Got some things done

Today turned out to be a lovely day, indeed! Even now, as I write this at past 7pm, it’s still 8C/46F. Which is good, because I unexpectedly spent a couple of hours outside!

I’ll get to that in a bit…

First, a winky smile for you to enjoy!

Rolando Moon joined me as I was doing my morning rounds.

So did Creamsicle.

And Potato Beetle.

And Rosencrantz!

Even some kittens followed along, in the distance! It was quite a crowd! 😀

I think they were all enjoying the milder temperatures.

I headed out to town early, as I wanted to go through a car wash with the van before taking it in to the garage. I figured it would be nice for him to work under the van without months of gravel road dust. 😉

Today, however, is the first day a province wide mask mandate came into effect. Even though there hasn’t been a single person testing positive for the Wu Flu around, the city has seen a spike in PCR positives, and with the usual increases of people getting sick as we go into flu season – all in the city – our provincial government has put everyone under mandate. The usual exemptions still apply of course. One of the local hardware stores has a drive through car wash, so I went in to buy one. The cash desk is near the doors, so I didn’t even have to go far into the store, and I kept my distance. I was told by the cashier that they couldn’t serve me without a mask. I told them I understood about the mandate, and that I was medically exempt. She told me the whole province was under mandate. I said I knew that, but that there are several exemptions in the mandate, including medical, and I can’t wear a mask. I was told they couldn’t serve me without a mask. She did try to be polite about it, and a manager was called. I think she was ready to process the sale, too, after she asked how I intended to pay, and I said by debit. While we waited, she was apologetic, and I did mention that I understood retailers and employees were not being told about the exemptions.

The manager came and just said, we can’t serve you without a mask. I said again, I am medically exempt, pointing out that a refusal was a violation of the Human Rights Act, and I could file a complaint. He said I could do that, but they won’t serve me without a mask.

So I left.

I stayed in my vehicle for a while, trying to find an email address I could use to send a note about what happened (there wasn’t one; once I got home, I used the email address to a manager I’d written to in the past, having sent compliments for excellent customer service) when a staff member came to my vehicle. She told me they remembered that they had a portable debit machine. If I still wanted the car wash, they could bring it out to me. I told her I would be satisfied with that, and she asked me to drive close to the doors, after finding out which level of car wash I wanted. I drove over, and it was the manager who came out with the debit machine. After I tapped to pay for it, he went back in and another staff member came out with an invoice printed out with the code, and my receipt. The first person and the manager acted a bit like I was a leper, but the guy who brought me my receipt didn’t, and I really appreciated that.

With two vehicles in front of me, I had just enough time to get the car wash before my appointment at the garage!

All that for a $16 purchase. :-/

When I did get a chance to send an email to the store manager, I did say I appreciated the efforts, and that I understood the mandates put retailers in a really horrible position, while not giving them the information they need. I also mentioned that I am “fortunate”, in that my medical exemption is for something physical. If it were related to trauma, being confronted like this could have triggered someone pretty badly. I know people who are terrified to go out anywhere right now, not because they are afraid of the virus, but out of fear of something like this happening to them. The same anxiety issues that cause panic attacks if they wear a mask is causing panic attacks over the possibility of being abused for not wearing a mask. 😦

The garage, on the other hand, was completely different. There weren’t even any signs anywhere, and the owner doesn’t wear a mask, himself. Physical distancing is easy, and he is very thorough about hygiene. As we were chatting, I mentioned what had just happened, and told him again how much I appreciate him!

I noticed, as I parked my van, that he had the most adorable little picnic table outside, just big enough for two. Being such a lovely day, that’s where I went after I left my keys with him. (It’s not like there are any coffee shops or the like, where I could just sit and wait! They are all take out, only.) I saw a few others going in and out, some with masks and some without, while I waited. It is clearly – and deservedly – a very popular garage.

Since I don’t have rims on my winter tires, it took a while for him to do the switch. I’m going to have to get a spare set of rims. This job would be done a lot faster, if I did! Mind you, tires without rims are a lot lighter and easier to manhandle out of the back of the van, to where they get stored in our garage! 😀

When he was done and I went in to pay, we started chatting again. He remembered a little bit about where we lived and had some questions.

After I double check with the renter to make sure cows aren’t on the other quarter section, I will be giving him permission to go deer hunting over there. 🙂

With the days being so short, once I was home, I grabbed a quick supper, then headed outside to putter about the yard while there was still light out.

I just had to go to the outer yard to get pictures of the sunset! It was stunning!

I always get a giggle out of seeing the cat paths! We have them all over, but this one is probably the most well worn! 😀

One of the things I wanted to get done was to cover the roof of the kibble house with a tarp. The rest will be fine until we can paint it next spring or summer, but the roof has screw holes from the boards we took off of it, and I don’t want moisture to get into them. I don’t have proper cordage right now, so I ended up using the cotton yarn I used to make a trellis for the cucamelons. I wanted to make sure it was secured as flat as possible, so nothing will catch and blow in the wind. The yarn isn’t particularly strong, so I was using a lot of it.

Unfortunately, by the time I was finishing up, it ended up a big tangled mass that the cats were just loving! I had to stop and untangle it, so I could finish the job.

About and hour or two later, the girls came out to check on me. 😀

By then, it was fully dark, and I was working by porch light. A pair of skunks had come out and pulled one of the kibble containers to the ground, so I chased them off, but they came back to each the kibble that spilled into the grass. I was too entangled to chase them off again, so one of my daughters did it for me. 🙂

Then she noticed where a cat had chewed through the yarn. LOL

My other daughter took over untangling the yarn while I went back to tying down the tarp on the kibble house. The cats had left me just enough to do it!

Well, at least a little bit got done outside before I got side tracked! My daughters’ tulips got a good layer of leaves to mulch them, though we will probably add more before we’re done. 🙂 The other bulbs should be fine; only the tulips need the extra effort.

If we have time, I hope to clean the ashes out of the fire pit, in case we want to use it over the winter. There isn’t a lot, but with the blocks to hold up the cooking grill, there isn’t as much room for ashes as there used to be.

I’m looking forward to getting back outside tomorrow! 🙂 I definitely plan to enjoy the mild weather, while I can!

The Re-Farmer

Things that make me smile

I’m just loving the longer days and weather conditions we’re having right now. I was doing my evening rounds of the yard some time past 9:30 last night, the temperatures were perfect, and I got to watch this gorgeous sunset through the willow branches and spruce trees.

This morning, I was thoroughly entertained by feline antics.

David so wants to play with the kittens! When he jumps into their nest with them, though, and they come running over, he gets skittish and leaves. Lately, he’s taken to dangling at them from above, and waving his furry paws in the air above their heads. 😀

They are so funny!

The Re-Farmer

Looking good

It’s been a busy few days of out-and-abouting, but today I hope to get actual manual labour done in the yard.

While also being careful of my broken toe, of course.

*grumble*

Yesterday, my older daughter and I got glamour shots of the kittens, to use in our attempts to adopt them out. We got a bunch of photos, uploaded them, went out to retake some for a couple of kittens, uploaded them, looked them all over again.

And again.

And again.

Went back out to track down the kitten we missed. 😀

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Red Sun

It was smokier today than yesterday.  Oddly, when I tried to go online and find local smoke advisories, I kept getting hits from 2014 and 2015, but nothing recent!  Strange.

From what I’ve been able to figure out, the smoke seems to be coming from the fires in California and BC right now.

When I headed back from locking the driveway gate, I found myself looking at the most amazing red orb in the sky.  The smoke had dimmed the sun enough that I could look right at it – it wasn’t even as bright as a full moon!

I tried to get some photos to capture the colour.  This first photo shows how much daylight there still was as I took the photo.

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I then played around with the white balance and ISO (who would have thought a phone camera would allow that, when they first came out? *L*) and got the sun to match the red I was actually seeing.  So imagine the daylight in the above photo, but with the sun as red as this…

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I expect we will have red suns like this every evening for some time, from what I’m reading about the fires out west. 😦

My reason for going out to lock the gate was at least a good one; it was after my electrician friend came over, with his daughter, with the new motor for our bathroom fan.  We now have a working bathroom fan again!  And didn’t have to pay to install a new one and cut things up to fit it.  The new fan will wait for when we install a second bathroom.

When they first got here and I went outside to great them, we heard the sound of kittens.  When his daughter commented, I told her about the two litters, and how we hadn’t yet been able to really touch them.

As I was at the bathroom door, talking to her dad, suddenly there she was – with the tuxedo in her arms!  She had meowed at it and it came over, then went for her toes.  She was able to pick it up!  It was obviously not too happy, but was also not freaking out and clawing, either.

My younger daughter ended up taking it out, along with a can of wet cat food, as a mollifying treat. 😀

Any day that involves cuddling kittens is a good day! 😀

The Re-Farmer

Evening antics

Yesterday evening, I went out to rake out the leaves and twigs where I had cleared away earlier.  There are too many twigs and pieces of wood to use to layer onto the garden by the house, so I got the fire pit going.

I also discovered the Butterscotch has moved her babies to the log shed by the fire pit.

I was watched, but none came near!

Later on, I did a walk around the yard and noticed the setting sun was an incredible red colour.  I wasn’t able to capture it adequately in this photo.

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Imagine the deepest red you can see was the entire ball of the sun.

The redness was because of the smoke of fires burning.  There are none burning near us.  The smoke may well be from another province!

That pile of wood in the foreground is part of what I’d cleared away earlier.

As I headed back into the yard, I discovered one of Butterscotch’s kittens in the area I had raked, dancing around.

I don’t think it ever did catch the moth. 😀

I raked up 3 wheelbarrows full out of that area.  I’m going to have to clear the ashes out of the fire pit again!

The Re-Farmer

Sky on fire

While tending the fire pit, burning away the rhizomes I’d pulled up earlier, I got to watch a lovely sunset.

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The photo does not do it justice.  It was as if the sky on the horizon was on fire!

I went over to the outer fence line (the cow fence. 😉 ) to get this shot, so there would be fewer trees blocking the sunset.

We had another hot and muggy day today, so I didn’t plan on doing any manual labour in the trees today.  Which worked to be a good thing, since my husband was able to reschedule a medical appointment from next week to today, so he could get updated prescriptions, and then fill them.  He was able to get an updated prescription for a CPAP as well.  He’s been without for almost a week, now.  Interestingly, after that first night without, he’s actually been breathing quite a bit in his sleep.  Granted, the incline of the hospital bed helps, but it’s no where near as bad as it was before he finally got the sleep apnea diagnosis.  Back then, he spent more time not breathing, than breathing, and had 0 REM sleep.  His case was so extreme, the sleep researcher that had his file, who was also a university professor, asked permission to use the test results and video for his classes, and his data for future text books.  In all his years as a sleep researcher, he’d never encountered a case as severe before!  So any improvement is a good thing.

This province does things differently when it comes to CPAPs, which is covered by the medicare system with a deductible.  We had to explain to the doctor that we were intending to just get a new one from cpap.com  In the end, it’s cheaper that way.  Even with the dollar difference and before insurance coverage (we have to pay in full ourselves, first, then submit the receipt).  It’s amazing how incredibly more expensive the machines and supplies are, when purchasing them from Canadian suppliers!  It makes no sense!  So by doing it this way, we are not only saving money for ourselves, but for our insurance company, too.  Also, since the machine we plan to get is an adjustable type, he doesn’t have to go through new testing to work out the settings, so it’ll probably be faster, too.  In the long term, though, it would be good to get him tested again, and see if he would be eligible for a VPAP (variable pressure, rather than continuous pressure) instead.  That is still covered by the system 100% here, too.  That will be discussed with the doctor another time.  The most important thing is getting a new machine quickly.  Sleep apnea is not something to take lightly!

The Re-Farmer

First Wiener Roast of the year!

Last night, we decided to take advantage of the lovely evening, and have our first wiener 20180603.wierner.roast.fire3roast of the year! 😀

When I was a kid, we used to have these quite often.  I would go into the bush with a machete-type knife (we even found it while packing away my parents’ stuff!) and cut dogwood branches for roasting sticks.  They were perfect for it, naturally growing long, straight and supple.  Sometimes, I could get ones with a perfect Y shape.  The bark came off easily, and I would strip off the top several inches, then sharpen them to points.

At the end of the day, we’d get a fire going, roast wieners and stuff our faces with hot dogs, then finish off with marshmallows.  When we were done eating, it would be quite dark, and we would start burning our roasting sticks until the tips were glowing, then wave them around in the dark, using the red tips to create shapes of light in the air.

Sometimes, my parents hosted parties, and their friends from the city would come out with their kids, and there would be dozens of people all over.  Most of the time, though, it was just us kids.  We had a blast!

20180603.wierner.roast.tableThanks to the burning my daughter and I did earlier, when I cleared the yard to mow the lawn, I had a nice pile of sticks ready to set up for a fire.  We brought the hose (of course) and chairs.  We were thinking of moving the picnic table over, but it’s in serious need of cleaning, so the girls brought out one of our small folding tables, instead.

We’re going to have to invest in metal roasting forks soon.  I picked up a package of wooden roasting sticks along with the S’mores kit, and they are a bit too flammable and bouncy! 😀

I had hoped my husband could join us, even if just to sit on his walker while we roasted wieners for him, but he had to lie down for the night, before we even started. 😦

It got to watch a beautiful sunset while we set up and got the fire going.

 

I’m going to have to get out there with the weed trimmer. *L*

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The outside cats were all over the place, checking out what we were doing!  Rolando Moon staked out a spot on the log pile to watch us.  The hose sprays water at where two hoses join, and at the nozzle, and the cats played with the spray!

At one point, while I was sitting and eating, Rolando Moon actually jumped up onto my knee!  That’s a first.  Even the friendliest ones are still quite stand offish, so this is a big step in at least Rolando Moon’s comfort levels with us.

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Ah… perfect for toasting those wieners!

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We made some S’mores – that’s something we never did when I was a kid.  I didn’t even hear of them until after I had my own kids.

I find I really enjoy toasting marshmallows, and getting that perfect state of golden brown on the outside, and all melty on the inside.

Problem with that is, I don’t actually enjoy eating them.  Too sweet!

None of us are all that big on sweets, so while the hot dogs disappeared quickly, there’s still lots of S’more making supplies! 😀

Best part was, the entire night, we only saw one mosquito!

There is at least that one benefit to the dry spring we had!

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After a while, we just hung out to watch the fire die down.

I hope we will be able to do this often.  Even if we don’t have wiener roasts, to at least get a fire going and enjoy the evening.  We have a lot of wood we need to use up, and will be adding more as the clean up continues, so why not? 😀

It was a fantastic evening!

The Re-Farmer