Our 2023 garden: garlic planted, and topping up the high raised bed

Earlier today, I made a trip into town to hit the hardware store. I found the screws in the size I needed, though the cost was insane. A box with only 100 screws was $12.99 – about $4 more than the last time I got a 100 count box! Still, we’ll be able to finish the water bowl shelter now.

I also picked up a glass cutter. We have one somewhere, but I have no idea what happened to it. While I was in the city yesterday, the girls worked on clearing the broken glass from the inner pane of one of the sun room windows. There are still pieces that are firmly attached at the sides. Until that’s done, we can’t let the cats into the sun room. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get that cleaned up soon.

I was really happy to find the lever type door handle I was looking for. Just a simple, inexpensive handle for an interior door. It was easy to install, and it now no longer hurts to open my door!

Later on, my older daughter and I headed out to do some work in the garden, including planting these.

The Nootka Rose garlic on the left are a soft neck garlic. On the right, above the cloves, you can see the hard necks from the middle of the bulbs. They do make it easier to break the cloves apart! The cloves are larger, and there are fewer of them. Of the four bulbs, one of them had only three cloves!

The soft neck garlic has nothing like that in the middle. Just smaller and smaller cloves. I’ve never planted soft neck garlic before. While the hard neck garlic should be planted in the fall, in our climate zone, we can plant soft neck garlic in the spring – but we’re planting both now.

We moved the mulch aside and planted them the same way as the first row we planted a few days ago. The row in the middle of the bed got the hard neck Music variety, because there are fewer of them. Less reaching needed when it’s time to harvest!

After laying out the cloves to see how to space them, the kittens absolutely would not leave them alone! They also really, really wanted to dig in those freshly uncovered rows!

After planting, the rows were lightly covered to reduce compaction while watering – and protect from kitties.

Which didn’t work very well. Several of them started digging in to them to poop! One wouldn’t stop even while being directly spayed with the hose!


We did eventually persuade them to go elsewhere.

With the Nootka Rose garlic, there were enough that we planted only the largest cloves.

The remaining smaller cloves are now in the kitchen for us to taste test. 😊

That done, my daughter did some other clean up and gathering of support poles, while I turned my attention to the high raised bed.

The chard remains were pulled. They’re actually looking better after several frosts then they have all summer, now that there are no longer grasshoppers eating them. We were never able to eat any of it!

As expected, the soil level has dropped a fair bit, as the organic material buried in layers below, settle. It looks like some mice may have been trying to tunnel in one corner.

I have no doubt Rolando Moon has taken care of that problem for us already.

The last of the vines from the squash patch were added for more organic material – then smashed as flat as I could get it before adding fresh soil. The remaining soil sifted from what is now the garlic bed came in quite handy!

It had settled enough that it took three large wheelbarrows full of soil to top it up! I probably could have gotten away with two and a half, but it’s going to continue to settle, so a little extra is fine.

It then got a light, thin mulch of grass clippings before I gave the whole thing a thorough watering. I just want to protect the soil surface, not insulate it. In the spring, the mulch will be removed so the soil can warm up and thaw out faster.

We haven’t decided what to plant here next year, yet, but I think we should give it at least one more year for the upper layers to break down before we try to plant any deep root vegetables in it.

I feel like I’m really behind on preparing the beds for the winter. The girls aren’t able to help as much as usual, either. My younger daughter has been having knee issues to the point that she’s now using a cane to get around the house. She did try to go to a doctor about it, about 2 years ago, but it wasn’t taken seriously because she’s so young. It was already a battle to get her to see a doctor in the first place, so that certainly didn’t help. Anyhow, she does the best she can but, right now I’m actually the most able bodied person in our household. Which is kinda scary, considering how much I’m hurting this year! I didn’t expect my hands to be the main problem, though. Usually it’s my wrecked knees and feet. They’ve actually been relatively good, lately. Either that or the pain in my hands is making it seem like they are better.

Ah, well. We do what we can. It won’t be the end of the world if some beds don’t get weeded before winter and need to be done in the spring. There are other things that are higher on the necessity list.

Little by little, it’ll get done.

The Re-Farmer

Finally did the Costco shop

Today, I finally made it into the city to do our Costco shopping for the month. Normally, we would have done it more than a week ago. Thankfully, we did get to do our stocking up at other stores, so we weren’t running out of things. I just prefer to get it over with, earlier.

I didn’t want to do it on the weekend, though. I had stuff to do that require a lot of time, so I did my morning rounds quickly and headed out as soon as I could.

This is $481 worth of stuff looks like, including the Pizza Pops for my daughter that she sent me funds to cover. I didn’t get everything I would have gotten, because that already put me over the grocery budget for this trip.

Just to be clear, our “grocery” budget covers food, household cleaners, paper products and cat food, and other miscellaneous items.

Everything has gone up in price.

There are two 11.6kg bags of dry cat food, which now costs $34.99 each, and two 9kg bags of their house brand cat food at $28.49 each. The case of wet cat food now costs $33.99

I meant to get our usual 10 pounds of butter for the month, even though we still have a couple of pounds in the freezer from last month, thanks to also picking up some ghee. I accidentally grabbed 11, and when they counted and found an extra, I just kept it. House brand butter at Costco is now $4.99 each. There’s a package of AA batteries in there, mostly for the trail cams, as well as a 60 pack of eggs, toilet paper, all purpose cleaner, a 2 pack of lemon juice, peanut butter, a couple of jars of mayonnaise, a 2pk of baking powder, a 3 pack of hot dogs, their big package of Old Cheddar cheese, 6 pack of pasta, and a can of pink lemonade powdered mix to try. One thing in there we don’t normally get is a 3 pk of cream cheese, for a recipe we want to try. Some of this is for the pantry, stocking up on the assumption we’ll be stuck for at least 2 months in the winter, but not much.

It’s a ridiculously small Costco shop for the money, but that was what the budget allowed for. I did make a quick stop at a nearby Superstore to pick up a couple of bags their $5 buns, and a non-Costco size of paper towels, a specific snack my husband requested, and a sandwich and drink for me to ingest on the trip home. With that one, I at least had enough loyalty points accumulated that I was able to get what would have been $38 for $8, instead.

The biggest item on the list is always the cat food. We really need to reduce the number of cats we’re feeding!

That done, my afternoon was spent working on making crab apple sauce. It took 2 hours to remove the stems and flower ends, as well as any damage, from the apples remaining in the one bin from the other day. We still have one more bin to do something with, as well as the bucket of apples I’d set aside for my mother. I called her about it, hoping to arrange a time to come over with them, but she declined them. Aside from the apples she picked here, apples had been left in the lobby of her building for the residents. She is all done with apples now. I was hoping she’d enjoy having apples from here that were fully ripe. Ah, well.

The apples took a long time to prep, but they sure cooked down fast! I’ll do a separate post about it later, as it’s not done yet. I’ve asked the girls to give it a taste and add as much sugar as they like, then cook the sauce down, and tomorrow morning I’ll can them while they’re still hot. I don’t actually like apple sauce all that much, but the girls requested it, so it’s on them to get it to their taste. 😊

I don’t know that I want to make more apple sauce with the rest. We shall see.

Unfortunately, my hands are now knackered again. My finger joints are really hurting. As least they’re not so stiff I can’t type, but … ouch.

Arthritis sucks.

Even my elbows and shoulders are giving me a hard time. I did go out and do some work around the yard this evening, but not enough to warrant that kind of pain.

Ah, well. I suppose I should just pain killer up and deal. 😕

The Re-Farmer

Getting brave, and why do I hurt?

The outside cats were, as usual, very excited about that whole “food” thing. 😉

The super shy one was even down to “shy” instead of “super shy”. 😀

Usually, she’ll peek in between the shelters, see me and run off. Not this morning!

She actually joined the buffet while I was still there!

Then she ran off as soon as I moved.

Ah, well.

Mornings get very noisy this time of year. 🙂 While I was doing my rounds, I was hearing SO many Sandhill Cranes, as well as Canada Geese. Then a palliated woodpecker showed up, moving from tree to tree as I walked around, making sure I couldn’t possibly get a photo! 😀 They have such a raucous call. I’d heard it before but this was the first time I saw one actively making it. I had no idea that noise was from a woodpecker until now! 😀

We’re supposed to have a warm one today, with a high of 11C/52F. Normally, I would be outside, doing more clean up and making use of our newly sharpened little electric chain saw. It’s got a 10″ bar, which is just enough to use on some of the downed trees nearer the house that have to be cleaned out.

Instead, I will be heading out this afternoon to help my mother with some grocery shopping. Which is probably a good thing, because I have been strangely hurting. I always have aches and pains, of course, but yesterday I started feeling the oddest chest pains. Mostly around the sternum, but also in the muscles in front of my shoulder joint. The “clavicular head”, according to the anatomy charts. It makes reaching for things much more limited. It’s the sort of pain I would normally associate with having overdone it with heavier physical labour, or pulling a muscle or something. I haven’t done anything that would explain it, though. The closest thing was to load the lawn mower in and out of the van, and there was nothing taxing about that.

Whatever caused it, I’m still feeling it today, and it seems unaffected by the pain killers I take daily for my osteoarthritis. It’s more annoying than anything else. I only really notice it when I stretch to reach for something and discover my range of motion suddenly limited.


We have a few cooler days coming. Hopefully, it’ll pass by the time things warm up again, and I can get back to cleaning up in the spruce grove.

We shall see.

The Re-Farmer

Winter is not quite done with us, yet

After getting teased with spring, the temperatures lurched back downwards last night.

Also, I am SO tired of our intermittent internet. It took me forever to get any of my weather apps to load! We’ll be able to switch back to the primary account soon. Hopefully, that will be better again. :-/

As I write this, we’re still at -24C/-11F, but the wind chill has “warmed” up to -33C/-27. It was pretty steady like that, all night.

I am really looking forward to that 6C/43F two Sundays from now!!

While doing my rounds this morning, I opened up the sun room to let Potato out for a bit, if he wanted. Along with the warm water, I had a treat for the kitties. I’d kept the meat juices and dregs from a roasting pan. Usually, I’d use it as part of the liquid for a soup, or make a gravy out of it, but this was onion free, and safe for cats. The juices had gelled, so I added warm water to melt it and brought it out for the cold kitties.

They were so excited for the treat!!! Cats that would normally stay away from each other were all pushing their way into the bowl, ignoring the container of warm water they usually go for, while I knocked the ice out of the water bowls. With the temperature fluctuations, the metal bowls are in melted depressions of ice, and I had to use a chipper to get one of them out! LOL

I was happy to see that the terrarium heat bulb was enough to keep Potato Beetle’s water from freezing. There was just a bit of ice on the water surface furthest from the bulb.

Once the water was taken care of, I fought some kitties off the bowl of meat juices and split it between the various food bowls. More room for more cats to have a treat! The very last bits in the bowl, which had chunks of meat in it, went into Potato’s bowl in the sun room. He had gone outside after I’d opened the door, but it didn’t take much for him to go back in! We are a bit concerned about him being alone and lonely in there, but he seems to be content over the whole situation.

I tried to get a picture of his wound, but he wouldn’t stay still, so this was the best I could get! Now that the fur is shaved, we can see that it’s a rather large puncture wound – and there is a smaller one, next to it! It’s drying up and scabbing over nicely, though. We’ll keep Potato in the sun room for a few more days. Once it warms up again, it should be okay for him to be outside with his little nekkid patch.

I’m not sure what we’ll do if he wants to stay in the sun room, though! We’ve tried propping the doors open, but then we caught Nicky the Nose in there, asserting his dominance. 😦

I wonder if that old sling shot I found in the garage is still usable… :-/

Since Potato was content in the sun room, I closed him up again and continued my rounds.

I had lots of company.

I had five of them! Butterscotch and Nostrildamus, the spice boys and Rolando Moon, all came along.

Then I turned around and there was number six.

Creamsicle Jr. many not want us coming anywhere near him, but that doesn’t stop him from following me around!

Unfortunately, this lurch into colder temperatures has been very rough on my husband’s pain levels (the added medications are helping, but not much at this point), and this morning, his TENS machine just stopped working. It seems one of the wires has … broken? I don’t know. He’s in a lot of pain, so his tolerance to try and figure it out is out the window. It’s an older machine, so I don’t know if we can get new wires for it anymore. The plug in port is universal, so we should be able to. I’ll have to do some looking.

But it will wait until later. I just got a call from my sister in law. She’s dropped my brother off to see my mother, and is on her way to deliver the pressure cooker! Time to go open the gate. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

How it went


My husband and I are back from his appointment at the pain clinic in the city.

In a nutshell?

Nothing happened, and nothing will happen. At least not there.

To backtrack a bit.

When we first moved here, one of the first things we had to do was find a new doctor for my husband. Just a GP to start with, so he could get his prescriptions refilled, to start with. From there, he could get referrals to specialists, as needed.

Before the move, my husband had a primary caregiver (at first, a Nurse Practitioner, then a GP), a physiotherapist, an exercise specialist, a psychiatrist and, at the pain clinic, a team of 4 or 5 people; I can’t remember exactly how many, but there was the doctor that was “team lead” on his file, a doctor that specialized in medications, another on physical care/exercise, and one or two more that I can’t remember what they specialized in anymore. I might be forgetting another specialist.

It took him a year to get into the pain clinic in the city, but that was only because his paperwork somehow got lost.


So somewhere between the regular clinic and the pain clinic, there were issues, but once he got in, things went quickly.

We were hoping to find something similar here, but really didn’t know what to expect.

The new doctor got a referral to the pain clinic in quickly. That was in February of 2018. What we were expecting to get was a phone call for an appointment. As months went by, the doctor would check to confirm, and yes, my husband was still on the waiting list. Then this doctor had to suddenly move, we found our current doctor and saw him for the first time in December of 2019.

When he found out how long my husband had been on the waiting list, he promised to push to get him in.

In February, my husband got – not a phone call, but 14 pages of questions they wanted him to answer. All of which was information that would have been in his medical file. He answered as best he could, but some of it simply went back too far, and we no longer had the details (which would have been in his file, anyhow), while others were too complicated to answer on the form. At one point, my husband even wrote in, “don’t you have this one file?”

Then the pandemic lockdown happened in March.

No more health care, unless you thought you had the virus, or were in an emergency situation – and even those got punted.

So that added another 6 months to the wait. Today’s appointment was almost exactly 2 1/2 years, to the day, since my husband was put on the waiting list.

We made the drive in, and it took about 1 1/2 hours to get to the clinic – about 15 minutes less than I’d expected, but traffic was pretty clear when we came in. (It took longer to get out of the city, later.)

When we got there, I was able to drop my husband off with his walker at a ramp, then parked nearby as he went in ahead of me. At this point, we were about half an hour early for his appointment. Plenty of time to go through the gauntlet to get to where he needed to be.

After I parked and went to follow him (he was NOT required to use a mask, Thank God!), I was told they were allowing patients, only. I could not go in with him.

They did, however, allow me to use their washroom, at least!

The city is even hotter than we are – it was 32C/89F with a humidex of 37C/98C. There was no way I could wait in the van in that heat. So I started wandering around to try and find some shade in the area.

I found some.

There was even a place to sit down.

Sort of.

Thankfully, I still had some waterproof cushions in the van that I’d bought so my daughter and I could sit outside on damp concrete benches to have lunch together, months ago.

By this time, my husband had texted me to let me know where he was, at the same time I was texting him to let him know I wasn’t allowed to join him.

Since it was a while before his appointment was booked for, I took advantage of the time and played some Pokemon Go. I even found a nice, little park next to a Pokemon Go gym I could battle in.

Such a lovely, shady spot.

Sometimes, people really suck.

I’d been playing for a while when I got a text from my husband – well past his appointment time – informing me that he was still waiting.

I walked around for a while longer before returning to the shade by the clinic. By the time I got the message that he was done, it was an hour past his appointment time.

So how long was the appointment?

Well, it turned out to be a two part appointment.

For the first part, a nurse came in to talk to him about his diet and diabetes, while skimming over his file.

He ended up cutting her off to ask if they could focus on why he was there: his pain.

It turns out that some of his pain issues was listed in his file as being diabetic related.

In reality, his diabetes is related to the pain. And the other pains that were noted as being diabetic related are actually from nerve damage due to problems with his spine, which in turn are exacerbated by the original injury.

The nurse left after about 10 minutes. He could hear she was talking to the doctor in the hallway before the doctor came in, and gets the feeling she “warned” the doctor in advance.

The doctor was to the point – which was much appreciated – and quickly ran through potential options.


That was looking into years ago, and my husband is not a candidate for surgery. He explained that, and the why of it, to the doctor.


That was in the file as having been tried before, without success.

Physiotherapy/mental coping skills.

It turns out there’s nothing at this clinic as far as physical treatment that he can’t get from any physiotherapist locally. Certainly nothing to warrant the 1 1/2 hour drive each way. There don’t seem to be any of the exercise specialists that helped him before, in this province, in any variation. As for mental coping skills, as a martial artist, my husband was already well versed in the use of meditation techniques they would advise. He’s been using them to help cope with the pain for years.

It makes for very quiet trips to and from the city, as he spends almost the entire time using those techniques to control/cope with his pain during the drive.

That left one more thing.


And there is nothing they would do that our GP can’t.

Finally advice?

Go back to your doctor.

Which is what we’re booked to do tomorrow.

On the one hand, okay. This is good. We know what they can or can’t do. Maybe if we lived in the city, there would be more options? I don’t know.

The thing that frustrates me most is that our first doctor would not adjust my husband’s painkillers, or related medications, until the pain clinic saw him first. He had no problem adding more medications for other things, but he wasn’t going to touch the pain issues without that. He was by no means a bad doctor; in fact, he was better than the others we had to deal with when my husband ended up in the hospital. I think he was just too young, inexperienced and lacking in confidence for a file as complicated as my husband’s.

As for our current doctor, he’s seen my husband all of twice, and 1) kick started the pain clinic response in the first place and 2) is already considering alternative medications that might help with the pain better than what he’s on now.

And this is even with the pandemic shut downs slowing everything down.

Which basically means we had 2 wasted years of waiting for my husband’s pain medications to be adjusted, that wasn’t necessary. Plus the 6 months of no health care at all, due to the pandemic shut downs.

We waited 2 1/2 years for less than 15 minutes at the pain clinic, and there’s nothing there to help him.

The van was parked close to the ramp where I’d dropped him off, which was handy, since there was an ambulance parked next to the ramp’s drop off/pick up zone. Still, I wish I could have brought it closer, because I could see he was really struggling.

Then, we went to a McDonald’s, mostly so we could sit in some air conditioning. As hungry as he was, he couldn’t actually eat more than a few fries, as he was in too much pain, but it did give us a chance to catch up on what happened.

Then there was the drive home.

A very quiet drive home, as he meditated pretty much the entire trip.

We still have the drive to the doctor’s, tomorrow, but at least that clinic is only about 40 minutes away.

I do have higher hopes for our current doctor.

We shall see what happens tomorrow!

The Re-Farmer

Good news!

And it only took 2 years and 5 months.

My husband got a letter from the pain clinic in the city today. He has an appointment for next month!

Which will make it almost exactly 2 1/2 years since he was first put on the waiting list.

It took 2 years and a new doctor making some noise just to finally get their 14 page (or was it 17 pages?) questionnaire. That got sent in, but then the lock down happened and my husband, like so many others, got knocked off the priority list for health care.

He had to call in to confirm, then answer pandemic related questions. He was also told if he doesn’t have a mask, they’ll provide one.

He had a little chat with our daughter, and she will be making him a pirate mask.

Finally, he’ll be able to talk to a specialist about managing his pain. Who knows what will come of it. At the pain clinic before we moved, he had a team of 5 different specialists overseeing his case. The heart clinic out here has a team of 5 specialists, too, but they all work together on the same things, so when he comes in for an appointment there, he can see any one of them. At the previous pain clinic, each team member focused on a different area, such as pain medications, physical pain management, etc, with one primary care giver. We have no clue what to expect out here. So much of the health care in this province is different from before. Even with basic health care, they do things slightly differently, though at least part of that is the difference between living in the city, or in the boonies, like we are.

I am really hoping this is the start of some sort of treatment plan to at least get the pain under better control. We’ve known for some time – and at least one specialist made sure we understood this – that my husband will never be not-disabled again. He will never be 100% pain free. The best we can expect is an improvement in quality of life. Any improvement at all will be a blessing.

The Re-Farmer

Recovery day

It was a sleepless night last night. Even with painkillers, I still hurt all over. That, on its own, would have been fine. What made it difficult is what I could only describe as a total rebellion of m body! You’ve probably heard of restless legs syndrome? That’s when you’re lying in bed, trying to relax and go to sleep, but your legs just can’t stay still. Now, imagine that, but with the whole body. It didn’t matter how tired I was, or how much pain the moving around caused, I just couldn’t stop. I think I finally fell asleep somewhere around 5am.

What I found odd, though, is that there was NO storm last night! I’d been keeping an eye on the weather radar, because there was a wide swatch of a storm system coming for us, including areas of heavy and severe weather. There was no way it was going to miss us.

And yet, it did. At one point, I checked the weather radar, and the system had passed us, and all I could think was, what happened? We didn’t even get rain or winds!

Today is looking beautiful, though. During my morning rounds, I took extra time to check on different areas, do a bit of weeding among the carrots, parsley and beets, and visit the MUCH taller sunflowers!

You can see the little, late planted, one in the foreground. 😀

I really look forward to seeing how big these guys get.

While checking the fence line along the garden, I found these.

I don’t know what these little shrubs are, and had no idea they bloomed until today! We have quite a few of them in the area.

There are also a few Saskatoon bushes in the area. We’d done a bit of clean up in the area, two summers ago, and they have gotten noticeably stronger since then, and actually producing berries now.

Breakfast! 😀

While doing my rounds, I had an internal battle going on. On the one hand, my brain was saying, “oh, the weather is so nice today! It’s a perfect time to get out the weed trimmer and clean up around the mowed areas. Then mow the old garden area. There’s also lots of Saskatoons to pick near the house.” The list went on. Meanwhile, my body is saying, “Ow. Ow. Ow. Are you kidding me? Sleep. That’s what’s on the to-do list. Sleep.”

I think my body is winning this fight.

We have, however, opened the new part basement door, which means there is an army of kittens (the 5 kittens seem more like 15! 😀 ) tearing around the house – and especially my bed! – playing with the adult cats that will tolerate them, and discovering cat toys the others have long gotten tired of.

It’s very entertaining! 😀

The Re-Farmer

I’ll be feeling this tomorrow!

I am in so much pain right now. Chances are, I’ll hardly be able to walk tomorrow. But it was worth it!

Let’s back up a bit.

This morning, I got a call from the pharmacy, letting me know my husband’s painkillers were ready to pick up.

Oh, what wonderful news to start the day!

I skipped my morning routine, which my daughters were kind enough to do most of for me, and headed to the garage.

The first thing I did was hose down the area the wasp nest was in. They were still hanging around, but I was able to get the door open and drive out.

I left the door open. 😀

Once in town, and the prescriptions were picked up, I swung by the hardware store to look at what they had for wasp spray. I basically had only two choices: a foam type and a non-foam type. They were also both designed to be used on the nests themselves. I talked to a staff member and ended up going with the non-foam type, as it was also supposed to contact kill for some time after use. Since the next itself was already destroyed, I needed to spray the area to keep them from coming back and building a new one.

Once at home, I made sure to park in the yard, then headed for the garage with the wasp spray. I couldn’t see any wasps, though I could hear some. I closed the garage door from the outside…

… and there they were! They were bouncing right off of me. I moved away and headed for the house, figuring I would give them time to calm down, but they followed me!

I’m glad I happened to be wearing a golf shirt, with thicker fabric. At one point, I looked down and there were two wasps on my boob, stuck in the fabric, trying to sting me! I was able to pull the fabric away from my body and blow them away.

It was only later than I realized, I did get stung! Right on the boob. I never really felt anything. It took a while, but I realized why it didn’t hurt. Some 20 years ago, I had breast reduction surgery. With the amount of tissue removed, it was basically a complete reconstruction. I was warned in advance that, since nerves were being cut, I would lose some sensation, and that it might never return. I did regain most of it, but I do have areas where I don’t feel anything at all. It looks like the wasp stung me in one of those areas!

Which is… good? LOL

Since I didn’t want wasps around the house, I went back to the garage and went in through the back door. I could see some of them going through the opening in the wall, but not as many as I was hearing.

I then proceeded to spray the heck out of the area where the nest was, up to the underside of the roof peak, and along the beam on either side of where the nest was above the door.

What I didn’t count on was how quickly I’d run out. I had intended to spray the opening from the outside, but by the time I went out there, the can was pretty much empty.

When I was done spraying, I went to switch out the trail cam memory cards, which was the only part of skipped morning routine left for me to do.

I had company.

She is not meowing at me in this picture. She is hissing! Oh, what a mean kitty she is! 😀

I checked on it the garage throughout the day. I only ever saw one dead wasp on the ground. From the inside, I could see wasps land in the opening, start to come in, then leave. So they could tell that something was amiss.

By the end of the day, when I had to put the van back in the garage (we’re expecting more storms tonight), I was no longer seeing or hearing any wasps. So I hope this took care of the problem!!

Today was another hot one, but there were a few things that just needed to get done. One of them was to finally put those latches on the new basement window. With the distraction of the wasp nest, I never did get it done yesterday.

I only gone one side done, though. When I went to do the other side, I discovered the hole for the post to go into was just a bit smaller than the first one. New latches of this time all have a standard size post, no matter what size the rest of the latch is. I’ll have to find – or buy – a round file to enlarge the hole just the tiniest bit, before I can put on the new latch.

So that’s only half done.

I then had to start mowing the lawn. Between the heat and the rain, the yard had gotten really over grown. With another storm looking like it will hit tonight, decided to go for it.

For the first time since getting the new mower, I kept the bag on to keep the grass clippings for the entire time I mowed. The grass was so tall and thick in the first area I worked on, I had to empty the bag about every 50 feet or so!

In the end, I got only a small section done before I had to stop, go inside and cool down.

The best place to cool down is the basement! It was a great excuse to check on the old basement.

What a difference! The area the dehumidifier is in is almost completely dry. I checked the hose and, to be honest, I couldn’t really tell if water was dripping through there, but I’m assuming it is. The water that was all over and around the well pump, from condensation, is almost completely dry.

The section under the window is also noticeably drier, though it still had big wet patches. There are still damp spots under the furnaces, so I changed the angle on the blower fan to face the floor under there. The last thing we need is for the new electric furnace to start rusting!

My making a commotion in the old part basement attracted attention, of course. I had a whole bunch of kitties at the divider, watching me and wanting to play!

So I went around to the new part basement and joined the kitties for a while. Though I’d washed up after coming inside, my clothes probably still smelled of bug spray, so they actually left me alone a fair bit.

A few days ago, I’d started another hair pin using lilac wood. I’d roughed it out to the sanding stage, so I finished it off today.

Given the size and shape of the piece of branch I used, there wasn’t a lot of options for what to do with it. I still wanted to highlight the colours inside, so I made a simple spiral cut. This picture is after it was completed and oiled.

My daughter is ecstatic with it! 😀 It’s longer than the first one I made, too, which is much better for her mass of curly hair.

By the time I was done with that, I found the kittens were all done, too!

I had hoped in this time, I would have gotten enough rest so I could go back outside and continue mowing, but it wasn’t. I ended up needing to nap! This meant I was going back outside at the hottest part of the day 28C/77F, with a real feel of about 32C/90F! Thankfully, though, the sun was low enough that the areas I needed to work on were mostly in the shade. After moving the van to where I’d already cut, the grass, I then spent several hours working on the lawn, with many, many stops to empty the grass bag.

I now have plenty of clippings to mulch the new garden area where the wood pile used to be. I added a lot around the grape vines, to help keep down the things that are trying to encroach on them. The old kitchen garden has piles all over, which the girls will spread out for me, tomorrow. When working on the north yards, I added the clippings to the compost pile already there, and it’s now full.

We need to start a new compost pile.

I love this new mower. With the frequent stops to empty the bag, it got harder and harder for me to pull on the cord to restart it. No matter how rubber my arm got, though, it started every time! With the old push mower, I would have had to stop long before finishing.

I’m so glad to finally get that done. Everything looks so much better now! I still need to go around the old garden area, then the garden area itself – today, I just mowed around the potatoes, which are coming up quite nicely – but that can wait for another day! I got the main parts done, and the rest can wait a bit longer, if the weather doesn’t co-operate.

It’s been a bit frustrating this year. As much as I appreciate the rain, between that and the heat waves, the lawn is about all we’ve been able to keep up with. I’ve barely managed to do any clean up near where we plan to build the cordwood outhouse, and we certainly haven’t been able to start on clearing where we will be building it. This year, I was supposed to continue clearing the spruce grow – I even have a working chain saw to make that job easier! We’ve done nothing.

With my husband being in the hospital for 3 weeks last spring, and so many follow up medical appointments, it’s no surprise we fell behind on this stuff last year. It’s now feeling like we’re going to lose another year, this time to weather!

Maybe we’ll have a long and mild fall to make up for lost time. Here’s hoping!

I’m just happy I managed to get done as much as I did today. I expect that tomorrow is going to be a major pain day because of it, but it was worth it to finally get this stuff done! The yard look so much better now. It’s more of a psychological boost than anything else, but those are important, too!

The Re-Farmer

Feelin’ hip

My hip joint, that is.

Hip ball socket joint Clipart Picture, Hip ball socket joint Gif

I have been feeling pain in my left hip for some time. I got X-rays and they found the beginnings of osteo-arthritis, which is not surprising, but also bone spurs, which explained the pain I was feeling. That pain is pretty much always there, but not very severe. About the only time it’s a problem is when I sleep, as it means I can’t lie on my left side for very long. Otherwise, it doesn’t really slow me down. At least not more than anything else does. 😀
(image source)

I’d hurt my right hip some months before and had it X-rayed, too. It also showed mild osteo-arthritis beginning, but that’s about it. That hip had stopped bothering me.

Until a few weeks back. While walking across the dining room, I suddenly couldn’t put weight on my right leg. There was something wrong with my hip joint. I was close enough to the dining table that I could grab a chair and sit down. After a while, I was able to get up and “walk it off”.

Then the pain went away as suddenly as it started.

I then basically forgot about it.

It happened again, yesterday evening. All I was doing was sweeping the floor. Without warning, I suddenly couldn’t put weight on my right leg, due to pain in my hip joint. My daughter had to come over and pull a chair out for me to sit down. Later, I was able to use one of my dad’s canes that we simply left where he kept them, hanging on arm bars (there’s a reason I left them there!) and made my way to my office chair.

Now, I’ve dealt with a lot of different kinds of pain. I’ve broken bones. I developed post traumatic osteo-arthritis in my feet and knees long ago, along with bone spurs in my heels and knees. I have bones that dislocate pretty regularly. Joint pain, muscle plain, pain from what turned out to be a large cyst that took my innards for a waltz. Typically, they limit me to a certain extent, but I can still maintain a level of activity that gets the job done.

Just don’t expect me to be able to kneel down, then get back up again, without help! 😀

This pain, however, is different.

This time, it didn’t go away.

I was, eventually, able to put weight on the leg and walk without the cane, but the pain stayed. I still have most of my range of motion, but for some things – like shifting my leg in my chair as I type this – it goes from not hurting while I’m motionless, to pain that prevents me from moving the joint.

It doesn’t feel like OA. It doesn’t feel like bone spurs. Still, I was able to go about and do my rounds outside, without a cane, and basically walk around like normal. I just had this pain, right in the joint, that wouldn’t go away.

I was trying to describe to my husband what had happened yesterday evening, since he had already gone to bed by then and missed it. He said it sounded like maybe something got in the joint.

Which brought back a flash of memory.

When I had my right hip X-rayeds, months ago, mild OA was not the only thing they saw.

They also saw loose bone fragments. I believe fragments were visible when I got my left hip X-rayed. Not unusual with OA, really.

But that might be my problem. Loose fragments may be getting into my joint, causing pain, then migrating out and my joint feels normal again. Except this time, it’s not clearing, so it still hurt when I make certain motions.

Just a little while ago, while sitting on my office chair, I tried to get up to reach for something.

And I couldn’t put weight on my right leg again.

I can still get about, using my left leg and a whole lot of things to lean on. My husband – the one with excruciatingly painful back injury – was sweet enough to bring me a cane so I could at least walk to the bathroom.


After I’m done writing this post, I’m going to have to see if I can walk on it again.

I guess this means I have to get another X-ray to confirm, and see if there is something that can be done about it. At the very least, I’ll have to call my new doctor’s office and see if I can make an appointment or something.

What a pain. Literally and figuratively.

Well, I certainly am not going anywhere in these temperatures. I’ll see how things go over the next few days. Until then, I’ll just have to keep a cane hand and, if worse comes to worse, use my dad’s walker to get around.


The Re-Farmer

Time to put my feet up

Today, my husband finally had his appointment in at the heart clinic in the city. It was in the afternoon, but they say to come in 45 minutes early. We figured out when we would have to leave to make it with plenty of time, then left a half hour earlier than that, for time to pick up gas along the way.

It was a very good thing we did!

Not long after we left the town we fueled up in, we drove right into a downpour.

Continue reading