheese, as a sour cream substitute, included!


Three: Chokecherry Vinegar Drink This turned out to be a very refreshing drink.


Two: Making Chokecherry Vinegar Here is the recipe for the vinegar used in the Chokecherry Vinegar Drink. This year’s chokecherries were frozen, and we plan to use them in mead making. Depending on how many chokecherries we get next year, I hope to make this vinegar again, just so we can make that drink!


And the Number One most popular post in the past year: Gathering Chokecherries

I’m sensing a theme, here! 😀 This post is from 2018, but we got quite a nice haul this past summer, even though we gathered from just 2 out of 3 trees.

I hope you enjoy visiting these most popular posts of 2019 here at The Re-Farmer blog. Thank you, again, for choosing to visit our little corner of the blogosphere!

Happy New Year, from The Re-Farmer household to yours!

The Re-Farmer

Looking back: together again

Two years ago today, we were finally reunited as a family. We had some close calls on the drive over, but we made it.

Our work was just beginning. We had almost an entire house to pack before we could have our own stuff delivered. But we muddled our way through and managed to survive it more or less intact! 😉

A year later, much work had been accomplished over the summer, and we were using what we learned over our first winter to try and solve some problems for our second.


Thankfully, we don’t have to rig anything up again this year!

Little by little, we’re working things out. 🙂

Who knows. A few more years, and we might have it all figured out. 😉

The Re-Farmer

Looking back; a year, and two, ago today

Two years ago, the movers arrived.

So began what was probably the worst move we’ve had.

Okay, so there may have been one other that was worse, but that was because we all came down with the flu and got so sick, I actually collapsed from illness and exhaustion. Which has never happened to be before or since.

But we didn’t have to deal with a moving company that time. They were supposed to make things better. Not worse! Having to spend hours in the van, with the cats, trying to keep our plants and fish from freezing didn’t help, either.


A year later saw things much improved. Rather than having to deal with all the hassles of moving, we were into our routine of keeping this place going –


– and sometimes finding damage done by the deer that were visiting regularly!

The Re-Farmer

One Year Ago Today: the disaster of the movers

Things have been pretty quiet around here, lately.  We’ve been slowly decorating the house for Christmas, wrapping a few gifts, getting my husband to a medical appointment.  Tomorrow, the girls and I will be making a trip into the city.  Pretty boring and domestic stuff.

Thinking back to last year, I have really learned to appreciate boring and domestic! Continue reading

A year ago today – we made it!

Well, today is it.  The one year anniversary for all 4 of us arriving at the farm.

We arrived shortly after midnight.  We still remember the final stretch.  Almost 1800 kilometers of driving (with a broken door), and less than 10 minutes from home.  I saw a shadow flash across oncoming headlights and stomped on the brakes.

The cat carriers set up on boxes behind us went flying.  The cat lying on one of them ended up in the front seat.  Stuff fell on top of the bucket we were using to transport the fish.

But we managed to NOT hit the deer.

Everyone was okay, though the cats were pretty freaked out!  How’s that for a welcome home!!

The main thing was, we made it.  We were finally together again.

For my older daughter and I, all we really wanted to do was sleep.  Which had to wait until we got the cats into the house and closed off into a room while we brought in the plants (some died from the cold, though our jade tree recovered), the fish (they died a few days later. 😦 ), the computers and most of the other stuff we managed to jam into the back of the van.  After that, we could finally sleep.

The next thing was to figure out what to do next!

The house was a complete disaster, even though it was much better then it had been, thanks to the efforts of my older brother and his wife.  A couple of days later, we would find out that the movers would cost $2000 more than we expected, and the fiasco with them just kept on going.

I never want to move again.

Which I know will happen.  Eventually, as we get older, my husband and I will likely need to move into someplace like where his father or my mother live.  Small, barrier free, etc.  We’ve hopefully got many years before we get to that point, though!

A lot has happened since we moved out here.

I think we made the right decision.

The Re-Farmer


A year ago today – driving

One year ago today, my older daughter and were on the road.

The original plan for the move was for my older daughter and I to stay at a hotel for a couple of nights, after the movers took our stuff, so that we could do at least some clean up in the townhouse before we left.

The original plan had also been to leave in the spring, and have a trailer hitch installed on the van, so we could haul some stuff ourselves.

A lot changed when we decided to leave in the fall, instead.

Then there was the fiasco with the movers, and we ended up having to leave before they were even done, because of bad weather coming in.I still can’t believe how utterly incompetent the movers were.  The local company that packed our stuff was not the same company that delivered out stuff, almost a month later (something else that didn’t work out as planned!), but both were horrible at their jobs. 

It wasn’t until we began unpacking that we realized what a terrible job they did of packing up what was left of our stuff.  I’m still chuffed that we ended up being charged for a “full pack”, when we had done so much of the packing ourselves.

But at this time last year, we were just glad it was over, were under the belief that our stuff was already on the way to our new province (it wasn’t), and looking forward to being reunited as a family again.

And tired.

So.  Tired.

The Re-Farmer

A Year Ago Today – moving day

Today marks one year from when the movers came and we were officially out of the co-op we had been living in.

My daughter and I were exhausted, but thought we were near the end.

Oh, how wrong we were.

Things did not turn out at all like we expected.

What a disaster it was, on so many levels.

After all this time, I don’t even want to think about it.  Of all my moves, this one is in a fight for the top spot for worse moves ever, in competition with a move during which we all got sick, and I literally collapsed from exhaustion and illness.

Yes, Mamacat.  My sentiments, exactly.

The Re-Farmer

Looking back – a year ago today

Well, here it is.

A year ago today was the last day of getting ready for the movers to arrive.  My husband and younger daughter were already out here for several weeks.  My older daughter and I spent those weeks continuing to purge and pack and get ready for the movers.

We were exhausted.  In pain.  Ready to drop.

cost-benefit-analysiscba-3-638Thinking about the past year, I sat down and crunched some numbers.  When we were deciding whether or not to accept my mother’s request to move out there, with her offer to pay for the movers, I sat down with our budget at the time, and tried to compare it with what we might expect to be paying out here.  I thought I was erring on the side of caution as much as I reasonably could.  Basically, we had to decide if the increased costs out here would be made up for by not paying over $1400 in housing charges.  Living on a fixed income while expenses kept increasing meant we were slowly falling behind.  Being overly cautious with the numbers, we felt we would be ahead of the game by about $450 a month.

Now, a year later, I can look at our actual expenses and compare.

Keep in mind, I am just looking at our regular budgeted expenses, since there’s no way to account for things like the hot water tank dying, or the van suddenly needing hundreds of dollars of work done on it.

In the end, we are ahead of the game by just over $320 a month.

Some things are not quite reflective of actual costs.  For example, we are paying $20 a month more for our vehicle insurance and registration, but before the move we were only paying for the insurance; the registration was paid for annually, and we could shop around for private carriers.  Here, there’s no choice.  Just the public insurance company, and both are paid for together.

Then… there’s the rest.

Our electricity bill has tripled.  In my previous comparison, I had expected it to quadruple.  Still; painful.  At least now we’re on an equalized payment plan, so starting this month, the payments will be the same, and we won’t be getting any more almost $600 electricity bills!

Before the move, our TV and internet were bundled.  Out here, the only way to get internet was by satellite.  It took a while, but with the new satellite the company has available, we now have internet speeds and reliability, as well as a data package, comparable to what we had in the city.

At triple the cost.

We also have to have a land line now, since we’re in a cell phone signal dead zone, so that is a completely new expense.  With a long distance plan added to it, it ended up higher than I had worked it out to be when we first tried to do a comparison.

Our cell phones, on the other hand, are now combined in a bundle with one company, and that’s one bill that is actually lower by over $100.  Our grocery budget has gone up by $400 (note that this includes not just food, but personal care items, household needs, pet supplies and bird/deer feed).

Our gas budget has stayed the same, but only because we ration our trips as much as we can.  Our prescription budget had to go up, but our content insurance went down.

Now, normally this would mean that we’re ahead of the game.  But when we start taking into account the things we need to do here, and how much it will cost, we’ve not actually gained anything financially by moving out here.

It’s a good thing finances were not the only reason we agreed to move. :-/

The Re-Farmer