A couple days break?

We had quite a lot of rain yesterday, with temperatures much cooler than forecast for the first day of summer. The cool was much appreciated! It was nice being able to open up more windows again.

The problem is how wet everything is. Even the new part basement now has water pooling in places. Unlike the old basement, we can’t sweep this into a drain or a sump pump cistern. All we can do is keep a fan on it, really.

We’re supposed to have a couple of days that are warmer and without rain. Hopefully, that will be enough to let the grass dry out enough that I can finish mowing the lawn tomorrow. No chance of being able to get it done today, even if I wasn’t going to be at my mother’s for her home care assessment appointment. After that, however, we’re looking at possible thunderstorms and more rain for several more days.

While doing my morning rounds, I saw a couple of the kittens under the cat’s house again. I’m glad to see them, after they got so frightened by the lawn mower. I caught a brief glimpse of the little calico’s face. Her one eye still seems gooby, but otherwise all right.

The garden plots seem to be holding out all right, though I noticed a lot of pole beans at the trellises seem to have lost their leaves. I can’t tell if it’s because they were eaten by something, or because they wilted and fell off from excess moisture. There are still lots of plants, though, so we should still be good.

I’m pretty sure one of the lilacs at the corner of the storage house has been totally drowned. The few leaves it managed to grow are gone. If it survives, I’ll be amazed. There are others that aren’t quite as bad, and I think they’ll make it.

The Kulli corn seems to finally be recovering from transplant shock, looking more green and actually growing. The bush beans growing with them are progressing nicely. The first planting of spinach and one type of lettuce are getting big enough we should be able to start harvesting leaves and thinning them out.

As much of a problem the excess rain is, after last year’s drought and having to water every day, twice a day, throughout the summer, I’m really happy with how things are growing right now.

Still, it’ll be nice to have a couple of days break from the rain!

The Re-Farmer

Making the best of things, and shed order update

Hmm… I went to start this post and found a post I made yesterday was still in draft. I had used my phone to write it, since my keyboard was dying, but apparently I didn’t hit publish. That is now fixed.

At the moment, I am using my old ergonomic keyboard with the worn out keys. I’d traded with my husband quite a while ago, since he pretty much just uses the number pad and arrow keys. He can use a standard keyboard without hurting his hands, so he is now using the keyboard that came with his system. By the time we switched things up, I had not only lost the y u i o and enter keys, but also the 0 and delete keys! So that keyboard is in the recycling, to be added to the electronics garbage area at the dump. As for the keyboard I’m using now, I will just have to be really confident in my touch typing, because most of the letter keys are worn out. I know there are stickers you can get to put on the keys, but other than online, I haven’t seen them anywhere. At least not locally. And I try to avoid ordering online.

More on that later…

Yesterday morning, I’d been able to mow the south yards before things got too hot. The grass was so wet, it really should have waited for a drier day, but that was not going to happen, from what the forecasts said.

I’m glad I got as much of it done as I had, as we got some heavy enough rains last night, that we now have open water in the yard again. The areas I was able to mow tend to have the most water accumulating in them, compared to the west and north lawns. The main garden area, however, also collects a lot of water, too.

The dwarf Korean lilac sure loved the rain, though! It exploded into bloom overnight. Yesterday, it was almost all buds, with a scattering of open flowers. Look at it now! This type of lilac is extremely fragrant; more so than any of the other types. The regular lilacs are finished blooming now, and the double lilac is almost done. The white lilacs are nearing the end of their blooming period. Now we have the dwarf Korean lilac in full bloom, with one more lilac I can’t remember the name of, still budding. I like that there are so many different types of lilacs here, that bloom at different times. The ornamental poppies are also starting to bloom, and while the white roses are at their peak, I noticed the pink rose is starting to bloom this morning, too.

From the weather radar, we should be getting more rain today. The heavy rain is passing to the north of us, but it looks like we’ll be catching the edge of the system a bit.

I actually did not get a chance to do my morning rounds today. The girls made sure the cats were fed while I spent time on the phone, then had to make a quick run to a branch of my bank.

To get a replacement debit card.

There’s a reason I don’t like to order online. This is one of them.

A while back, I’d written about ordering a shed from a clearance site for garden sheds. The steeply discounted prices were due to them being abandoned orders – along the lines of things like airport auctions of unclaimed items. I was taking a chance with the order. I’d seen both positive and negative comments about the site; some places rated the site as a scam, while others rated is as legitimate.

A day or so after the order was placed (using my debit-Visa, because we have no credit cards) and I got my confirmation email, I sent an email with some questions. There was no response, so after a couple of days, I wrote again. Still no response. There was also no shipping confirmation email or tracking number, for something that was supposed to take 3-7 days to arrive (or 6-10 days under Covid restrictions, which still apply to shipping in Canada). So on Friday – 4 days ago – I emailed to cancel my order and requested a refund.

I really wasn’t expecting to get my money back, by that point. So it was quite a surprise when, late last night, my phone’s bank app sent me a notification for a credit in the amount of the shed order. Due to the hours, the line item wasn’t in my transactions yet, but the balance reflected the change. This is typical of how my bank works, and I knew the line item would appear during banking hours. Sure enough, in the morning, it was there.

However, I also got another notification. This time, for a debit from my account, in the same amount.

Yes, I got the refund – and then the amount was taken from my account again.

So I got on the phone with my bank, which pretty much always involves spending time on hold. When I finally got through, I explained the situation to the woman who took my call, and asked about having the charges reversed and to report fraud. Since we did have communication with them, however – even though they didn’t answer my emails, they did refund the amount – she suggested I email them again to ask why the amount was removed again, then go back to the site to have my data removed.

Okay. I was willing to try that.

I sent the email, then went back to the original order confirmation email to click on the link that would take me directly to my order page.

I got an error message. The usual “check your spelling” message and, if correct, run a diagnostic, message.

I tried the “go to store” link.

Same error message.

I tried going to the home page by using the link in my browser’s history.

Same error message.

The website was gone.

So I called the bank back to explain what happened.

This time, the fraud investigation was started. We went through the initial process, then he put me on hold to finish the process at his end.

While I was on hold, another notification came in; a calendar reminder that a telephone medical appointment for my husband with the cardiac clinic was due in 5 minutes. !!!

Thankfully, we finished up before then.

My debit-Visa card was cancelled, so there is no chance of more money being taken from our account. The fraud investigation has been started. We should get our money returned within 10 business days, but it would a conditional return as the investigation continues. If they find it was a legitimate transaction, the bank could take the money back again within 60 days.

The initial withdrawal would have been considered a “legitimate transaction”, since I did place the order. Basically, if it turned out they were illegitimate, it was on me for being duped. However, because they refunded the money – then took it out again – that changes things. The first debit from my account may have been an authorized transaction, but the second debit from my account was not.

As for my cancelled debit card, as soon as I was done on the phone, I then headed to the nearest town with a branch of my bank to get a new debit-Visa card.

Which I now have to set up again for online banking, on both my phone and my desktop, again. Which is not as urgent.

If this place had simply refunded my money and left it at that, it would have been the end of it. The only thing is that I would have been wondering if cancelling was the right thing to do, because if they were legitimate, we would have eventually gotten a nice big shed that would have been very useful. However, for them to take the money out again, they now have the fraud investigation happening. Hopefully, that will mean no one else will be taken advantage of.

So we took a chance and, from the looks of it, almost got burned. We’ll see how the investigation plays out. That means it might be a few weeks before we find out, and I should get an affidavit in the mail about it soon.

There is one other possible, though highly unlikely, outcome. The website said that a cancellation/refund could not be made if the order had already been shipped. It could be the money was refunded at about the same time as the order got shipped, so the money was taken again. If that turns out to be true, we obviously won’t get our money back, because there would be no fraud, and the shed will get delivered. Since I have not received any other emails from them since the order confirmation, and I can no longer access the website, I highly doubt that will happen.

The weird thing was when I was updating my husband about it, and he tried to go to the site on his own computer.

The site is still there.

My husband can browse the site all he wants, but if I try to see it using my desktop or my phone, I still get the “site can’t be reached” error message – and the “try running a diagnostic” link just gives me a pop up saying a diagnostic can’t be done. I would say there’s something in my cookies that is keeping me from accessing the site on my desktop, but until today, I’d never tried to visit the site while on my phone.

Very odd. I should see about removing the cookies and trying again. But not right now.

Aside from all that, we’ve had other changes. I should have been at my mother’s for the home care assessment right now, but then it looked like her apartment was going to be sprayed for bed bugs. So while my mother made arrangements with my sister to stay at her place, I tried to track down the home care department to change the appointment. Yesterday, the guy phoned my mom to rebook for tomorrow, because it turned out he couldn’t make it today, anyhow. As for the spraying, that turned out to be a mix up. My mother’s apartment is still on the list – my brother made sure of that, and also made sure they knew my mother might try to claim she didn’t need it, because she’s squishing them herself *shudder* – but we don’t have a date. All we know is that, some time before they show up, she’ll get a piece of paper shoved under her door with instructions. Apparently, the people who spoke to my brother on the phone have no way of knowing when that will be done. The whole thing is a disorganized and inefficient mess. Which is SOP for anything run by the government. It doesn’t matter whether it’s on the provincial level or the federal level. With my husband being in the military, then years of working government contracts as a civilian, we’ve been seeing this sort of ineptitude for decades.

I did call my mother this morning, though. While I was driving my sister tried to contact me because my mother wasn’t answering the phone. She was trying to figure out if she was picking my mother up today or not. She did get through to my husband – who was still waiting for his phone appointment with the cardiac clinic (which never came) – and he was able to update her. Apparently, my mother never told her she didn’t need to come out anymore. As for my mother, she was resting before there was a meeting in her building this afternoon, by the housing department. They used to have these regularly, until the pandemic restrictions stopped everything. The irony of that is, those “health” restrictions would have a lot do with why so many of the provincially run buildings now have bed bug problems all over the province. They weren’t caught and treated right away, and now they’re a major issue that just kept on spreading.

Bah.

So that’s my morning’s adventures.

What fun!

Not.

The Re-Farmer

Just in time!

It looks like we got the transplants in, just in time!

This morning, I was awakened by the sound of thunder and pouring rain. By the time I headed out to do my morning rounds, it was still raining, though not at hard, but the mosquitoes were so bad, I rushed through my rounds and was driven back indoors, since I didn’t use any bug spray.

This area had finally had all the standing water gone. It was still muddy, but I could have actually mowed near the lowest part, if I’d had the chance. When my daughter and I headed out to pick up her birthday pizza – early, to also celebrate getting all the transplants in! – it was pouring again. Though the grader has gone by a few times to fix all the ruts and pot holes, they were already starting to come back. Especially in that one spot near our place that had gotten so bad. I could feel the van sinking as we drove through.

By the time we were driving home, the gravel roads were significantly in worse shape but, so far, there isn’t any actual flooding happening. I don’t expect we’ll get that bad again. We are expected to continue to have rain throughout the day and, depending on which weather source I use, we’ll have heavy showers tomorrow, then thunderstorms again the day after.

I was able to check most of the transplants this morning; I didn’t even try to check the Korean Pine in the outer yard, and didn’t finish checking the sea buckthorn and silver buffalo berry before the clouds of mosquitoes dive bombing me had me on the run. So far, they all look just fine. This rain will be excellent for all those squash and melons.

We should have a 1 day break in the rain, at which point I hope to lay down the straw mulch around the squash. Then we’re supposed to have rain again, and a couple of days of increasing heat until we are supposed to get thunderstorms again, a week from now. The only real downside of that is not being able to mow the grass, which would help reduce the mosquitoes. Ah, well. It is what it is!

I’m just SO glad we got them in, just in time!

The Re-Farmer

Cheer in the gloom

It started to rain again, while I was doing my morning rounds, but there were some bright colours to make an otherwise gloomy and overcast day a bit more cheerful.

The grape hyacinths are reaching their full maturity. At some point, I hope that they will take over this area, replacing the invasive greens that are already there. I don’t mind them too much in this area, and they don’t seem to be choking out the hyacinths, but they sure do take over when growing among less resilient plants!

Then there was this little bit of sunshine.

The very first of my daughter’s daffodils have finally bloomed! After last year’s failure to thrive, and not being sure they’d survive the winter, my daughter is quite thrilled at how well they’re doing this year.

I got the transplants outside, but for a while there, I thought we’d have to bring them back in. The rain started coming down pretty hard, but it slowed down and now seems to have stopped for a while, so they should be fine. Mostly, we don’t want too much water accumulating in their bins and trays.

Unfortunately, with how wet everything is, that means no progress on the garden. Everything is just too muddy. It’s frustrating, because we have so many things that should already be in the ground, like the peas, the potatoes, and the strawberries, as well as more cool weather things to direct sow. Then there are more beds to prepare for the warm weather crops to direct sow, as well as areas for all the transplants.

One of the things I did this morning was check out what’s in the barn. I’m eyeballing the remains of salvaged and scrap wood, trying to think if there’s enough to start building a chicken coop.

I also popped my head up into the old hay loft, climbing the ladder as high as I dared. My brother says there is a car port frame up there, but I can’t see it. There are still some bags of insulation left behind – there was a lot more, but it grew legs and walked away, along with so many other things. It’s the kind of insulation that’s like a powder and gets blown into the walls. They’re scattered about and I can’t see the corner my brother says it’s in. What I did see, however, was what temptingly looked like a stack of lumber. I will have to come back with a daughter or two, as I don’t dare go up there on my own. With my knees, will have difficulty getting back down again, and parts of the floor up there are rotted out. If there is salvageable material up there, I want to get it out and stored someplace more accessible. Even those old bags of insulation might come in handy at some point. Who knows.

Oh! A daughter just came by. There’s a break in the rain, so she wants to do some gardening. Let’s see what we can manage before the rain starts up again!

The Re-Farmer

It’s wet and ugly out there

It’s been raining off and on throughout the night, and will continue to do so for the next couple of days. We still have predictions of some snow overnight, two days from now.

After I was back inside from doing my damp morning rounds, I heard the distinct beeping and rumbling of heavy equipment. Someone was working on the really bad spot on the road near our intersection. I was happy to see that, since I needed to pick up a parcel at the post office.

That first mile of gravel road was absolutely awful. It’s so saturated, it’s just being destroyed. I still had to skirt around the really bad spot near our place. I could see that the road had been worked on for a full 2 miles. I hate to think how bad it was before it got fixed! Well. Fixed as much as possible for now.

Not a whole lot accomplished outside today! I did get some hoops up on the high raised bed, so it can be covered overnight when we’re supposed to get snow. Later on, the girls and I went back out to where we are looking to plant the trees when they come in, marking off where we need to dig holes with orange paint, though a couple of spots didn’t get marked, because there are puddles where we need to dig. Working out the distances and where we will start from, we’ll actually be able to plant all 30 silver bison berry in two rows where we had the corn and sunflowers last year. Where the sea buckthorn will go, and the highbush cranberry that is coming from another supplier, also got marked off. We also talked about where the 6 Korean pine will go, though there’s no point in marking anything there.

I had been thinking if using the netting we got to create a temporary fence around the whole garden area and where we will be planting the trees, but my daughter, who bought the netting, pointed out that it isn’t suitable for that. It’s a finer mesh that is meant to be used like the mosquito netting she got last year. So many insects got trapped under those, many of which were beneficial insects.

So… no temporary deer fencing around the entire area. We’ll be protecting individual beds and plots, instead, and getting something else to put around the trees to protect them from critters.

Well, at least all this rain will make it easier to dig the holes we need for all those trees.

The Re-Farmer

Road conditions

While doing my morning rounds, I saw a gravel truck going by several times. We’ve been seeing them regularly for quite some time, now. There must be some major road damage to the west of us, for so many loads to be going by.

When switching out the memory card in the sign cam, I noticed we had a new sign on the road, too.

The “flood waters” sign is gone, and our road is now officially closed.

The “local traffic” is basically us, and maybe someone needed to get into a field. All other homes are on the other side of where the road is washed out.

It was road conditions much closer that had me going through the fence, though.

This is the main road, just before our intersection. This area typically gets soft when there’s a lot of moisture, but with everything so saturated, the weight of the gravel trucks going through is just tearing the road apart!

Smaller vehicles can still drive around it, though. Which is important. My husband phoned in his insulin refills to be delivered today. I was a bit surprised he did that. It seems he didn’t quite get that we really are cut off. Larger trucks may be able to get through the washed out area by the bison ranch, but small cars like the one the pharmacy delivery driver has, isn’t going to make it. He does always phone us ahead of time, before entering our cell phone dead zone, so when he does, I’ll tell him I’ll meet him at the washout. I’ll have to make sure I’m wearing my rubber boots, so I can cross the washout and get the prescription. Thankfully, my husband doesn’t have to sign anything for his insulin, like he does for his bubble packs. Otherwise, he’d have to come with me!

With the big gravel trucks driving through the washout, though, I’m very curious as to it’s like there.

I wasn’t about to walk the distance to find out, nor waste the gas to drive the distance, but I did walk over to check the washout to the south of us. This time, I was able to walk across it.

The road has eroded all the way across now. Walking through, I could feel myself sinking in the gravel and clay. As you can see, some people are still driving through it, though I don’t know how old these tracks are. I wasn’t able to get to this side when I checked the area last night.

The water levels have continued to drop, and today the speed of the water flowing across has also reduced since I looked at it yesterday.

Do you see that line of debris in between the two washed out areas?

It was looking rather different than before, so I made sure to take a closer look. This is what it’s made up of.

I’m not sure what these are, but it’s amazing that something with such deep roots got washed out and deposited here. The field next to the road has been planted with grain, nothing like this, so wherever it came from, it traveled quite a distance before being dropped off here!

The other washed out area has also eroded all the way across. Until now, the shallower water that I would walk across had been on the west side of the road (on the right of the above photo), but now that it’s washed out all the way, the shallower water is now on the east side, along the edge of the ditche, where the gravel is being deposited. It’s all pretty soft, though, and even walking where the grass has managed to hold on, I could feel myself sinking.

It will likely still be a while before they can start fixing this area. I suppose it’s possible they’ve fixed the washed out area on the main road; that road gets so much traffic, it would be a high priority. With now fast the water is still flowing here, however, I suspect they still can’t do much on the main road, yet, either. I’ll find out today, when I meet the pharmacy delivery driver.

Meanwhile, the weather forecast has changed again. The rain that wasn’t supposed to start until tomorrow, is now expected to start today, albeit as scattered showers. We’re now supposed to get rain for the next three days, too, with 2-3cm (under 1 1/2 inches) expected tomorrow. Looking at the 14 day forecast, after 3 days with rain, we’ll have 4 days without, then another 3 days of rain, a couple days without, then a couple more days of rain again. Hopefully, those days without will be enough for the ground to be able to absorb the moisture. Even now, as I went around the property, I could see standing water in only the lowest areas, like the area behind the garage, and even those are much, much better than they were yesterday.

We continue to have overland flooding alerts. The south of the province continues to be the most at risk, but the alerts extend north of our area, too.

Well, we’ll see how it goes, and deal with what we get.

The Re-Farmer

Saturated

My daughters went for a walk in the rain, and one of them got photos and video. I decided it was easiest to just put them together in a video.

I went through most of these areas less than a week ago. What a difference!

Closer to the house, the inner and outer yards are getting thoroughly saturated, with standing water in places I’ve never seen water collecting in.

Thankfully, the old basement doesn’t seem to be getting any more water seeping into it, though I can see through the floor drain that water flowing from the weeping tile under the new basement has increased. I moved the big blower fan to a different spot, and the window has been switched to the summer screen window, with the plastic cover still leaning over it, so no rain can go directly into the window. The improved air circulation might be helping keep the damp from spreading too much.

Our provincial government has announced they’re giving $15 million dollars to the municipalities for road repairs. I figure that’ll run out in about a week. :-/ After spending billions of tax dollars on things like phone apps for the Vid, I expect they’ll be crying poverty, now that the funds are needed for what they were intended for.

Forgive me if I sound a bit cynical. We continue to be okay where we are, but I know many others will be struggling not to lose their homes and farms to the flooding. Even our short range weather forecast has changed. Instead of 2 days without rain, followed by 2 days with light rain, now we’re supposed to have 1 day without rain followed by 3 days of rain, with the heaviest rain on the second day.

We shall see how things work out.

The Re-Farmer

Budding

I was so distracted by a conference call I had to make this morning, I completely forgot to schedule today’s Recommended post! I will post it tomorrow and be back to Mondays and Fridays after that.

I did make sure to feed the critters before the conference call, since I had no idea how long it would be.

The cats are much more laid back out the food and take their time coming out, even though the kibble trays were empty. Clearly, they are no longer as hungry as they were when it was still cold out. I only saw 8 cats in total this morning, which means we are “missing” about 10 cats. I know some, like Potato Beetle and Broccoli, will come by later, but others have not been seen in weeks.

After the conference call was done, I went back out to do the rest of my morning rounds. One of the fun things now on the list is checking on the tulip patch. Look what showed up overnight!

Whole bunches of them now have flower buds!

We will have to keep a close eye on them. This is the stage last year, when something ate all the flower buds. We still have some rope barriers and distractions, like bells and spinny, sparkly things, around it that seems to be keeping the deer away (I can see their hoof prints in the mud, going past it), but there’s nothing to stop any small critters.

It’s a chilly and overcast day today, and the crocus flowers are mostly closed, but I was seeing more of the purple ones again.

The first wonderberry in the sun room has started blooming again, and the younger two are covered in clusters of buds. I gave up pinching off the buds; there were just too many to keep up with! We still haven’t even found a spot for them, yet. As they readily self seed, it has to be someplace they can be treated as perennials.

I did try to peak into the cats’ house to see the babies. What I saw were two adult cats so wrapped around each other that, aside from their heads, I couldn’t tell one from the other. It did seem that both were nursing kittens, but I couldn’t really tell. I’d love to be able to get those windows cleaned on the insides; they are quite smeared from the cats rubbing up against them all winter, but we aren’t going to open that roof right now.

As for the conference call, it was to set a new trial date for our vandal’s vexatious litigation against me. It turns out the previous date was cancelled because the judge got sick. When it was cancelled, we received an email with alternate dates; three early ones, two in May, one in June, all in the city, or three late ones, one in November, two in December, at where we have been going for my retraining order application against our vandal. The only time we had to go to court in the city was for court mediation. I left something like an hour earlier than necessary, and still ended up late. The area is a disaster to navigate. Meanwhile, our vandal didn’t even show up. Just his lawyer was there.

He doesn’t seem to have any lawyer for this one. He has no case, so I doubt any civil lawyer would take it, though when it came up during court mediation, his criminal lawyer did say he’d be willing to represent, if asked, but he hadn’t been asked.

These conference calls run through a docket and, in the past it has taken a while, but this time we were the first ones called. After clarifying that we were there to set a new trial date, and asking if we wanted to attend in person or by video call (which neither of us can do), the clerk spent some time searching and found one date in August. After clarifying that it was at our usual location, I said I was good with any date at that location. Our vandal, as I expected, jumped in and asked if it could be done in the city, and brought up the date he’d chosen before – which he knew I couldn’t do. He said he just wanted to get it over with. Ha!

Anyhow.

The clerk told him it had be be where the “cause of action” was taken, and couldn’t be done in the city unless one of us lived there, or if we both agreed to it. He said he hadn’t known that. Then she said that the August date was the ONLY one that had an open slot we could take. So he had no choice but to accept the date the court gave us. Which is pretty much what I’d suggested be done when I tried to take the November date in the original email exchange, because I knew he’d never accept any date I chose. For me, it wasn’t so much about the date, but the location, so of course our vandal tried to choose the other location! With so many files being delayed over and over, the next available date likely would have been next year.

The main thing is, it’s done and we have a new date. Barring more crazy stuff happening, as it has since all this started back in late 2020, I look forward to a judge throwing it his case out in August.

At this point, even if we were able to do a May date more locally, I still wouldn’t be sure if I could make it. Our vandal may have vehicles that can get through the washouts, but we don’t, and those washouts might just get worse. The predicted rain started while I was writing this, and was coming down pretty hard for a while. We’re still getting weather alerts, and now they’re saying we might be getting 3.5 – 5.5cm (about 1 1/2 – 2 inches) at times. The Overland Flow Flood warning now reads:

High amounts of rainfall occurring in a short period could create overland flooding in these areas which may impact low lying areas, roads, and properties. As the ground is extremely saturated, a sudden rise in water levels could occur in some waterways and creeks Residents along these areas are cautioned about the potential sudden rise of water levels. Follow all directions by local authorities. Listen for updates and take all necessary precautions to stay safe.

We aren’t near any waterways, unless you count the municipal drainage ditches, but the washouts we already have will likely get worse. We’re supposed to get a couple of warm sunny days next, then two more days of light rain again. At least now, the 14 day forecast shows a week of sun before we are supposed to get rain again. For us, around the house and the inner and outer yards, that mostly just means more mud. The areas low enough to collect water are not a threat to any buildings we’re actually using. We are okay. I’m concerned about some of our neighbours, though. 😦

The Re-Farmer

Water levels, on the road

After seeing the sign the municipality put on our road, I decided to check out the status of where things are washed out.

While walking over, I was paying to much attention to the state of the road and the ditches, I completely missed the 4 sandhill cranes in a tree, until they suddenly took off, making their croaking sounds. Startled the heck out of me! 😀

Along with the sign at the intersection, they also marked off the flood zone with high visibility markers.

There was a new section, just starting to wash out.

This is the smaller washed out area – smaller, as in how deep the water was, and how much was washed away. It actually covers more area. You can see all that gravel washed into the ditch!

This is the same area, from the other side.

I didn’t try to cross the bigger washed out area; my rubber boots aren’t tall enough for that water!

You can see the clay that’s left behind, after the gravel got washed away. In some areas, I think that clay is the only thing keeping the damage down.

That’s a lot of gravel in the ditch!

Before improvements were made, when this area washed out, there would basically be a ravine, cutting through the road. Right now, if someone had a sturdy enough vehicle, one could still drive through this – so I was only a little surprised during my walk home, when I heard a vehicle coming up behind me!

I wouldn’t dare go through this with our van.

I’m seeing traffic using the main road, so hopefully that is still in good shape. Mind you, if it did wash out, it would be after the first mile, and people would have to take other roads to get around it, and I don’t know what those roads are like right now, either.

I’m quite thankful we don’t need to go anywhere. Our work is right here at home.

The rain continues to fall as I write this, though it’s so light right now, I can’t really see it. We’re supposed to get up to another centimeter of rain this evening – less than half an inch – with even less, overnight. We are on high enough ground that we should not have issues with overland flooding, but flat enough that the water is mostly just staying in place, as the soil slowly thaws out enough to actually absorb it in places. We just have to keep on top of monitoring the old basement for water.

I haven’t been online much, so I haven’t heard how things are in the south, which was expected to get hit with a lot more rain. The city was bracing for more flooding. South of the city is a flood plain, with a lot of small towns dotting it. Many of them have dikes around them, and houses built outside of towns are supposed to be built at a minimum height above grade, because of the regular flooding, but there comes a point where even those measures just aren’t enough. My brother built a dike around his house near the city (but not on the flood plain) and for now, things are under control there. He was even able to pick up a pair of new pumps, on sale, even!, to help drain any water inside the dike faster. The dike has a one way culvert to drain water from the inside of the dike, but sometimes it needs a little extra help, and this was one of those times. It took him years to slowly build up his flood control measures, and all that work is paying off very well right now.

The Colorado Low is still sweeping its way across parts of US and Canada. We are still expecting more rain, but not anything usually severe. There’s still the possibility of mixed rain and snow by tomorrow morning. Then things are supposed to warm right up. If things stay as predicted, farmers will soon be able to start seeding their fields, right on “schedule” (at least for our area), and it’ll be the first spring with adequate moisture in years.

The Re-Farmer

Rainy morning

While we’ve had the odd bit of rain this spring, today is the first real rain we’ve had. It’s been coming down for a while now. Looking at the weather radar, it seems the main part of the system has already passed over us. As the Colorado Low pushes it northwards, the system spreads wider, with severe rain being pushed to the east, over Ontario and Quebec, and snow to the west, over Saskatchewan, with Manitoba in the middle, getting bits of both!

With our colder climate and short growing season, I can’t help but feel a bit of envy when I see people sharing photos and talking about what they’ve got growing in their gardens, what they’re planting, what flowers are blooming already, and seeing the complete lack of snow on the ground. Then we have times like this, where I see the most severe weather conditions are all to the south of us, and think… you know? I’ll put up with the cold and snow. 😀

Right now, we’re still getting snow forecasts for tomorrow, with most of it hitting the southern parts of the provinces. We’re also still supposed to reach highs above freezing tomorrow, but Monday is supposed to dip down. I am thinking that, now that Potato Beetle has escaped the sun room and won’t let me bring him back, I can get away with putting the ceramic heat bulb out overnight, for that little extra bit of warmth for the seedlings. As warm as the sunroom can get during the day, it doesn’t hold any of that heat, and is not much warmer than outside at night.

I saw very few cats outside this morning! Wise kitties, staying out of the mud and rain! There’s the 6 here, and then I spotted Broccoli later on.

I have a strong suspicion that she has a litter of kittens in that junk pile. While I did zoom in for the photo, she still would normally have run away if I got as close as I did. Mind you, she could also just be not wanting to move in the wet, unless absolutely necessary!

Speaking of wet…

This is what I had to slog through to get to the sign cam. The water extends under the snow in the background. We need to keep this in mind, when we plant our silver buffalo berry here. While this area is low and collects melt water in the spring, once summer hits, most of this area starts baking and is incredibly dry. Particularly where I’m standing to take the photo.

The remains of the dugout in the old hay yard is the fullest I’ve seen since we moved here. I find this encouraging. It shouldn’t take much to dredge this out again and make a nice pond.

We most definitely need a ditch, if we ever want to plant fruit trees along here!

I look forward to being able to take that fence out. Most of those posts are rotted out at ground level, and only being held up by the barbed wire and the few strong posts left.

It would be good to open up this drainage ditch as well, too. Maybe even put in a small culvert. I’ve found one among the scrap beyond the outer yard that might be long enough and looks useable.

The rain is supposed to continue until the wee hours of tomorrow morning, when it’s supposed to change to snow, so we’ll be getting quite a bit more water. There are warnings for overland flooding for some areas, but I think we’re safe from that, here. Still, even the driveway is mostly standing water right now, so I’m glad we don’t need to drive anywhere. The driveway is in bad enough shape as it is; I don’t need to be making deep ruts in it, too!

Today is definitely a good day to stay inside.

Right, Butterscotch?

She most definitely agrees.

I’ve been keeping the door to my office/craft/bedroom, so that the other cats won’t bother Butterscotch and Nosencrantz. Butterscotch is finally coming out of her little corner in the shelf and now spends most of her days on the blanket we have for the cats on one corner of my bed. I’ve even been finding her on the window sill, and sometimes she’ll play with Nosencrantz! Nosencrantz, meanwhile, has discovered the spaces on my storage shelf that are set up for the cats, and has found a new favourite spot to snooze.

Among the other cats, the only one was let in regularly is Cheddar. He doesn’t bother them at all, so they’re good with him. Sometimes, we’ll let David in, too, but he’s not as interested. Fenrir, Beep Beep and Tissue, on the other hand, are actively aggressive towards Butterscotch and Nosencrantz, and even Ginger and Layendecker will bother them. Which is unfortunately, because hate having to keep the door closed. Butterscotch and Nosencrantz still show no interest in leaving the room, but sometimes I’ll open the door and find a crowd of cats, sitting there… watching… waiting… ready for an opportunity to leap into the room… and not just because they want to nap on my bed!

😀

What a pain. But we love them, anyway.

Meanwhile…

I went through the rest of the seeds to start indoors last night. Most of them actually say to plant 3-4 weeks before last frost. Which would be another 2 weeks or so from right now. I find using the “days to maturity” a bit more useful. I think I’ll be starting some melons today. I was surprised to not find any pixie melons, though. I thought we still had some. We don’t have any saved seed from them, either. I wish I’d remembered that, because I would have ordered more. Still, we have the Halona melon, both as leftover seeds and saved seeds, plus we saved seeds from other cantaloupe type melons from the grocery store that I want to try.

Looking at the days to maturity on our summer squash, we could actually direct seed all of them and still have enough of a growing season left. I still want to start some indoors, though, just in case, but those can wait another couple of weeks. After the melons, we’ll start some pumpkins, including the hull-less varieties, then the remaining gourds, winter squash and cucumber. The summer squash can be the last ones to start.

If all goes well, we’ll be able to do the earliest direct sowing of cool weather crops in about a month.

For now, however, I will appreciate the rain we are getting, as that will help the ground thaw out a bit faster, too. As long as we don’t get too much at once, we’ll be good.

The Re-Farmer