Oh, what a day. Already

Today started off very well, so I’ll start with that, too!

I’m happy to say that the new bed has made a huge difference. There must be something about no longer being so close to the floor, because I slept like a rock – for almost 11 hours!

Which meant I got a late start to doing my morning routine.

The kittens were in fine form this morning!

They found perfectly kitten sized places to hang out, about it all!

These little nooks exist only because the area under the entryway was walled off to make the root cellar. The ceiling there is slightly lower than the rest of the basement, so the top ledge there is actually level with the entryway floor, while below is the root cellar wall.

The upstairs cats wanted to play, too.

In the one photo, you can see David’s nose – and the glowing eye of another cat!

I’m going to have to delay doing the kitten stuff until there are others available to come down at the same time. Saffron and Turmeric got upstairs before I could close the door, while David, Cheddar and Two Face made it downstairs. While wrestling her kittens downstairs, Beep Beep went up and stayed there. I only saw three kittens, though, so I started looking around for Leyendecker and Big Rig. I realized Leyendecker had also snuck upstairs, when I saw tiny little black and white paws going past – right about where you can see David’s nose in the above photos. 😀 So I got him down, but I still couldn’t find Big Rig. I feared she may have gotten into the old part basement, but after some searching, my daughter found her curled up asleep, under the bed frame. The box my husband’s computer came in had a cardboard divided that fits under there perfectly, and they use it to sleep in. I’d pulled it out, but apparently not enough, and never saw her. I felt no weight, and didn’t think to pull it out all the way! It was a relief to find her. Once we managed to get the adult cats out, we were able to treat the babies with some wet cat food, then persuade Beep Beep to come down again.

Once outside, I was joined by Creamsicle and Butterscotch.

Lots of things are blooming now.

More wild roses are blooming now.

I also checked on, and counted, the sunflowers.

I counted 30 this morning, with some having just broken ground. We also lost more; in one spot where I was sure there was a seedling growing, I checked more closely, and found the remains of a stem. 😦

I was very happy to find this. Last year, I spotted two little bunches of red berries on this bush. Using the magic of the internet, it turns out to be a cranberry bush.

It was not planted there deliberately.

This is another of the things that are getting more light, after I cleared away trees from the fence line. Last year, that resulted in this bush having just a few berries. This year, it is covered with clusters like this! I am thrilled to see them!

These are tiny wild strawberries growing at the base of a dead tree in the maple grove. We need to be weeded with great care, as the other growth is so close, it’s hard to pull them up, without also pulling up the strawberries.

This will require a lot of time set aside (after being liberally covered in bug spray) for delicate weeding. At some point, I’d like to transplant them to a better location, but transplant wild strawberries is another delicate thing!

I don’t know what these flowers are, but I really like them! Near them are some lilies that are full of buds.

The hawthorn my mother planted as a “living fence” bloomed so fast, I missed it! Berries are starting to form now.

I’ve read that hawthorn berries are edible. We might try something with them, one of these days.

My mother’s white roses and double lilacs planted near the old kitchen and sun room as looking good. The lilacs are almost done their blooming time, but the roses are just covered with buds!

After making sure it was okay with my mother first, checking to make sure there was nothing she wanted saved, I completely covered and mulched the old kitchen garden, two years ago. You can see what it was like when we started here (back when I thought the ornamental apple trees were cherry trees, because that’s where the original cherry tree had been planted, years before). As I cleaned up, you can see in this post, just how much the above flower had spread all over. I got it to the point where I could lay down a layer of cardboard, and finally cover it all in mulch. The idea was to basically kill off what was already growing there (especially the invasive vines we were finding all over the place!), and eventually use the space to grow vegetables and herbs that we use most.

After I finished all that, my mother suddenly started talking about some blue flowers that were there that she wanted me to keep, because they reminded her of flower that grew in Poland, when she was a child. I reminded her that she’d given me the okay to get rid of everything! Still, some things have worked their way through the mulch, including her little blue flowers, so she was happy to see them and asked me to save some. Which I can do. 🙂

After I’d finished my rounds, I called my mother, then went to help her do a grocery shopping trip. That went quite well, and I was happy to be able to help her stock up on the bigger items she would normally have to pay to get delivered.

It was when I got home that things started to go wrong.

I had just driven through the gate and stopped the van so I could close it again, when I saw someone in my rear view mirror.

It was our vandal.

He’d seen me go by and came over.

He then proceeded to yell verbal abuse at me – all while recording me closing and locking the gate – from where he stood. I just ignored him while taking care of the gate, and he eventually just walked away, but he was yelling loud enough that the girls came out to see what was going on.

Based on past experience, from long before we moved out here, I knew I had to sit down and write down exactly what happened to record it. While I was in the middle of that, I got a call from my brother. It seems our vandal went straight from hurling verbal abuse at me, to calling my brother – who was at work – and verbally abusing him. There were things he said to both of us, though, that got us wondering about a triggering event. Once I had the chance, I called my mother.

Sure enough, it went back to her. He had left another abusive message on her answering machine, and she made the mistake of calling him back. She’d left a message, basically asking what he wanted from her, and they ended up speaking in person. He told her that he wanted to sell the farm and split up the money, part of which he believes he is entitled to. The farm, however, is supposed to stay in the family name, and that’s why she transferred the ownership to my brother. We had been trying to keep that quiet, but it’s public knowledge now. We have the same arrangement with my brother that we had with my mother. We are taking care of the place for him. So now we know, by his own words, that our vandal was pressuring my parents to change their wills for years, just so he could sell the farm to line his pockets.

This revelation explains why he started showing up recently on the trail cams, giving us the finger. He thinks something has been taken from him. I’m still a target, since we live here, and he believes the things that are here belong to him. Of course, he’s got his own place, so there is no reason anything of his should be here. He’s also the reason so many things disappeared over the years, and especially while the place was empty for 2 years.

Now that he knows about the transfer of ownership, it’s hard to say how he will continue his harassment. At least when it came to ownership of the farm, there was some predictability. Now that he knows the farm belongs to my brother, not my mother, he’s going to be coming up with something new. The only thing we can be sure of, is that he won’t stop. He’s become obsessed with this place, and my family living here.

*sigh*

Ah, well. It’s still better than what we left behind by moving here. We just have to worry about one crazy person, now. :-/

The Re-Farmer

I see four

Before heading into town, I paused to say hello to the mamas. Butterscotch was content to stay in her cave and just stick her head out every now and then to accept scritches, purring away. The opening is not that big, and it’s dark in that old radio, so I tried the technological method.

Sticking my phone in the opening and taking a picture.

Butterscotch was not too keen on that whole “flash” thing! 😀

I did, however, manage to get a picture of the kitties!

Unless there are others hidden somewhere, it looks like she’s had 4 kittens again; three orange tabbies and one grey and white tabby.

They. Are. So. Cute!!!

Judging from how active Beep Beep is, she might not be due for another week or two. 😀 But who knows? We might have more kittens sooner than that.

I’m glad we have the mamas inside. Today has been an odd day, weather wise. When I did my rounds, it was rather pleasant. After dropping my daughter off at work, it was a combination of rain and snow. By the time I got to the dump, it was snowing, then when I got home, it was raining one moment, snowing the next. Well. More snow than rain.

This turned out to be not very pleasant for my daughter at work. They’ve had to close down the staff lunch room, because it’s too small to maintain physical distancing. For most of the staff, that didn’t matter. They live close enough that they could just go home for lunch. My daughter picked up lunch at a nearby grocery store, then ate outside. Which meant she was sitting on a concrete sidewalk in the cold for almost an hour, because there is no indoor public place anyone can sit and eat anymore. 😦 Thankfully, she’s one of those people with a built in furnace and isn’t as bothered by the cold.

Also, it’s a good thing we still have my husband’s disability income to live on during the current lock down, because she’s down to just one shift a week. Her employer is actually adding a bonus to people’s wages to make up for some of the loss of hours, but of course, it isn’t much. Who knows how long any of this can be sustained.

I headed into town very early, because as far as I knew, the hardware store closed at 4. As I was approaching the doors, I saw a staff member putting away the outside displays already, so I made sure to look for the hours. I found the sign saying they closed at 3. It was 2:55! I commented to the guy, apologetically, about how they were about to close and was about to leave. He stopped me and asked me to go ahead in, assuring me I they wouldn’t lock the doors on me! 😀 Thankfully, I knew exactly where I needed to go to find the sandpaper I was looking for. Normally, I would have looked around for anything else I might need, but not today.

As I was paying for it, more people were coming into the store, and no one was telling them the store was about to close. Normally, this would be one of those times you’d read about in Not Always Right, and the rude customers forcing staff to stay long before their shifts have ended because they came in after closing. I did not get that impression today. I got the sense they would love to have stayed open longer, and wanted all the customers they can get right now! Even a large, national franchise like this one can only take so much loss. 😦

The grocery store nearby, however, had no such time restrictions. Happily, I was able to find a large box of cat litter (the last one, hidden way in the back of the shelf) and a large bag of cat food. If we’re careful (and keep the kibble bin in the house, instead of the sun room for the skunks to get into), we should be okay for the rest of the month.

So we are well stocked and, aside from a trip to the vet with another cat on Monday, and my daughter’s 1 shift a week, we can be homebodies for the rest of the month. If the weather co-operates, I hope that means I can start cleaning up all the fallen branches in the yard, now that the snow is almost all gone, and get some black plastic over some of the areas we are planning to garden in this year, to help the soil warm up faster. 🙂

There is certainly no shortage of things that need to be done. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Morning

One of the things I’m appreciating about doing my morning rounds earlier, is our longer days. Along with the increased light is the increased critter activity.

Along with my feline followers, I was hearing all kinds of cranes and Canada geese calling. Sometimes, I can see the geese out in the pasture behind the barn, or watch the geese and cranes flying overhead. Every now and then, I hear the thrumming of prairie chicken wings as they drum up their presence, and the staccato knocking of a wood pecker getting at some grub. 😀 It’s fantastic!

The temperatures fluctuating above and below freezing so much (more below than not, lately) had an unexpected result this morning.

One of the icicles from the cracked bird bath created a hat of ice on the gnome! 😀

This morning, my daughter and I took my mother’s car to bring Two Face for her appointment with the vet. Since they are just blocks away, I dropped my daughter off at the vet and continued on to the garage to get a status on our van. Parts have been ordered and are on their way from the city. It will be ready by the time we return to pick up Two Face.

I am so looking forward to having our van back!!!

I just don’t like driving my mother’s car. I don’t like how it feels. I don’t like the noises it makes (and I don’t mean the noise from the differential that I will be getting checked; just it’s normal car noises). I don’t like the small size. There is so little leg room for the back seats, it may as well be a 2 seater.

It actually is a good little car. It does have a decent amount of space under the hatch, and the spare tire is easily accessible. Also, the front seats have butt warmers. 😀 I’ve just been absolutely spoiled by minivans. Living here, having two vehicles is more necessity than luxury, but if I had any choice in the matter, our second vehicle would be one of those big, ostentatious, jacked up trucks.

With a plow attachment and a trailer hitch.

Funny how priorities change when you’re living in the sticks. 😀

The Re-Farmer

Little progress, good progress and making do

Well, we did it.

We did our monthly shop today.

Or perhaps I should now call it our bi-monthly shop, since we will have to go into the city again to get more of the big, heavy stuff we got only half of what we normally do.

Yesterday, I had hoped to get some more progress done in the new basement, so we can use it to quarantine some outside cats. Unfortunately, the biggest set back in accomplishing this is getting things completely out.

After setting up, gloving up and looking around at where to start (a very depressing thing to do), I decided it was a burning day.

We have not been using our burn barrel for quite a long time. While cleaning up the old wood pile area, it was my intention to burn the old, nail filled half-rotted pallet pieces. I even set up a larger metal ring for just that. I think it got used only once, before the full burn ban came into effect, and that was it for the year.

What I managed to do yesterday was drag out the old cardboard packaging for products no one has anymore, decades old catalogs, phone books and stacks of musty old Polish newspapers. That cleared up a very noticeable amount of space!

Paper sucks to burn.

I think I spent at least 2 hours, standing in the snow, adding more and more to the fire. There was some old cardboard in the fire pit from last year, as well as the roots of some invasive vines I found, covered in snow. These eventually did dry out enough to burn. I snagged some wood from the burn barrel that we were never able to burn, all dried out by the sun, just to give the fire something better than paper to consume (and to keep the really thin pages from blowing away after being burnt). I kept having to dig up the ashes to uncover more partially burned pages so they could burn completely.

It was surprisingly windy out there. We will definitely be taking that lack of wind break from the south into consideration when we start working on the outer yard.

By the time I was done there, I had no energy left to work on the basement. My daughter was all set to help me, but we instead discussed what we are going to do with the stuff we need to take out. Besides the shopping cart of old wood for the fire pit, and stuff for the landfill.

We’re going to have to start using the barn.

It’s got so much stuff scattered about in there, though. If we can clear out one of the old cattle stalls to make space, we can store things in there until they can be properly disposed of. Like the collection of car batteries, old sump pumps and cans of old paint. In fact, the more we can get out of that basement completely, the better.

In the end, I got nothing else done in the basement at all. 😦

Meanwhile… notice the amount of snow around that fire pit?

It was much like that this morning, when we left for the city.

This is what we came back to.

You can see the path through the snow I’d made to get to the burn pit, over on the centre left. My foot prints are full of water, and there’s water all around the fire pit. Trying to walk around the giant puddle only revealed more water under the snow. There was no way to get to the house without walking through either deeper snow, or water!

When I checked the weather shortly after we got home, we were at 7C. The sun room, however, was much, much warmer!

And that’s with just a couple of feet of uncovered window creating passive solar heat in there!

But I digress…

The trip to the city was very productive and actually went very smoothly.

We decided to hit the Costco before breakfast (which we ended up having at lunch time…), in hopes that we would get there before all the toilet paper sold out.

When we drove in, we noticed two things at the same time. First, the massive line up and second, the relatively sparse parking lot. We were able to park fairly close to the entrance, which is unusual.

There was a small army of staff in high viz vests keeping the line organized and sanitizing cart handles. The line went from the doors at one end of the store, along the building to the opposite end, across the lane into the parking lot, up one of the concrete dividers, looping around and back to the lane, then up the lane almost as far as the entrance before turning into one of the parking lanes. The end of the line happened to be near where we parked the van, but we had to walk further from the store to get in line.

Employees walked back and forth, telling people to stay 6 feet apart (with one guy helpfully adding that this was the length of 2 shopping carts), to stay to one side (for cars to get by) and reminding people to have their Costco membership cards ready. They also answered questions, which is why we heard that there was no toilet paper to be had. The delivery truck didn’t show up this morning!

As long as the line was, it moved very quickly. The staff at the exits kept count of how many people left, then let the staff and the entrance know, so let that many people in.

A wall of pallets was made to separate the entry side from the exit side. Once inside, but not through the inner entrance, we had time to read the very handy white board lists of things they were out of (toilet paper, Lysol products, etc.) and stuff they did have in stock that, I’m guessing, were things they’d run out of before, like flour.

Once inside, we found the shelves well stocked of pretty much everything else, including pallets and pallets of flour. We didn’t find bread yeast, and they didn’t have as many types of rice as usual. They were not allowing people into the room where the dairy and eggs were kept. Instead, they had people at a table who got what we needed. We usually get the double flats of eggs, but they only had singles left – not that unusual, with Easter coming soon.

Everything went very smoothly and efficiently, including the checkouts. We didn’t bother bringing our bags in, like we usually do. Instead, we packed the stuff ourselves at the van. That worked out so much better, I think we should keep doing it that way.

I had intended to buy a couple of big bags of cat kibble, but it turned out they were allowing only 1 per person of the Kirkland brand. I’m sure there was a sign to say that, but I missed it completely.

By the time we were done, though, we had actually got most of what was on our list!

That done, we got gas – at 59.9 cents per litre!! I haven’t seen prices that low since probably 2004. I worked at a gas station that summer, and I remember being told that I should fill my tank at the end of my shift because the gas prices were about to go from 61.9/L to the astronomical amount of 68.9/L (For my readers from the US, 4L is about 1 gallon.)

We can finally afford the gas to go out more often, but there’s no place for us to go!

That done, we decided to hit a drive through near the Walmart we were going to. It happens to be across the street from a new Bulk Barn that I hoped to go to. I wasn’t sure how a store like that would be able to stay open. We couldn’t see if they were open, so when we got our food, we decided to drive over and look. Either they were open, and we would eat in the parking lot there before going in, or they were closed and we would continue to the Walmart, and eat in the parking lot there. 😀

We still couldn’t tell from the outside if they were open – there were no signs that we could read from the van – but my daughter could just see through the tinted windows that there were people walking around with shopping carts.

So we had our breakfast… er… lunch… in the van, then headed in.

To a very unhappy staff member at the door.

As we came in, the first thing we saw was a barrier directing the flow or traffic. There were two signs on posts facing the door, and two others down the lane people were directed to. As we were grabbing a cart, this poor woman at the first pair of signs was dressing down a couple of customers that were shopping together. They had gone right into the store and started shopping, and she was telling them that they had to wait by the door, get gloves, and wait until a staff member got them. Only staff were allowed to scoop the products out. “Oh, I didn’t know” one guy responded. “No one said anything.” Which was when she pointed out the FOUR signs they walked right past.

All that for a bag of pistachios.

After dealing with the customers that ignored all the signs, she held out a box of these really thin, one-size-fits-all plastic gloves for us and asked us to wait until someone came to help us.

Normally, I would have liked to have wandered up and down the aisles to see if anything caught my eye, but since we were shopping Edwardian style, we just told the guy what we wanted and how much, and he got them for us. He had a shopping cart that was lined with plastic, and a pile of scoops to use for each item.

I got stuff for making meals in a jar. I did that last month, and they’ve really been working out well, so I wanted to be able to make more.

Oh, I just realized. I completely forgot to get dehydrated vegetables for that.

Ah, well.

That done, our next stop was Walmart.

Oh, dear.

Like at Costco, they were letting people in, a little at a time, as other customers left.

The line outside wasn’t anywhere near as long as at Costco (thank God for warmer weather!), but it moved much more slowly. People tend to linger at Walmart, more than at Costco.

On top of that, a fire truck arrived as we were walking to the store. Shortly after, and ambulance arrived, and we eventually saw someone being taken out in a stretcher.

Sadly, this is not really that unusual to see. Medical emergencies can happen any time, any where! I do hope the person recovers quickly from whatever happened.

Once inside, we started working on what was left on our list. YES!!! There was toilet paper! One package per household. It’s not the amount we’d usually buy for the month, but it will tide us over until we find some more.

We also got another big bag of cat kibble.

The main thing I was looking for, however, was rubber boots.

Now, I have a problem with getting footwear in general. I have always had very wide feet, but after injuring them many, many years ago, they are now even wider. My normal shoes are men’s size 9, triple wide.

None of the rubber boots came in wider sized.

I do have another problem, though. Rubber boots are made to cover the calves.

I have very little cartilage left in my knees and the balls of my feet. The metatarsals in my feet have a habit of suddenly dislocating. My patella also tend to pop out of place every now and then, and my knees tend to want to bend backwards or sideways. I compensate for all this through my leg muscles. As a result, I have highly developed calves. Weight lifter type calves.

Which means that the tops of rubber boots are far too tight.

After trying several sizes of one style, I ended up settling on a men’s size 12 (I don’t even bother trying on women’s shoes). They were still tight at the calves, but I figured I would just cut them.

My daughter, however, spotted some that were a shorter style. They were also lined winter boots, but I could live with that.

The size 10s seemed to fit very well, but just in case, I tried some size 11s.

They were even more comfortable to put on! Awesome! these would be perfe…

Then my heel rocked and I almost twisted my ankle.

What the heck?

Unlike all the other styles of rubber boots, which had very flat heels, these boots had rounded edges on their soles. This meant that the flat part of the heel was narrower than the boot itself.

An absolute recipe for turned ankles!! And I know myself well enough to know that I would do it, too.

So we settled on the taller style.

At least they were cheap.

Once done at Walmart, we had one last stop to make at our favourite grocery store.

We just had to check, and their toilet paper section was completely wiped out!

Everything else, however, was fully stocked.

Except bread yeast. *sigh*

Ah, well. We can just use the sourdough!

This is the store we pick up some international foods we can’t find anywhere else, and smaller quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables than what we’d find at Costco. Those, we keep topped up locally. We also picked up more stuff for our Easter basket, including fresh herbs. We’re going to make marinated goat cheese again. We also picked up jarred beets, so we can use the liquid for pink pickled eggs. There isn’t a lot that we need to pick up here, but enough to make the trip worthwhile.

What was interesting about all this running around is that I was not anywhere near as exhausted as I normally am by the end of the day. I really dislike crowds. While there certainly were plenty of people around, but people did try to keep physically distant from each other, so it wasn’t that madhouse jostling. Everything went so smoothly and efficiently that even the waits in line were not at all taxing.

Once at home and the groceries were put away, I broke in the rubber boots to go and change the batteries in one of the trail cams, which now involves slogging through a hug puddle in the yard.

Yeah, I had to pull my pant legs up to get my legs into the boots.

Also, it turns out one of my calves is bigger than the other. By the time I was done, I had to get one of my daughters to pull the boot off of me, because it was stuck to my skin!

I have since cut them another inch or so, which will hopefully solve that problem.

I expect to be getting a lot of use out of these!

So we are now stocked up and set for at least a couple of weeks for some things, the rest of the month for others.

The shopping went much better than expected.

Oh, and I was also able to get a couple of plastic utility shelves for the old basement.

I know what I’ll be doing tomorrow! 😀

Trying not to kill myself, bringing them down the stairs… 😉

The Re-Farmer

More baking, and my daughter works in a tent now

I went into town today, driving my daughter to work. We got there at our usual 10-15 minutes early, but there were already several cars in the parking lot, and people standing by the doors. I’ve seen this before, but not with so many people. Weird.

Since I was in town anyhow, I made a quick run through the grocery store. My husband was running out of brown rice (he’s the only one who eats it) and the girls were running low on lactose free milk. There was plenty of milk, but almost no rice of any kind at all. Oddly, there were no potatoes, squash or onions. Entire sections of fresh produce were empty. I find myself thinking there are other reasons for the stuff to be gone, besides more panic buying. There was no shortage of bread or meat on the shelves, but they haven’t restocked in things like flour, sugar or yeast yet.

Still no toilet paper, either.

Thankfully, we are not in any need of these items.

Once at home, I did a couple of different breads. One was a sourdough soda bread from Alaska Sourdough, the cookbook that got me into sourdough many years ago, though I acquired my own copy much more recently.

This recipe uses 4 cups of sourdough starter, along with oil, sugar, salt and baking soda. I tried to get a video of the chemical reaction when the baking soda (mixed into a “jigger glass” of warm water) is added, but it just couldn’t capture how the mixture just… foams. It’s really quite fun to watch!

The recipes in this cookbook are hand written, and in this one, the instructions forget to mention when to add the salt! I just add it with everything else, before the soda and flour are added.

The recipe also said to use 8 – 10 cups of flour.

Eight to 10??? What’s with all these recipes that use huge amounts of flour? I barely got 3 in. I’d wonder if my sourdough starter is too thick or something, but it’s the same with non-sourdough bread recipes, too. I know we’re really dry here, this time of year, but it shouldn’t make that much of a difference!

This recipe requires just one rising, so it got shaped into loaves right away and I left them in a warm oven to rise while I made another double batch of my seedy bread. I ended up making it into a bunch of mini-loaves this time, just for fun. By the time that bread had its two risings, and finished baking, the sourdough bread was ready to go into the oven.

They came out so pretty!

While I was working on that, my other daughter came down for a break and let me know her sister is now working in a tent.

A tent?

The cash desk now has a plastic curtain around it, to protect the cashiers from plague customers who won’t keep their distance. It hangs from the ceiling, and is Tuck Taped to the counter, with windows cut into it to reach products for scanning. The pharmacy counter has its own plastic wall, with a slit for the pharmacists to go in and out at one end, and a slit at the pick up counter. Customers, apparently, are still trying to stick their faces right up to the openings.

People suck, sometimes.

After I picked my daughter up at work, she needed to go to the grocery store, so we swung by on the way home. Some of the empty produce displays were no longer empty – there were onions again, though not many. Still no potatoes or squash. So very odd!

As we were going through the till, I couldn’t help but comment to the cashier about how nice it must be, to be able to clean the belt more often. She confirmed that, yes, it is! She was quite enjoying the cleanliness. Customers still try to shove things onto the belt, but at least now the cashiers are allowed to tell them to stop, so the belt can be cleaned. I remember only too well how difficult it was to keep things clean in between costumers, when I worked as a grocery store cashier!

They’re also back to single use plastic bags. This franchise had only recently made such a big deal about no longer having plastic bags and encouraging people to bring, or buy, reusable bags. Now, if people bring their own bags, they have to pack them themselves. It’s long been known that reusable bags are very unsanitary, but it took the Wuhan flu for that to finally be taken seriously. 😦

Well, we’ll be able to go back to staying home for the next few days. No plague people hiding among the deer that visit us. There is plenty to keep us busy! The only thing I’ll need to remember to go out for is to get the mail, since I’m expecting my seed order to come in soon. I look forward to starting some of them indoors.

Oh, I also broke down and ordered a bottle cutter. This is not something we can find locally. I chose a type that can cut square bottles, as well as round. I look forward to using it to help make bottle bricks! Since I already know we plan to make the walls on our cordwood practice building 8 inches think, we can get a head start on making these.

Also, my daughter found a really nice recipe for no-knead Focaccia that I think we’ll be trying out tomorrow.

Should be fun!

The Re-Farmer

A new path, and comparisons

What a lovely day today!

Okay, according to The Weather Network, it’s -17C/1F with a wind chill of -27C/-16F, but I’ve been outside for the past while, in full sun and sheltered from the wind, and it was feeling downright tropical out there! Unlike yesterday, this morning I had all sorts of cats to greet me while I did my rounds.

On the down side, when I got to the van to head into town, I discovered a frozen present on the roof, all down the side door of my van, and even on the ground, from a cat in the rafters. I saw Nicky the Nose in there earlier, when I double checked to make sure the van was plugged in. Nasty bugger shat all over our van!

Ah, well. I meant to get a car wash before taking it in to get the brakes done, anyhow. :-/

Heading to town today, we were glad to find the roads had been plowed of drifts – though my daughter did have to fight one to open the gate! The high winds we’ve been having have really hard packed the snow. It was still blowing a lot on the roads, coming almost directly from the north, but here at home, we have trees, and the house itself, blocking most of the north winds. There’s just that one gap between the maple and spruce groves that acts as quite the funnel!

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Some good things, some pretty things, some WTF? vehicle things

The last couple of days have been… trying.

But also beautiful.

We warmed up enough for the trees to be covered in frost that is still there. Then we got a gentle snowfall. Today was bright and sunny, the trees looked like picture postcards, and everything was sparkling.

It all looked quite lovely.

The girls and I also arranged a surprise for my husband, after he had gone to bed.

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