New baby sighting, and washer update

While doing my rounds, before going to the city, I went to the usual spots to see if any more branches had come down during the night.

None had, but when I reached the fence near the pump shack, I heard something moving on the metal table beside it.

It took me a while, but I eventually saw a kitten slink under the table itself.

Was that Junk Pile cat’s white and grey baby?

Near where I was standing is a spot the cats use to go under the chain link fence. Rosencrantz, whom I’d seen earlier as I put kibble out for the yard cats, went through, stopping several times to look back at me and give me a death glare! 😀

Just look at that face!

So was that Rosencrantz’s baby I was seeing?

She made her way to the pump shack, then settled down in front of the door, keeping an eye on me. I could no longer see the kitten under the table, but then and orange head popped out of the hole at the bottom of the door!

I’d actually enlarged that hole last year, when Pump Shack kitten was living in there. (We haven’t seen Pump Shack cat, nor her mom, Guildenstern, in a very long time.)

It took a while, but the other kitten did eventually come around.

Of course, there’s that little sapling in the way! 😀

This is most definitely NOT the grey and white kitten I saw before. This one has more white, and also has patches of orange in it.

So this is a first time sighting of these babies!

These would be the younger siblings to Keith, David and Junk Pile cat.

Shortly after this, my older daughter and I headed for the city. Having gone looking around online last night, I had several possibilities for washing machines that I wanted to check out at Home Depot.

Once at the store, I went looking at the machines. I wasn’t too surprised that there were fewer than what I saw online. Aside from the prices, I had also looked at ratings. GE had some of the lowest ratings, while Whirlpool had the highest. Those were out of budget, though. Plus, I wasn’t seeing any on display.

I had an employee acknowledge me when I first got there, asking if I needed help right away. I didn’t, yet, which worked out for him, since he said he needed to go to the back for a while. This gave me lots of time to look at the machines before settling on this one.

It was a GE, but not the same model I was seeing on the website that had the lower ratings. In fact, I don’t recall seeing this model online at all. The price was also easier on the budget than others on display. There were several cheaper ones but… they were also TOO cheap! And I don’t mean just on price.

There was also the issue of size, which turned out to be more of a non-issue. Where we have the washer and dryer is already tight. My daughter at home measured the width and messaged me the info. Our machine at home was 26 7/8ths wide. We could go up to 27 inches, but that was it. The machines were all either 26 7/8ths inches wide, or 27 inches wide. This one was 27 inches wide.

I then waited for the guy to come back.

And waited.

After a while, I asked a nearby cashier if she could see if someone was available, on the possibility there was someone else in that section.

There wasn’t.

So I waited some more, wandering around a bit.

Which is when I discovered there was a whole other section of washers and dryers I’d somehow managed to not see.

Of course, that’s when the guy came back.

I told him I was looking for a washing machine, mentioned that I’d just noticed the other section. After a quick walk around, I showed him the one I said I’d decided on.

“No,” he said.

I could only laugh. He did explain, though.

Basically, the brand sucks. He’d never use one himself, and wouldn’t sell one, if he could avoid it. His recommendation was to go with either Whirlpool or LG. I’d seen both brands were highly rated, but I hadn’t looked at any LG models online.

The first one he took me over to was a Whirlpool. It was over budget but, more importantly, it was 27 1/2 inches wide. That half inch would make a difference.

He showed me a couple others he recommended, both LG, that were 27 inches. The closer one we came to, I told him straight up was out of budget, so he showed me another one.

After going back and forth, I went with the cheaper LG.

This is it.

It cost $100 more than the GE, but it was still within budget. Well. Almost. After taxes and whatever fees were added on, it ended up costing $835 and change. So $35 over budget. It is also a higher capacity machine, at 5.5 cubic feet instead of 4.9 cubit feet in the GE I was looking at.

Unfortunately, they do not keep an inventory of stuff like this. It has to be delivered from the national warehouse in Ontario.

Expected delivery to the store: Friday, the 24th.

That’s more than a week away.

Now, I could have decided not to buy it, then tried going elsewhere, but that would most likely have meant going to another city, at a competitor’s location where we got our replacement hot water tank. That store has higher prices for the same makes and models, though, so even if I were able to find an identical machine, I probably could not have bought it.

So I bought the machine. If we really, really have to, we can go to town and use the laundromat.

As he did the computer stuff, and put me into their system, we had time to chat. I told him about our washer dying yesterday, and how we had to decide if it was worth fixing. I told him about finding the plastic part under it, and he cringed. I mentioned the screws, and he cringed a bit more. Then I mentioned the puddle of oil, and he did a whole body twitch while in the middle of typing. 😀

After the transaction was done, he made sure to let me know to expect a call on Thursday, the 23rd. If there was no call, he said to call him early on Friday (I made sure to take down his name). The delivery trucks stop running at 4:30. Once they stop, there would be no chance of it arriving until Monday, so it would have to be early enough for him to make some calls about it.

The new washer will be delivered to the store. We’re too far away to have it delivered to our place. Which actually helped a bit, since it kept the price down. There would have been a delivery fee on top of everything else, but he was able to waive that.

So we’ve got more than a week without a washing machine.

And I needed to do laundry, yesterday.

While we could make the trip into town to use the laundromat, we’re not going to bother. At least, not yet. My daughters have already done a load of their own laundry in the bath tub, and I’m about to do the same.

The one good thing about the new washing machine not coming in right away is, we have time to haul the old one out and clean up the mess of oil under it.

By the time we got home, I was surprised it wasn’t even 2pm yet. If felt like it should have been more like 4 or 5!

This has been a very expensive month. I had to buy the push mower. Then I had to buy the parts and pieces to fix the sink. My daughter bought the new stove, and now we’ve bought a new washing machine. Meanwhile, we’ve got the riding mower still in the shop (at this point, I’m hoping they’ll continue to take their time getting to it!), plus my mother’s car will be ready for the end of the month. That one, at least, I’ve got almost 2/3rds paid off. My older daughter is still getting regular commissions, but my younger daughter is not going to be able to find a job for some time, given the pandemic situation, and our Premiere extending our “emergency” status for a couple more months, in spite of the lack of cases in our province. So it’s not like there’s any way for the income to increase with the outgo!

Unfortunately, it means a lot of things we’d hoped to get done this summer, likely won’t happen. We need to buy plywood for a floor on the trailer, and more for other projects we had in mind. I was hoping to buy materials to create a base for the cordwood outhouse we were planning to build this summer. While there is a lot we can get started on to prepare that won’t cost money, we do still need to buy some things, like mortar ingredients, and I was hoping to have concrete paving stones as a “floor” to build on. That project will likely have to be pushed back to next year. Plus, if anything else breaks down, there’s very little left in reserve. I’m just thankful we had as much as we did, set aside, to cover these. I just can’t help but think, how on earth are we supposed to come up with $10,000 for a new roof, when stuff like this keeps happening?

But, thanks to my husband’s private insurance and disability income, the bills are being paid, there’s food on the table, and gas in the tank. Being hear at the farm, we’ve got a roof over our head (even if it needs replacing!) and are secure as “caretakers” of the property. We are much better off than so many others, and have much to be thankful for.

Well, there’s one thing that might help, on the financial side. Our internet provider has had a new tower built in the area.

When moving here, the only option we had was satellite and, because of plan limits at the time, we had to get two of them to provide enough data for our needs. (Getting internet is a necessity, since my daughter’s business is entirely online now.) Even then, we had issues. Eventually, we were able to double the data one of the plans. Meanwhile, we lose connectivity fairly easily. Particularly in summer, when the foliage is full. The primary account’s satellite is usually fine, but the secondary satellite is barely a couple of feet to the side, and the branches block the signal more frequently (I’ve lost internet several times, just writing this post!). As we reach the limit on the data plan for our primary account, we switch cables on our router to the secondary account – and we switched cables just this morning. We have been regularly going over our data plans, and while the company waived those costs for the past couple of months, due to the lock downs and more people being stuck at home, that ended this month.

My husband talked to the company and will arrange for someone to come by next month to do a site survey (when we’ll have money to pay for the survey). If they can get a signal to the new tower, we would be able to move away from satellite completely, have only one account, unlimited data, and save almost $200 a month.

Yeah. We spend over $300 a month, just to get internet out here, with limited data and frequent loss of connectivity.

I’m really hoping they find a signal this time!

The Re-Farmer

Repair – Updated

I got the mower in to the shop this morning, to fix the broken belt.

Because I had to drive in from out of town and was going to wait, they worked on my mower first thing after they did their parts run.

It was the drive belt that broke, which controls the cutting blades.  The entire section had to be unhooked for the new belt to be installed.  They got me a high end Kevlar belt, so it should last many years!


There just has to be a but, doesn’t there?

When I was leaving home, as I braked to take a turn turn, I felt what I thought was the ramps sliding forward to hit my seat.  Nope; it was the mower rolling forward, then pushing the cooler into my seat.  I commented on it when I got there, and the guy reminded me that there is a parking brake.  I didn’t even think of it, partly because I was already driving when it happened.

So when they loaded it into the van after the repair (not an easy job, because once the wheels clear the “lip” of the van, the whole thing drops, then the outside half – the rear, which has the full weight of the engine – needs to be lifted to get it the rest of the way in or out), the guy that guided it from the inside of the van set the parking break for me.

On the way home, however, it still rolled forward.

When my younger daughter and I unloaded it, I did confirm that the parking brake was still on.

After it was unloaded, I took advantage of my daughter being there and showed her everything to check on it and how to work it, then got her to start it and drive it around.

Which is when we discovered, the brake doesn’t work.  Not only that, but it will keep rolling even when the drive pedal is NOT engaged.  It should come to a stop when the drive pedal is disengaged, even without the brake being used.

I think something broke when it was being loaded back into the van.

I’ve sent them an email, copying my brother who bought it for us, describing what it’s doing.  My husband has a medical appointment tomorrow, so the earliest we can take it back is the day after.


At least it’s still under labour warranty.

Before I try loading it back into the van, I will have to find something a few inches thick to lay down on the floor of the back, to keep the mower from dropping.

The Re-Farmer

UPDATE: I checked the van and discovered some of the foam insulation that was used around the house during the winter was thick enough to match the height of the “lip” at the back of the van.  Not only that, but after checking the space, I discovered that we wouldn’t even have to take the seats out again to fit the mower.  I phoned the shop and they were unsure what it might be.  I had time enough for my daughter and I to load up the van and drive it over (a 40 minute drive), about an hour and a half before they closed.  They unloaded the mower – using their own ramp, this time – then the guy that worked on it before started it up and tested it out.  Sure enough, as soon as he put it in gear, it started moving and the brake didn’t work.  In fact, he ended up getting hung up on a corner of the ramp, because he couldn’t stop it.  He had to shut it off!

So he pushed it into the shop and checked it out.  The brake mechanism was working fine.  He thought a belt might be loose, but that was also fine.  So he went even further under the mower.  It turns out there are two bolts that were too far forward, as if they were too tight.  It’s possible, he tightened them too much when he reassembled it earlier, or it’s possible that when it did the drop as it was being loaded into the van and the front tires passed the point of no return, and the deck bed hit the ramp/edge of the van opening, it got jammed forward.  No way to know for sure.  He adjusted them, though, then tested it out.  Forward and reverse, driving it out of the shop, and doing a loop before driving to the back of our van.  It was working fine!

Unloading, testing, fixing, testing again, then reloading: about 15 minutes.

I just got back from mowing the lawn. 😀

I did as much as I intend to in the outer yard; the grass it just too thick to do all of what I’d wanted to do.  It’s not just the new growing grass, but the thatch from last year’s grass underneath, that it making it so hard on the mower.  I’ll just have to make sure to keep up with maintaining the parts I have done, so they don’t get overgrown again.  As long as we can access, the barn, storage shed and burn barrel.

Then I mowed the south yards by the house.  Because I could! 😀