Before I get into today, I just had to share what I saw yesterday, while doing my evening rounds.
One of the things that got done was switching the winter window to the old basement to the summer window. This spring, things are wet enough that we are starting to have moisture seeping through the concrete floors, and the sump pump is going off every now and then. Nothing like what we were dealing with last year, of course, but more typical than the dry years we had previously.
The summer window is one that I built a few years ago to replace the makeshift cover that was being used before. Having air circulation through there helps keep the old basement from getting too damp and humid. My brother built a platform on the inside to hold a box fan to blow air out of the basement that helped, too, but that disappeared before we moved in.
We have a cat barrier between the two basements. The opening in the old basement wall was basically bashed out, so it’s uneven on the sides, making it impossible have a proper door. We have a wire mesh frame over it that was meant to be easily moved to one side if we needed to cross through. The old basement has the pumps, sump pump reservoir and breakable stuff, so we want to keep the cats out. In the end, we have had to brace the barrier with stuff on one side, while having Bungee cords holding it in place on the other.
Well, it wasn’t enough.
I was trying to see what Gooby was finding so interesting down there, and found a Susan on the window’s platform, looking back!
I messaged the picture to my family and my younger daughter went down to take care of it. She found David and Big Rig in there, too!
They could get in, but couldn’t get back out, and were very eager to leave when she opened the door!
Later, with her in the new basement and me in the old basement, we managed to secure the barrier a bit more. Hopefully, it will be enough!
I had a different surprise this morning, when checking the gate. When the snow melted enough that we could finally close it, it was like this.
They had shifted quite a lot over the winter!
If it had shifted a small amount, we could micro adjust the nuts on the J pins that make up the hinges, but for that distance, the gate posts themselves would have to be adjusted – once we brought out a level to see which one had moved the most.
Well, that’s no longer an issue. This is what it looked like, this morning!
I haven’t been able to slide that pin through so easily in probably a year!
That’s a lot of shifting in less than a month!
The funny thing is, I got a call from my sister in law this afternoon. She and my brother were on their way with the arm chair they were passing on to us, plus my brother was bringing tools so he could fix the gate! I was happy to tell her, it no longer needed fixing!
And that was our big change in plans.
After dropping off the armchair, they were going to visit my mother and take her out to dinner and invited me to come along, which I decided to do.
But first, we had to clear a path from the door to the living room for a rather wide armchair. Then, when they got here, I was on both door duty and cat duty, while my brother maneuvered it through. My SIL can’t come into the house, though, as she is quite allergic to cats. So my brother just left the chair on its side in the living room, waiting for the legs to be put back on. After a quick visit to the sun room to see all the transplants, they headed out and I followed in my mother’s car.
The plan had been for my SIL to be dropped off at a restaurant first, then my brother would take his truck over to pick up my mother. They even brought a footstool to help her climb in. Since I was there with her car, though, my brother took that, instead.
When he got there, he first made a point of setting up her air conditioner for the season, and testing it out. The batteries in the remote were dead and my mother didn’t have the right size, so he brought it with him as he took her to the restaurant.
She was very perplexed when he took her to her car. Was that her car? How did he get her car? Then she saw me when they got to the restaurant! It was quite a surprise for her.
While we got her settled in, my brother quickly ran to a store across the street to buy the batteries needed, and then we had a nice dinner together.
I’m glad I decided to come along. It took all three of us playing interference to keep the conversation from getting derailed into a racist rant or a political diatribe from someone who doesn’t actually understand politics very well, guilt tripping, or the many other ways she makes things difficult! It takes a lot of energy, but we managed to actually have a very good time. After a while, though, I could see we’d reached the limit of what we’d be able to do, and she was winding herself up, so I suggested to my brother it was time to go!
Since he wanted to test her air conditioner, now that he had fresh batteries in the remote, he drove her back while my sister in law and I stayed and waited until he got back. My mother was all surprised we weren’t all going to go to her place to visit! As if we’d all fit comfortably in her tiny apartment to begin with!
So, off they went, and my sister in law and I got to have another excellent conversation with just the two of us. For longer than expected. When my brother finally came back, he looked so frazzled! On the way, my mother first had him stop to pick up a few groceries, then while he was testing the air conditioner, she gave him a hard time because she thought he was fixing her TV remote, and she didn’t care about the air conditioner! Then she tried to keep talking to keep him from leaving, but he finally had to tell her he needed to go, because we were waiting for him. Of course, she tried to guilt trip him over things. It always amazes me how he does the most for her, yet she gives him the hardest time about anything and everything. He has such a good heart, and she stomps on it without even realizing what she’s doing, half the time. The other half, she knows exactly what she’s doing! I was very glad to be able to keep that down, at least somewhat!
They still had an hour and a half to drive home, so we parted ways soon after. I so enjoy spending time with them! It was also encouraging to hear from my sister in law that they are quite happy with the things we are doing here. Us being here saves them from having to take care of two properties, but they are also appreciating the work we’ve been able to do, and the plans we have. I really needed to hear that today, as I was feeling particularly useless. I had a number of jobs planned for today, but I woke up in quite a lot of pain. My left knee and left hip have suddenly started giving me a lot of grief. My plan had been to start working outside early, before things got too hot, but as I was checking the files on the trail cams, I found myself falling asleep in my chair, and ended up lying down for a couple of hours, instead. When I mentioned that to her, she told me she’s been struggling with the same thing; fatigue and joint pain. Especially in her hands. Perhaps the seasonal changes are affecting both of us!
Still, I feel like I should be accomplishing so much more. It does help that they understand the challenges we’ve been having here. Particularly with my mother’s expectations and demands, even though she walked away from the farm more than 10 years ago. I do wish we could get together more often! I actually feel both encouraged and refreshed after spending time with them.
Let’s see if that extends into tomorrow! I try to avoid unnecessary work on Sundays, but right now, I’ve got a lot of very necessary work that needs to get done!
Meanwhile, my daughter put the legs on the armchair they brought over and set it up.
It may have been just an old chair on its last legs to them, but right now, it’s the most comfortable chair in the house!