AAAAHHHH!!! I’m going insane!!

I just got back from topping up the outside cats food and water.

In the process, I saw something absolutely insane.

While adding kibble to the trays under the water bowl shelter and the cat house entry, I glanced through the cat house window.

It’s not very clean, gets frost on the inside and there’s lots of reflection, but…

… there was something strange looking back at me.

Something tiny and orange and fluffy.

This is the picture I took, but I used the auto-enhance on computer, to see better.

That, my friends, is another bitty.

It wasn’t there yesterday.

As far as I can tell, it wasn’t there this morning, but I didn’t really look.

I thought I had to be going crazy, and was seeing things wrong.

After I finished setting out the kibble, I came back with the water jug. After topping up the heated water bowls, I looked again, but saw nothing.

There was a white and grey kitten eating at the tray in the entry, so I tried peaking past it, through the carpet strips in front of the door.


I looked back through the window and…

…watched as an orange fuzzy worm came running around and into the cat bad at the window. It looked at me, saw me move and started to run away again, so I moved away from the window.

I tried looking through the larger window, but there’s just too much reflection to see inside.

We have another bitty.




It looks about the same size, maybe smaller, than the bitties that got adopted out.

It seems to be alone – no other kittens – but it’s entirely possible the mama – whoever it is! – is in the process of moving her litter into the warmth and comfort of the cat house.

If I’m seeing things well enough, this looks like it will be a long haired orange tabby.

What the heck!?! Why are we having such super late kittens this year?

The Re-Farmer

A surprise critter!

One of the things about leaving the sun room doors slightly open for the kittens is that sometimes, other critters get in, too.

Usually skunks.

Last night, the girls went to see the kittens and work on socializing them, when they saw a strange critter running around. If looked kinda like a squirrel, but the we have red squirrels around here, and it wasn’t one of those. Possibly a chipmunk? Seeing it run around some more, they thought it looked like it might be a flying squirrel, which couldn’t be possible. Could it?

I tried to get a picture, but this was the best I could manage.

We did get a better look at it as it tried to climb the walls and around the tops of the windows.

It was most definitely a flier.

It turns out that we do have a native flying squirrel! The Northern Flying Squirrel.

Not once, even as a kid growing up here, have we ever seen a flying squirrel. Just our usual red squirrels.

They are SO flippin’ cute!

I want to snuggle it. 😂

The Re-Farmer

Kitten surprise

After finishing my morning rounds and coming back to the house, I spotted kittens under the cats’ house again. I put some food out for them, then waited.

At first, I just saw the little tabby on the left, but I did briefly see the calico taking a peak off to the right. I’m happy to saw the eye that looked injured is now open, and she’s looking much better. I put a bit of food where I saw her, but the third, darker kitten came to eat, instead.

I kept slowly coming closer, so they’d get used to my presence, and tried to take some video. Which is when we had a kitten surprise!

There’s a fourth kitten!

It has much longer fur than the others. We might have another “David” out there! Long haired yard cats are very unusual.

I did see one more kitten, today. I came out of the sun room with frozen water bottles to put in their water bowls and startled a mama going by, carrying a white and black kitten. I ignored her, since she was already quite unhappy that I was there, so I didn’t see where she ended up going with the kitten. She was gone so fast, I thought she had to have just gone under the set up we made to harden off the transplants. We’ve left it there, to provide a little extra shade and shelter for the cats.

Which makes a total of five kittens I saw this morning, with two that I’ve never seen before!

The Re-Farmer

Too wet, and a nice surprise

This morning, it looked like I’d be getting more of a day of rest than I wanted. I hoped to at least do some weed trimming. It rained last night again, however, and… well…

There’s just too much water. The vehicle gate into the yard is usually the first place to have water, but there’s enough that it’s backing up into the path along this garden bed. For the water to be high enough to do that, it means all behind the garage and in front of the outhouse is water. It’s also pooling in front of the low raised beds where the old wood pile used to be, though the newly transplanted ground cherries seem to be okay; the mulch seems to be absorbing the moisture and keeping them from being in a pool of water. The grass is getting so tall, most of the water is hidden, but we’ve got open water all over the inner yard. Mowing is just not going to be an option. The weed trimming I intended to do around the squash transplants isn’t going to happen. That lilac by the storage house has a pool of water under it again. Even the spirea on the opposite corner has water under them. The grapes are above the water level, at least. Checking the trellises and the trees, it looks like we lost at least 1 luffa to the wet. Interestingly, the sliver buffalo berry is handling it just fine. Even the saplings that are in pools of water are have leaf buds opening.

The mosquitoes weren’t too bad, thanks to the wind, so I was able to check the Korean Pine without being eaten alive.

I found a surprise next to one of them.

All the white flowers in this photo?

Strawberries. We’ve got a whole big patch of strawberries growing here!

In previous years, when I was able to keep a lane to the back gate mowed, this area had Black Eyed Susan, a local wildflower, growing here. I’d even see patched of daisies. But never strawberries! To suddenly see so many makes me quite happy.

Once back inside, I hoped to be able to take things a big easy, since working outside wasn’t much of an option, but of course, that didn’t happen.

My mother phoned. She’d gotten the call about the sleep test the doctor wrote her up for, but she’d forgotten about it. Thankfully, she told them she’d talked to me about whether she should do it at all first, rather than just telling them she didn’t need the test. She gave me the number and I called them back. It turns out they can send the test machine directly to my mother, and that was looing good – until it came to how it’s paid for. They take payment by credit card, and don’t send the machine out until the payment is made. My mother doesn’t have a credit card. Neither do I. There is still the option of picking it up and paying for it in person, but they need 2 days notice, so that the machine will be ready and waiting for pick up. Which I could do, but I emailed my brother first, just in case. He has a credit card and might be able to get that done and my mother can pay him back later. Whatever we work out, we’ll call them back about it.

Then I read another email from my he’s sent earlier. It was about the beg bug treatment schedule, including a date. I had no idea there was a date – and it’s the same day someone is supposed to be coming out to see my mother for a home care assessment.

So I called my mother back, updated her on the sleep test thing, then talked to her about the bed bug date. She needed to call my sister to make arrangements to stay there for a couple of nights, so that she won’t be exposed to the spray. She said others in her building just stay in the lobby, but I reminded her, she can’t do that, because of her health issues. She finally understood. So while she called my sister to make the arrangements, I had to find a number to call about changing the home care assessment appointment. The problem is, there is no public number directly to the home care department. Even with the guy that called me, the call display showed “private caller”, so there’s no number there. I tried calling the clinic to do it through them, but they must be really busy, because no one was answering the phone. Finally, I found a central number for our health region and left a message – the call went straight to voice mail – and left a message.

So now I’m basically keeping a handset handy and waiting to hear back.

I really dislike talking on the phone. 😀 Ah, well.

So I guess things being too wet to get work done outside is a bonus for today.

I’d really rather be outside, fighting mosquitoes while mowing the lawn, than waiting for more phone calls, to be honest!

The Re-Farmer

Our 2022 garden: Heritage Harvest seed order is in!

Among the packages we got in the mail today was our seed order from Heritage Harvest!

I felt like a kid in a candy store, opening this up, even though I knew exactly what’s in there!

Or not!

I didn’t remember ordering two types of tomato.

I double checked my order, and the shipping notification and no, I did not order two types of tomato!

The extra packet is the Sophie’s Choice tomato, so of course I had to look it up.

The first thing I noticed is that the website has been redone, and it looks fabulous! The next thing I noticed that their new-for-22 items are now up – and then I saw that stuff I was interested in that were out of stock are now in stock!

Dangit. I’m going to have to make another order.

Oh, the tragedy… 😀

As for the mystery tomatoes, I found their listing. They are a determinate, short season variety and described as extremely rare! So I sent them an email mentioning the extra seeds, offering to pay for them, since I’m more than happy to plant a rare variety to help keep them going.

Now I’m going to have to go back there and do some shopping! 😀

The Re-Farmer

A Crespo surprise

It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving day, but we are having our big dinner today. My mother loves her turkey dinner, so I will be bringing her some tomorrow, while my brother visits with her today. Right now, the turkey is in the oven, as are most of the potatoes that were harvested yesterday, so I can take a break to post about our Thanksgiving garden surprise. 🙂

Last night, as we headed outside before the light faded completely, I took my daughters over to see how quickly the Crespo squash is growing. In the process, we discovered a hidden squash!

Hidden Crespo squash

It had been hidden by leaves until now!

I came back this morning to get a photo, but of course my phone’s camera decided to focus on everything but the squash itself! 😀

This is easily the biggest of all the Crespo squash we have developing. This is the only pumpkin type of squash we’ve got this year, so it seemed appropriate to find this on Thanksgiving weekend.

I didn’t get any photos, but the Ozark Nest Egg gourd is also showing us surprises. There are SO many female flowers showing up, with their little gourds at their bases, and it even looks like quite a lot of them got pollinated! A few have wizened away, but more seem to be making it.

If the weather can just hang in there! I’m now seeing overnight lows of 2C/36F by Friday, with rain at the same time. The squash and gourds seem to actually like these cooler temperatures, and are producing like crazy, but I doubt any of these will survive such lows, even without frost. We shall see. It would be so awesome if they managed to mature! For that, though, I think we’ll need mild temperatures through half of November, too. Which does happen. It’s whether or not we get frost that will make the difference.

That we haven’t had frost yet is something to be thankful for, this Thanksgiving weekend!

Just in case I’m not able to post tomorrow, I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

The Re-Farmer

Little by little, and a Crespo surprise

It has remained too damp to try cutting wood, so I worked on a few other things today. One of them was to start getting the remaining chimney blocks out of the old basement, to where they will be set up for next year.

The blocks themselves are not too much of a problem. I can carry them well enough. The main problem is the stairs. If I could simply walk up the stairs, it would have been fine. However, I don’t do stairs well at the best of times, and these stairs have unfortunate dimensions, as well as being unusually steep, to fit into the space available. Which meant setting the blocks down on a step, then cautiously lifting it up, one step at a time, with one hand, while hanging on to the rail with the other. Slow going, and rather dangerous. :-/ Once at the top of the stairs, my husband would open the door for me, keeping the cats away, and slide it aside while I went for another. With his back injury, even sliding them was probably more than he should have done, but he managed.

For now, I only got three out. There are four more left in the old basement. There’s one more in the new basement, but I’m keeping that. It was the perfect height and solidity to use as a surface when I was doing some wood carving.

As I was carrying them out to the yard, with my husband getting the three doors I had to go through for me, while also keeping the cats at bay, I got curious as to how much they weighed. My husband estimated about 25 pounds, but I knew they had to be heavier than that. So I brought over our scale to weigh the last one before taking it out. It turned out to be 53 pounds, so not bad at all. Mostly just awkward. As I sit here writing this, I am starting to feel issues with my right shoulder, from lifting them up the stairs the way I I had to, though. :-/ Fifty three pounds is a bit much for one arm, while scrunched over and squeezed between two walls and a rail!

Of the ones that were outside, all but one were used for the retaining wall in the old kitchen garden. The last one is hidden behind the three I brought out, leaning against the tree. We will have a total of eight blocks by the time the rest are brought up from the basement.

This is where they are going to go, when it’s time to clean up the cucamelons and gourds. We were intending to have them here for this year’s garden, but were not able to get them out of the basement in time, so I want to get that done little by little until they are needed. In this spot, the ground slopes just enough that there is a larger gap under the chain link fence. The cardboard flaps we pushed up against the fence before adding the soil ended up falling under, and the soil started washing away when we watered, so I had to use boards I found in the barn to short it up. The blocks will eliminate that problem, and will make good “containers” to plant into next year.

With that done, I got a few other things done, including picking up more fallen branches from yesterday’s wind, eventually heading over to check out the Crespo squash. I’d noticed more flowers opening, and I wanted to see how the two squash that were forming were looking.

It was a pleasant surprise to look at one of them, and find another little squash developing!

Then I spotted another one, high above the hill they are planted in.

Then I spotted another…

And another…

And another!!!

Which is when a started to walk around the critter barriers, looking closely for any more, and counting.

I spotted twelve. !!! A full dozen, that I could see, baby Crespo squash!

Some were very tiny – even smaller than the one pictured above, while others were surprisingly large.

I did not expect a variety that produces such large fruit would also be so prolific!

The problem, of course, is this.

The first official day of fall is only 5 days away, and leaves are already starting to turn.

The certainly won’t have enough growing season left to reach the size shown in this photo from Baker Creek.

Well, at least I know that, if started indoors early enough and protected from critters, it will grow well in our area. I want to try these again, next year!

The Re-Farmer

Things that came in today

We had a bunch of things waiting for us at the post office today, including a surprise package!

M, you are a sweetheart! These will last us for years. 🙂 Thank you!

One of the things that was listed as, ‘it might come in or it might be delayed’, was the pasta drying rack. It was in today.

I love how flat it gets. That will make is much easier to store!

Now we’ve got both the pasta machine and the drying rack, as well as well as the durum flour I was able to find in the city. Time to decide what we want to make! 😀

The other packages that came in were our first order from Rare Seeds that I thought might have gotten hung up at the border or something. You can read about all the other stuff we ordered, and why, here.

I also got an early Christmas present from my husband!

All of which I will post about tomorrow, because it’s starting to snow and blow, and our internet keeps cutting in and out. 😀

One thing that did not come in was our UPS delivery. The driver probably couldn’t find us. I’ll have to see what I can find out about that. I really want to get that new trail cam set up! 🙂

The Re-Farmer


I was a bit late doing my rounds, so it was starting to get a bit dark. Which made finding this, that much more dramatic!

It was NOT blooming this morning!

When checking the squash beds, I have been keeping an eye on the back row, trying to decide with of the surviving plants are gourds. I noticed 3 of them (with possibly a 4th) sending up tall flower stalks. Completely different from all the others!

Now, two of them have these dramatic white flowers!

Not knowing for sure what is what, after the starter trays were knocked over, sure makes checking the squash beds much more exciting than one would expect! 😀

The Re-Farmer

What a surprise!

This time of year, we pretty much never see deer at the feeding station. If they’re coming by, it’s typically when we’re all in bed.

Except tonight.

My daughter happened to be in the living room, with the lights out, escaping the heat of the second floor when she glanced out the window to see this.

The other surprise is actually getting a half decent photo. We didn’t even try to use the DSLR; moving to adjust the settings for a night shot would have spooked the deer away, so this is just using auto on my phone’s camera!

You’ll notice the antlers look very thick and fuzzy. That’s because they are! I have actually never seen a buck with the velvet still on his antlers like this, before! (not counting photographs, of course)

I’m glad he was able to enjoy the seeds I’m still putting on the ground for the birds. Right now, I’m just using black oilseeds – a type of sunflower seed. The grass covers most of the seed on the ground. Not just grass, though. With the rain we’ve been having, there are quite a few sprouted sunflowers in the area, and I can see quite a few other things growing from the mixed bird seed I’d used before. I’m pretty sure a lot of the grass in that area is actually oat grass, too. The birds can get through it to reach the seeds well enough, but it would take more effort for a deer!

Of course, the deer can graze on the seedlings, too, and I’m much rather he eats the sunflower seedlings here, than the ones we deliberately planted in the garden! 😀

What a majestic animal! I’m so happy he came by!

The Re-Farmer