Well, so much for new glasses… again

Would you look at this round, round mama!

She looks ready to have a litter any day now! Way, way too early!


Looks like my tax return is not going to be used as planned.

We had some issues with the toilet being partially clogged yesterday, but I was going to fight with it after my older daughter had her “morning” shower (she works at night). I did decide to go into the old basement and check the well pump and pipes, just in case.

The first thing I saw was a bit of damp near the sump pump reservoir.

There shouldn’t be any moisture there, this time of year.

Then I heard the dripping.

We have water dripping from under the bathtub.

Pretty much since we’ve moved here, the hot water tap in the tub has leaked while in use. It has gotten worse over the years. When we had the plumber here to auger the drain pipe to the septic tank, he also took a look at it for us. He thought he could fix the taps, but I’d like to replace them, so we got an estimate of about $400 for that – and that’s with us buying the replacement faucet set. He mentioned replacing it with the kind that is one lever rather than two taps to control the temperature. None of us like those things, and I’d want to replace it with basically the same style that’s already there. I told him we’d likely buy the faucet set ourselves, so the estimate did not include that. This was a couple years ago, so I would expect it to be higher, now.

The problem is that he’d have to take off the tub surround to access it – it can’t be reached from the other side of the wall, and the last time they were replaced, it would have been done from the front. The tub surround is one of those inexpensive 5 pc surrounds, where there are three flat pieces, then the corner pieces with moulded shelves. With our incredibly hard and iron rich water, it all looks like crap. No amount of scrubbing can get these clean, just like we can’t get the iron stains from the leaking tap completely off. So I have no problem with replacing those completely.

But if water is getting through enough to leak into the basement, the problem is not just the tap. It is likely the degrading caulking, too.

Which leads us to another issue.

When we finally got an indoor bathroom, my dad choose to cover the walls with bathroom panelling that was made to look like tiles. This was in the early 70’s, and there are areas of it, like behind the sink, where the panelling has been water damaged. The tub surround is mounted on top of the old panelling, which means there is caulking behind the caulking around the tub.

Chances are, the old caulking is also degrading, and the paneling under it may be molding or rotting. We won’t know until we take the surround off.

If we do end up having to replace the panelling behind it, we have another question.

What’s behind it?

Two of the walls are the original log walls; one is still exterior, while the other now has the sun room on the other side of it. The third side is the interior wall between the bathroom and my husband’s bedroom.

What we don’t know is of the panelling has something behind it, or if it was nailed directly to the log walls and joists. I know in the “new” part of the house, the panelling was nailed directly to the one long wall, and I’m pretty sure they were nailed directly to the joists on the other walls, with nothing between them and the insulation. But I’m just guessing on that, based on what little I can see from the places where the panelling has started to warp.

Talking about it with my daughters, they are suggesting not going with another tub surround at all, but to tile it, instead. Which would indeed be preferable! But is that even an option?

So right now, we’re looking at, I’m guessing, $500 for the plumber. Inexpensive tub surrounds like what we have now cost from $250 – $275 – or we could get just the flat panels for about $67 each (we’d likely need three). I have no idea at all how much it would cost if we tiled, instead. Depending on the size, they can be a couple of bucks each, or are sold by the square foot. Plus the backing material that would replace the current wall panels, plus the grout…

Then there’s the cost of the taps and faucet set (even the faucet is so encrusted in minerals, it’s affecting the seal on the shower diverter). I’ve looked around and did find a set that’s like what we have, at only $100 – and that includes a shower head. We just got a new shower head for our hand held shower, but having a spare is never a bad thing.


I guess I’m not getting glasses again this year. We should, at least, still be able to get my younger daughter her glasses, since she can’t wear hers at all anymore, and her sister has offered to help with the costs as much as she can. She needs to do her taxes, too. Last year, she did them and ended up owing money – only to have it paid back, plus a return, a month or so later!

And no. We are NOT going into the funds being set aside for the replacement vehicle. That’s just not an option.


Well, at least this is happening at a time when we will have the funds to pay for it. The main thing is to get it fixed before water damage gets worse. The last thing we need is for the tub to fall through the floor into the basement! It would land right on the well and sump pumps.

Must. Not. Imagine. Worst. Case. Scenarios.

Too late.

The Re-Farmer

Morning discoveries

Sunday is normally our day of rest, though of course work still needs to be done. Today, however, is going to be more of a day of rest than I’d hoped. We had rain overnight, and everything is still wet, so finishing the mowing is out. We’re also still getting all sorts of weather warnings, from severe thunderstorms to high water levels from rain falling elsewhere. At least we’re not getting tornado warnings in our area.

The garden, at least, if finally seeing some grown spurts. I’m most happy to see how this bed is doing.

That Kulli corn has been staying small for so long, I was starting to be concerned, but it is finally kicking in. I hope the beans planted with them are helping!

Hungry kittens are brave kittens! Nice to see them actually inside the kibble house, instead of hiding under the cat house.

There was an unexpected harvest this morning. Just a tiny one.

I checked on the wild strawberry patch, and could actually see the red berries from a distance!

The berries are so tiny, they are hard to pick! Many were already over ripe, but there are still lots of under ripe ones. This is the most we’ve seen since we found the patch while cleaning out the maple grove.

At some point, I would like to prepare a bed for them and transplant as many as I can, so they’re not fighting with grass and weeds to grow.

While moving things over to the burn barrel, I found another surprise in the branch pile.

One of the other litters of kittens has emerged! I had no idea there was another litter of kittens in this branch pile. Definitely the largest litter we’ve seen, too. There are six of them.

So adorable!

The cats are going to miss this pile of branches when we finally get it chipped!

We got another, far less pleasant surprise.

Our first spring here, one of the things that suddenly gave out was the drain on one side of the kitchen sink.

Well, the other side has finally given out, too. I heard some dripping a couple of days ago and asked my daughters to check it for me, as I can’t get under to look properly. My younger daughter found where it was leaking. When examining it from below, she was actually able to push the whole thing upwards!

So today, I’ll be making a trip to the hardware store to get the kit to replace it all. They open in about half an hour, so I’ll be heading out soon. At least we know, since we’ve already had it happen before, what we need to fix it! 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Future projects

While doing my morning rounds, I found myself contemplating this area.

This is a lower area along one side of our driveway. As you can see in the distance, the melted snow collects along some of the fence posts.

Which would be why almost all of them are rotted out and falling pretty much being held up only by the barbed wire.

When we first started mowing in this area, I found in insanely rough along the fence line, as if it had been tilled, then left. I think someone may have had the idea of making a drainage ditch.

At the far end, there is a dug out area that veers around that fence line, then runs under the fence on the property line, and to the ditch.

Not that it can drain very far right now, considering the ditch is full of piles of snow from when our driveway was cleared.

I don’t know what it was like when it was first dug out, but it’s very rough and pretty shallow. But then, so is the ditch itself. I’m thinking someone just ran a tiller along the fence line, and that’s it.

I was thinking that this side of the driveway would be a good place to eventually plant some low growing fruit trees or berry bushes. The area gets full sun and is fairly sheltered. The water that collects when the snow melts, however, would be a problem. We might want to finish the job someone else started, and dig out a drainage ditch, before planting anything along here.

The melting snow and receding water has allowed me to get into more areas, including the back of the storage house. There is a window that the cats (and skunks) use to get in and out from that side. It had only one out of three panes of glass left, and a board with a hole in it, replacing one pane. I set up a small piece of plywood over the window so that the cats could still get in and out, but it would also reduce how much weather got in. It often gets knocked out of place, but I hadn’t been able to get to the area to put it back until this morning.

Which is when I saw the last pane of glass was missing.

Remarkably, it had fallen inwards, but didn’t break! (The shard of glass under it is probably from the missing window pane.)

For now, I’m leaving it where it is, but we’ll collect the glass later and see if we can put it back into the frame.

Also, the appears the space under the storage house has been used as a massive litter box.

For now, I just put the old piece of plywood back to shelter the openings a bit.

I think, when we finally get around to fixing up this window a bit, I might attach strips of carpet to the top of one of the openings without glass, like what my brother put over the door of the dog house he made, that is now our cat house. He put in a double layer of carpet cut into strips that’s easy enough for dogs ore cats to get through, and think enough to keep the weather out.

While going through the area behind the storage house, I found quite a few fallen branches. I dislodged the largest one that was hung up on some trees. It was really dry, so I brought it over to the fire pit area. There are other hung up on branches, or on the ground, but that’s a clean up job for after the snow is going.

Which might still be a while!

The Re-Farmer

Not quite a day of rest

It looks like we have a new addition to our outside cats.

Sad Face has been hanging around. This morning, I saw him milling about with the other cats without any trouble. He was even in the kibble house, though he ran off when I came by. The photo above is the closest he was willing to get, while I was out and about, and I had to zoom in with my phone.

Rolando Moon followed me when I went to switch memory cards on the sign cam.

Of course, we had deer visiting, including this one.

Green grass is actually starting to show in places, though I haven’t noticed any along the sidewalk. She found something to chew on, though.

Then I spotted the piebald heading for the kibble house, and one of my daughters was kind enough to send it away!

The girls started a load of laundry before we sat down for lunch, and it’s a good thing we were lingering at the table afterward. As the washing machine was draining, we suddenly heard water gurgling in the kitchen sink – then splashing!

The drain for the washing machine was overflowing again.


I’d hoped, after getting the septic tank emptied and that backed up pipes in the basement cleared, it would have solved that problem, too. I made sure to dash into the basement to check, and all was fine down there.

It doesn’t happen every time we do laundry. In fact, it only happened once before, and that was the day we discovered the septic was backing into the basement.

From what I could hear in the pipes, things were draining. It just seems that it wasn’t draining fast enough for a larger load. With our new machine, we don’t choose a load size. It’s a “smart” machine, and adjusts the water levels itself, based on how much is in the drum.

The last time it happened, and we pulled the machines out to clean up the mess, we used drain cleaner in the pipe. Clearly, that wasn’t enough.

When the new part of the house was built, my dad included a sink in the entryway. That was taken out, long ago, which is why there was plumbing in place for my brother and daughter to install the washing machine (all those years my parents used the basement when, as their mobility decreased, they could have used the entry). It joins the drain pipe from the kitchen, which then joins with the tub’s drain, then the toilet, and finally the main pipe to the septic.

My guess is that we’ve got decades of kitchen grease and detritus, as well as whatever was washed down the sink that used to be in the entry, every time someone cleaned up after being in the barn, garage, garden, etc. I don’t think anyone really paid attention to what went down the drain. Out of sight, out of mind.

I followed the pipe as best I could, but the section that is under the entryway is actually hidden behind a floor joist in the ceiling of the root cellar. The root cellar is under the entry and built around a corner of the old basement. The pipe runs along the top of the old concrete wall, until it bends and joins the drain from the tub. It’s pretty inaccessible.

When we tried to use a plumbing snake in that drain, it didn’t really accomplish anything.

So, how do we clear the pipe?

Slowly, it appears.

I headed into town (I never made it yesterday, so I had to go to refill our water bottles, anyhow) and made a stop at a hardware store. I’d found something there before that we’d tried but, when we ran out, we never remembered to get more. It’s an enzyme based product that is designed to maintain both the pipes and the septic tank. It’s meant to be used once a month. I found a version of it made by CLR, so I got both. I also got a funnel with a flexible hose on it, so we can pour it into the drain without having to pull the dryer out, then the washing machine, to reach the opening.

Then I got a new bottle of heavy duty drain cleaner, since we emptied the last one was had.

With the monthly treatment products, it can be poured into any drain, so we might start from the kitchen sink. It’s the one that’s furthest out from the septic, but still close to the washing machine drain.

We already use a bacterial product to help maintain the septic tank, but this is something that gets flushed down the toilet regularly, and does nothing for the pipes. As the products I picked up today are to maintain both the pipes and the tank, I think we’ll stop using the flush additive for now. It’s probably not a good idea to have TOO much bacteria or enzymes in the system.

While I was out, getting the stuff for the pipes, my daughter monitored the washing machine so that, if it started to overflow again, she could quickly shut the machine off, wait until it drained, then turn it back on again.

I hope this stuff works, because I don’t see any other way we can get those pipes clear. At least not without calling in a plumber.

At least this happened early enough in the day that the hardware store was still open. 😀

The Re-Farmer

Well, that didn’t happen as planned!

Oy. What a day!

My main goal for the day, having used the weed trimmer all over the inner yard for the past two days, was to get the mowing done. So I checked over the riding mower, topped up the oil (it burns through oil rather quickly) and the gas, and got it going. I didn’t even have to recharge the battery this time. 😉

I barely got 30 feet of actual mowing when it simply stopped.

Not the motor. That was still running. It just stopped moving.

The chain has fallen off again.


I didn’t want to deal with it then. Putting the chain back and tightening it is not an issue. The problem is finding a safe way to access it, with the materials we have.

No worries. I broke out the push mower. It would mean a LOT of walking, but I don’t mind that.

My husbands prescription refills were due to be delivered, so I had the gate open for the driver. I decided this was a good time to mow outside the gate.

Which is where I found these.

Little puffball mushrooms!

I’d run over a couple with the mower, but once I realized they were there, I worked around them. They are edible at this stage, but I am leaving them be. I’d rather they reach the spore stage and spread. 🙂 They are so small, I’d rather get an area infused with the Giant Puffball spores we have, and hopefully be able to have steak sized mushroom slices. 😀

After mowing the area on either side of the driveway outside the gate, I started working on the level area between the fence and the ditch. The far end of this is where we want to spread the pollinator wildflower mix of seeds we have, so I wanted to start preparing the area by mowing it, and cutting away the saplings that are starting to spread into there. I really don’t want that area to get filled with trees. That was allowed to happen on the other side of the driveway, and it really affects visibility.

I started cutting along the the barbed wire fence first. Where it was open enough, I would even go under the wire a bit.

I didn’t even get halfway down the length of the fence, when I somehow managed to get the barbed wire stuck in the mower. It slid over the top of the plastic cover the air filter fits into, then somehow managed to slide in between the plastic cover and the motor, getting stuck.

So I shut the mower off and fought with the wire, trying to get it out. A barb was basically right in the middle, and kept catching, but every time I tried to move the mower so the barb would be at a wider gap, it would roll right back again as soon as I tried to use both hands to get the wire out.

Eventually, I got it out, but in the gap, I could see a couple of wire pieces had come loose.

Of course, it wouldn’t start after that.

After fussing with it for a bit, I took the mower back to the garage so I could take the cover off. After fighting with it for a while, I realized I would have to take off the plastic cover with the air filter, but I couldn’t for the life of me see how it detached. Also, while I could see where the end of one wire piece was supposed to be attached, I couldn’t see where the other one was supposed to be attached. The user manual had nothing about the engine. I went online to try and find a diagram, but while I found some with one of the pieces – which I finally found a name for; a governor control arm – none had both. For my specific brand of mower, all I could find was a pdf version of the owners manual I already had. I knew the general location the piece was supposed to be attached, but I could not see what and where it was supposed to hook up.

This was the point that I decided I needed some guidance. I was able to contact my brother and his wife and arrange to go over. The timing worked out perfectly. I was just starting to load the lawn mower into the van when the driver arrived with the prescriptions.

I’m glad I did.

My brother has the lovely set up that allowed us to work on the mower at a comfortable height. They also had company, so I had two people available to figure it out! 🙂

After taking the cover off the air filter and checking out what was loose, we had to take the whole piece off. It turns out there was a reason I couldn’t see how it was removed. The screws were hidden under the air filter.

I have to admit, I actually felt rather encouraged when neither of them could figure it out at first, either! 😀

Here was the problem.

Once it was open, my brother was able to get the end of what turned out to be the control arm for the choke, back where it belonged. The green arrow is where it had come loose, and it was a pain in the butt to get back into place!

The governor control arm is the piece below. The end with the purple arrow had been in the hole on the governor where the other purple arrow is pointing. That end had still been attached.

The other end had been attached somewhere around where the blue arrow is pointing. Somewhere around there, there should have been a hole for the end of the control arm to slide into.

After much searching and moving things as much as could be done without having to unhook the fuel line, we came to a conclusion.

The reason we couldn’t find where it was supposed to be attached, was because something had to have broken off. We couldn’t actually see what looked like the rough edge of broken plastic, but there could be no other possibility.

My brother was determined to get it going for me, with at least a temporary fix. After searching around among his supplies, he found a length of ceiling tile wire. He used it to create a small loop for the control arm, then wrapped it around that plastic part the blue arrow is pointing to, under another control arm with a spring on it (not visible in the photo). I can’t remember the name of that one, anymore.

Once the wire loop was attached, it was still difficult to get the end of the governor control arm in place. That thing has no flexibility! Eventually he got it, though. Then everything was put back together, and the mower got tested out.

It started like a dream. Even better than when I’d started it earlier!

There is still the possibility that the wire might vibrate out of position or something, but that gives me time to try and find the part. Which is going to be a bit of a challenge, since none of us have any idea what it’s called.

By the time that was done, I got invited to stay for supper, which was very sweet of them. 🙂 Especially since supper included smoked ribs! 😀 I didn’t want to stay too long, though, as I knew it would be dark before I got home, and this time of year, there are a lot of deer crossing the highways.

Once home, it was full dark, and I didn’t even bother unloading the mower. I’ll leave that for tomorrow.

I think, however, I will finish mowing the inner and outer yards first, before moving back to the strip along the road!

The Re-Farmer

Morning company, and that might be an issue!

It’s been a while since I had a whole crowd of cats and kittens following me around in the mornings, but now that Potato Beetle is back, he does tend to join me.

After breakfast, of course.

I was quite tickled to go into the sun room this morning and discover not only the adult cats waiting for me, but Broccoli and Chadicous, too! Even Junk Pile’s kittens were hanging around, though they kept running off anytime I came near.

Potato has a habit of trying to climb me when he wants attention. I managed to dodge him while opening up the trail cam to switch the card, so he climbed the post, instead.

The photo was taken the moment before he leapt onto my shoulders.

He did it again from the saw horse next to the summer squash, and the garden cam!

I have no idea where he’s been for the past few months, but he does seem happy to be back!

While checking the remains of the purple corn, something odd on one of the deer chomped cobs caught my eye, so I took a closer look.

A corn fungus had set in. I’ve seen a few people posting photos on gardening groups of this, asking what it is. Others got very excited about it. Apparently, this stuff is edible and very tasty.

I have no intention of finding out. 😀

Then there is something I checked on that I actually discovered yesterday.

The old kitchen was tacked onto the log cabin portion of the house at a later date. It has it’s own foundation with a crawl space under it, and it the only part of the house that is not on a basement.

That foundation has cracks in it. One of them is on the North side, near the septic tank.

Yesterday, I spotted wasps all over the area and realized they were going in and out of the crack.

Of course, getting picture of the actual wasps didn’t work out too well. LOL There is one in the shot, crawling through, where the arrow is pointing.

Last year, we had issues with wasps in the corner nearby, under the eaves where the old kitchen and the rest of the roof joined. It was bad enough to pick up wasp killer to get rid of them. So far, this nest hasn’t been a problem, but we will probably have to get rid of it before we get the septic tank emptied for the winter.

What this does tell me, though, is that the crack is open all the way through to the crawl space.

Which also tells me the old kitchen is sinking.

We did sort of know that already. We have seen that the sun room is shifting quite a bit, too – enough to affect the angles of the door, and crack windows.

Which reminds me. We’re having to use the old kitchen to go in and out of the house again. The fix I did on the main doors has given out. You can read about that here, here and here.

There is so much major work that needs to be done on this house, it’s pretty discouraging. What should be done it to get it all fixed before things get worse and end up costing more, but we’re still looking at repairs and renovations probably costing more than the house is worth. Even if my entire family pooled our resources to fix up the home we grew up in, we couldn’t come up with enough.

We’ll just take care of what we can as we go along. I must say, though, a lottery win would sure come in handy right now! 😀

The Re-Farmer

New “toys” and things to repair

Yesterday, a couple of our hoses sprang a leak. I still used them this morning, to do the morning watering. I took advantage of the leak whenever I could, and placed it where it would at least water something!

The water is spraying out of both hose ends. Where the hose is attached to the tap is also leaking, though nothing as bad as this, so today I headed to the nearer city to pick up what I needed to repair them. I was happy to see a flexible tap attachment that will prevent the hose connector from breaking at the tap, too.

After the watering was done, I took the canister of Critter Ridder and started spreading the granules. I did the old kitchen garden, and just barely had enough left to do the beet bed near the garlic. I figured I would need at least two more to be able to rest.

That turned out to not be an option.

They didn’t have the granules in stock; just the spray. I was going to try the spray when I noticed this.

This should be enough to spray around our beds, including the ones I should have planted in by now, and have some left over for later applications. I hope it works!

Since I was in the store anyhow, I went looking at the garden tools sections, and was very excited to find one of these.

It’s an “action hoe”. My brother has one and just loves it. They are very hard to find, however, because they sell out so quickly! So I grabbed one, even though it was a stretch on the budget. It will be a huge help, and there are spots I will finally be able to reach and weed properly!

The girls are going to be starting the evening watering, soon, though it will still be in the 30C/86F range. If we wait any longer, it’ll be too dark. Plus, the overnight temperatures will be staying high tonight. We aren’t supposed to drop to 25C/77F until 7am tomorrow, and by then, I’ll be heading out to do the morning watering! I’m hoping to get the hoses repaired before then, but even if I only get a chance to do one or two, it’ll be better than nothing, and the hoses are still useable at least.

Tomorrow is supposed to be our hottest day of the heat wave, with a forecasted high of 36C/97F and a humidex of 39C/102F. After that, we will quickly drop back to average temperatures for July. They are no longer predicting thundershowers for tomorrow, unfortunately. Now it’s just a 40% chance of precipitation, which for our area, probably means none at all. I wold have been happy for a good thunderstorm! We could really use the rain! Still, it means I can apply the animal repellent and not have it washed off right away, I guess.

The Re-Farmer

Well, it was bound to happen some time!

While heading out to do the food and water for the kitties outside, I discovered the heated water bowl.

Frozen solid.

A quick glance through the entry, and I found the cord wasn’t just knocked loose from the outlet, but the hook I put in to hold the cord and keep the cats from knocking the plug loose.

Which meant I needed to lift the roof.


At least it happened on a warmer day, and not when we had our deep freezes!

I could take the weight of the snow off, easily enough, but there’s nothing I could do about the ice. The roof was much heavier to lift, because of it. For me to lift the weight is not the issue. The problem is that, as I lift it, I can hear the dry old wood the roof is made up, creaking and cracking. Thank God we found a way to put on a counterweight. The beam it’s attached to runs the length of the roof, so it takes a lot of that strain off.

Unfortunately, I didn’t think to shovel under the counterweight after moving the milk crates that support it. The roof was just barely open enough for the centre of balance to keep it from dropping right back down again.

As you can imagine, I got that heated water bowl plugged in as quickly as I could!

Then the snow had to cleared to the ground, so I could put the crates back under. The brick is tied off so that the crates support it’s full weight, without having to lift it more than the few millimeters needed to clear the outer edges of the crate. Any higher, and the entire block needs to basically be picked up.

The heated water bowl was half filled with ice, so I didn’t even try to get it out. Any attempt to knock the ice out would shatter the frozen plastic, so I just topped it up with warm water.

We had some very thirsty kitties!

They do all seem to prefer drinking from the old frying pans we’ve repurposed as water bowls. One is steel. I think the other two are aluminum.

The aesthetics of using old pans for their food and water may leave much to be desired, but they work a lot better than anything else we’ve tried, except for the heated water bowl.

After finishing up from putting out bird and deer feed, I heard a strange scrambling noise.

Nostrildamus had clambered up the side of the kibble house, and was playing with the string! 😀

The good thing is, with the layer of snow on top now, the string is no longer needed to hold the tarp in place. Funnily enough, the tarp is there to protect the roof from snow until we can paint it. 😀

It wasn’t until I uploaded the picture that I noticed there was a spice boy in the kibble house, glaring at me. 😀

The girls and I have talked about the state of the cat shelter. In the summer, we will have to look at how we can reinforce the roof and attach a handle of some sort, to lift it from the side instead of grabbing it under the the edge at the top. Along with replacing a few more damaged pieces, maybe redoing the roof (I found a box of leftover shingles in one of the sheds) we should be able to keep it usable for many years.

The Re-Farmer

Garden rain barrel, follow up

This morning, I was a bit late doing the outside part of my morning rounds, having taken the time to finish the second hoop to cover the rain barrel by the sun room.

On checking the rain barrel by the garden, it seemed to be okay, but I did find a very minor leak from one of the larger cracks.

Then I noticed this, beside it.

It’s a bubble of water! The Plasti Dip on the outside it still holding it, but it won’t take long for it to give out.

So I need to empty the barrel, then add more sealant after cleaning and drying it.

I’m out of Plasti Dip, but I did finally find the silicone sealant we’d used to fill the holes in the wall from when the satellite dishes were moved from the side of the house to the roof of the sun room. It’s designed for exterior use, and is what I’d wanted to use at first. So that is what I will use on the inside of the barrel.

For now, though, I think I’m going to shut down the computer as we hunker down. Storms are coming through, and look like they’ll actually hit us this time. So I am expecting to lose our internet completely at some point, and probably at least some power flickers.

The rain is going to be wonderful. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a solid rain.

The Re-Farmer

Reclaiming space: sun room part 2, and the old kitchen

Before I start on how things went with the clean up, I have another update. I just got off the phone with Canada Cartage – the company shipping our new washing machine.

They didn’t receive it at this end, so they will call us with a new delivery date when they have it.

I might still call the guy at Home Depot tomorrow morning, to see if he can pull a few strings. We’ve opted not to go into town to use the laundromat, and have instead been washing the necessities in the bathtub.

Oddly, my clothes have never been cleaner or softer. Ever. And all I’m going is leaving them to soak in hot water and detergent, then swishing them around a bit before rinsing them.


I am happy to say that we have got the old kitchen done, and everything that needed to go back, has been brought in.

I’ll start with the old kitchen.

There wasn’t much left to take out of there. Most of it was behind the wood burning cook stove.

Which, interestingly enough, also hid another outlet.

No wonder insurance companies are such sticklers about wood burning stoves and furnaces!

That basin may well be older than I am.

I left it there.

Once everything was out, including the floor mats (which were carefully picked up so that I could pour out the crud over a large garbage can!) and random nails and whatnot were swept up, I took stock of the floor.

This corner is the worst.

And there’s nothing we can do about it, right now.

I am guessing the previous freezer my parents used to have here cause this damage when it finally died.

The best I could do at this point was take the little shop vac to the area.

I vacuumed the window of what may well have been decades of dead bugs, too. I even vacuumed parts of the stove a bit.

A container of nails and… dirt? had fallen in here. I got most of them, but we have found so many random containers of rusty nails, I just swept up and threw away the rest.

I just had to remind myself of what was in this cupboard.

We will deal with this another time!

The weather outside was getting really, really windy, so the girls and I pushed to get everything inside. We will likely change things around later, but for now, it’s all in!

We considered moving the freezer back into the other corner and putting the couch where the freezer is. In the end, I just pulled it closer to the door, to make more space for the shelves we put back where they were before. They are extremely sturdy shelves, and are great to stand on when we need to access the breakers.

I decided to put the rocking chair in the old kitchen, too. More because of how I wanted to arrange the sun room.

A small shelf that was in the sun room is now tucked behind the stove. At some point, we can put a small lamp in there, so a person can sit on the couch and read, and have somewhere to put down a drink or something. There was even still room for a small garbage can.

The prie-dieu that I still have plans to refinish, fits perfectly in the nook on the other side of the stove. As do the folding camp chairs, some window screens, and even my dad’s old wheelchair tucks partway in.

So that’s done for now! I’ll be finding somewhere else for the giant enameled container that is handy. My mother used that for everything from washing and soaking cucumbers to make pickles, to making bread dough. We’ve made use of it ourselves, already. Finding a container that large – with a lid, too – is not so easy, anymore, so we’re not about to put it away in storage. (We put even more stuff into the storage house today, too. 😦 )

When it came to the sun room, the focus was on anything tool and gardening related.

This is where that plastic couch used to be.

The yellow shelf in the corner used to be in the old kitchen. Previously, we had a dresser under the shelf across the window as my “tool box”. The wood at the bottom of the drawers ended up warping so badly, it took quite some finagling to get it open. So, out the dresser went and we grabbed that shelf from the old kitchen to replace it.

It was full of jars, and a plastic bucket of nails and screws that was so old, the plastic disintegrated when I tried to pick it up.

We’d put the shelf under the window, on bricks, in case water got in (it did), but this time, we decided against putting any shelf against that window. Partly because the shelf has a metal top that will be a great work surface. Partly because the inner pane of the double pane window is badly cracked. At some point, we’re going to have to take the pieces out, so no one gets hurt.

The bins used for cat kibble and bird seed now have their own spots, out of the way. Before, they were just on the couch. No way the skunks can get those lids open in there! 🙂

Not that that will be an issue anymore, but I’ll cover that later.

The small garbage can is there told hold our wiener roasting sticks, and other fire pit supplies.

Here is the other side.

The swing bench is close to where it was before, and the cube shelf went back to it’s previous spot. We now have a tall box to hold the long and weird stuff, in the corner, and the table saw is easily accessible.

I’ll probably shift some things around later, but this will do for now.

Then there is the door…

I can lift the replacement door to close it, but when I do, this is what the hinge is like at the bottom. It has only 1 screw, and it’s not all the way in, which is a good thing. I wouldn’t be able to close the door, otherwise.

At the top…

The top corner of the door is actually flush with the door frame.

I remember fighting with the old door to get it closed, and having to lift it. While I did check the bottom of the door frame, for some reason I never thought to look at the hinges. At least, not that I can remember.

Basically, that means that this has always been a problem. Right from when the old door was first hung.

Much of the sun room is salvaged materials, including all the windows and both doors. So I guess they just made do and lived with it. No one thought to fix the problem.

No wonder the previous door started to fall apart.

I’m going to have to jerry rig it myself.


Once that is done, then I’ll double check how much I need to trim the 2 pieces of door frame that we took off. For now, though, the door stays closed because it’s stuck at the bottom corner, where I have to lift it over the door jam. With the outside door closed, the inside door will now stay closed (it blows open easily, otherwise).

We can now keep the sun room closed. The cats can shelter in the old dog house my brother provided us, and no more skunks coming in!

Which means no more animal damage, urine or feces to deal with.

We can actually start using the sun room… as a sun room again! 😀

The Re-Farmer