Remembrance Day

Today is Remembrance Day, here in Canada. Since moving here, we typically have not gone anywhere to formally observe the day, since there is nothing local and, of course, no one was allowed to hold Remembrance Day ceremonies for the past two years.

Last night, though, I got a call from my mother. Her town was having their ceremonies again, starting with a pancake breakfast. She started talking about what was going on, and how she was planning to go, and I knew she was leading to a point, so I offered to drive her. Normally, she would head over with her walker, but it’s been getting harder for her to go far, these days. Plus, there’s a bitter wind out there! At least it’s not like last year; we had a long and mild fall, but we did get snow for Remembrance Day.

So this morning I headed out and went to the ceremonies with her.

They were really well done, and I was teary eyed more than a few times. The candles in the photo had a main candle for the day in general, and candles lit in memory of local people that died in WWI and WWII, another for those who passed on after the wars, and finally one for those serving now.

It was good to see my old Air Cadet squad is still around, though I did cringe for them a bit. They didn’t seem to have been well instructed for their parts in the ceremony, and were a bit lost at times. Having been on the drill team, I was disappointed to see they weren’t well trained in that respect at all – and I’m including their Lieutenants on that! The cadets did have military representatives to model, though, and that made a difference.

My mother was actually on better behaviour, though before things started, I got the story of just how badly the pianist played the last time there were ceremonies, and when speeches started, she was quick to criticise people for not speaking “well.” I told her it was great that they were up there at all, because a lot of people have a really hard time with public speaking or performances. She stopped making criticisms, so I’m hoping she accepted that, but maybe she just didn’t like my not joining her in her criticisms! 😄

Because of the weather, when things were concluded, they didn’t have a ceremonial parade of the wreaths to the cenotaph outdoors. Instead, the cadets and other military representatives were going to lay only 3 wreaths, and people were invited to join if they were up to it. Otherwise, we were invited for coffee and dainties. My mother considered staying, but didn’t see anyone she recognised, so she decided to just go home. It was a long time for her, so she was probably pretty tired, too. I’m glad I was able to drive her because, if I hadn’t, she said she would have walked the distance! It was only a few blocks, but it would easily have taken her at least half an hour to do it, with her need to stop and rest so often now, and it would have been absolutely miserable walking straight into that wind to get there! She does have the power chair my brother got for her, but she refuses to use it. *sigh*

For all the wind and cold, at least it was a bright and sunny day.

I have made sure to give the cats food and warm water before I left, but by the time I got back, the food was all gone, and while the heated water bowl still had a bit of water in it, the rest was frozen! Especially the big bowl. When I came out with more warm water for them, I had to take an ax to the ice in the big bowl. It wasn’t quite frozen solid, but it was pretty hard close!

I’m glad I ordered two 300g tubs of powdered lysine for the cats. I add about a quarter cup, maybe a bit less, to their kibble, and they get fed twice a day. Judging by how quickly the level is going down in the first tub, I would estimate we’ll go through three of these a month, so we’ll have to make sure to order more at least 3 more at the end of this month. More, if the budget allows. The cat lady says it takes 6 weeks for there to be a noticeable difference with the lysine, which means we’ve still got a couple more weeks or so. We are still seeing/hearing cats coughing and sneezing, and a few still have leaky eyes, but they do all seem to be improving. Whether it’s because of the lysine, or because they were already improving without it, I really can’t say. The lysine should act as a preventative, too, though, so if it’s working, and we keep using it, this should mean the end of their outbreaks. The only problem is, there’s no way to measure doses for individual cats. We just toss the kibble in the powder, and hope it’s enough.

I saw the bitty baby this morning, but I couldn’t see it when I came back. The sun was in just the right position to light up inside the cats’ house through the small south facing window in the entry, giving me a good view of the inside from the east facing window. I didn’t see the bitty baby, but I did notice a sheet of aluminum out near the litter box (which I’ve seen kittens using!) that shouldn’t have been there. The heat shield for the ceramic terrarium bulb was torn off! It should actually be okay, given how the fixture is positioned, but that’s not something I want to take a chance with, so we’re going to have to lift the roof and a daughter will have to climb in. While we’re at it, I want to add something to better support the timer for the heat bulb, because it keeps getting knocked loose from the top and ends up facing the floor. Without the light sensor facing a window, the heat bulb will stay on all the time, rather than being shut off during daylight hours. With the windows, there should be enough passive solar heat during the day, and it would not be good for them if things get too warm in there.

Hmm… I wonder if we have a thermometer we can spare to hang in there? Someplace in the middle, to get a sense of the ambient temperature, while still being visible from one of the windows. I don’t think we have a spare anywhere, but I might be going into town tomorrow, so maybe I can pick one up at the dollar store or something.

In other things, we’ve been finding water pooled in the entry way lately. That means that water from the kitchen sink is backing up the laundry drain, for all the care we are trying to take to not pour too much water down the sink at once. The block is getting worse. I was going to wait until the end of the month’s pay before calling a plumber, but we just can’t wait anymore. I don’t know what it’ll cost, but we do have this month’s payment to the tree company that chipped our branches for us. There is no formal arrangement on paying them back, and I think they’ll understand if we have to miss a month, or make a smaller payment, because we had to call a plumber. Who knows. It may not cost as much as I fear, and what we’ve been able to set aside for the plumber might be enough on its own. We were really happy with the guy that brought his auger to clear our pipe to the septic tank, so we will hopefully be able to get him again. This being Remembrance Day, I didn’t phone him, but I did sent a message through his website’s contact form, explaining our problem.

I hope to hear back from him soon. It’ll be nice to not have to run the hose from the washing machine through the front doors in the winter!

The Re-Farmer