We’re clear!!

I am just so thrilled right now!

I was literally about to get my boots on to go outside and see if I could do some snow blowing, when I glanced at the live feed for the garage cam, and saw a lane down our driveway.

Our driveway was being cleared!

The renters, God Bless them, had sent someone over to do our driveway for us.

I came out and watched for awhile, as he piled more and more snow over the big branch pile that needs to be chipped. I knew it would be a lot of work to clear the driveway with our little electric snowblower, and we would have been able to clear just enough to drive through. Seeing how much snow he was pushing made me realize we probably could not have done it. Little Spewie could not have handled that much snow. Oh, we probably could have made a few passes, but would probably have been tripping the power bar the extension cord is plugged into, repeatedly. It’s something that happens when the snow it too much for it. Chances are, we would have burned the little thing out, if we pushed to get the job done.

After clearing the snow, he pushed a lane over to where I was standing by the gate, and we chatted a bit. Of course, I thanked him profusely.

That was just so incredibly thoughtful of them. And they would have had no idea how much it meant for us. It means that, for sure, I will be able to drive my mother out to meet her new great-grandson, on Easter.

That is a LOT of snow!

And yet, it’s warm enough that there’s still water in that low spot along the fence line.

He even turned around and cleared as close as he could to the garage doors. All I needed to do was get that last bit out.

Which I did right away.

What didn’t get done was clearing a path to the burn barrel. My daughters did the cat litter and dumped the sawdust litter into the burn barrel while I was clearing snow. They had a hard time getting to the barrel!

After I cleaned the doors and made sure I could open the swing doors all the way, I checked on the van, because I could see garbage under the door. We never made it to the dump, and I had to take the bags out of the van to run errands, leaving them on top of things to keep them up off the ground.

Unfortunately, critters still got to them. Pretty much ever single garbage bag was pulled down and torn to shreds, with garbage strewn all on the one side of the garage, and under the van.


In the time it took me to clean up the mess, using a garden hoe to pull as much as I could see/reach out from under the van – then moving the van to get what I missed – the ground I’d cleared in front of the garage had started to thaw! It’s -7C/19F with a wind chill of -16C/3F out there, but the winds are from the north right now, and the south facing garage was quite warm. In fact, when my daughters came outside with the litter, or to bring things I needed, they didn’t even bother putting on coats.

The next couple of days are supposed to be just below freezing, then for the rest of the week it’s supposed to be just above freezing, with even possible light rain at the end of the week, before things start o warm up again. It’s going to be that slow melt that we need, in order to keep all this wonderful moisture right here, instead of flooding and washing out all the way to the lake.

I’m just so happy right now! We have such wonderful neighbours.

The Re-Farmer

That was fast!

I honestly didn’t expect to see a front end loader at our place until much later today. So it was a surprise when, as I was making supper, started hearing the distinctive beeping down of heavy equipment backing up.

A glace out the window, and there was a front end load, starting to clear our driveway. !!

So I ran outside to talk to the driver, and show him where I needed clearing. We walked around the yard a bit as I showed him where the septic truck needed to back up to, and mentioned the warning I got, if the loader started sinking.

He also absolutely refused payment!

These folks are the best. I look forward to being able to do something for them, some day!

There turned out to be one area of concern, but it wasn’t in the yard.

It looks like, as soon as he drove through and the tires sank in the mud, all the water that had been in the paths just drained into it!

There is now a nice clear lane for the septic truck to back into.

Where the septic truck needs to stop was quite solid. The snow tends to get blown away from that area, so it’s not as deep, allowing the ground to freeze harder.

If this pile of snow seems a bit small for the amount that needed to be cleared, it is!

There were three other areas he pushed snow into, first. The path to the compost pile is mostly clear, though!

You can see another wet, muddy spot as well, but the wheels didn’t sink.

I’ve called the septic guy back and he hopes to be able to get here by about noon, tomorrow.

Now, we just need things to stay nice and cold overnight.

The Re-Farmer

God Bless good neighbours!

There is most definitely a plus to not closing our gate anymore, to avoid having it freeze shut again.

Our angel with a front end loader showed up yesterday! What a beautiful sight!

With the temperatures, no one went out while he was still here, but I did make sure to send a note to the renter to pass on our thanks. Like many others, they were pretty snowed in, too. Having that front end loader sure makes a difference, though! Their kids were home; school was cancelled, and the buses haven’t been running for days anyhow, due to icy road conditions. Plus a shortage of drivers. I don’t know if that’s because the drivers are snowed in at their homes, too, or if they just don’t have as many employed right now. Could well be both!

The driver even made the area in front of our person gate wider. I think he could see, by the tracks in the snow from the tow truck, that the area in front is used, and where space is needed for turning around.

The cats are loving it! After the front end loader was done, I could see on the security camera, cats running around and playing all over the plowed areas! They were having a blast!

This morning, after feeding the critters, I started a bit of shoveling, including clearing part of the snow ridge in front of the people gate, where we unload the van. I couldn’t stay out for too long. I hadn’t put toe warmers on this morning, and my boots that are supposed to be rated to -40C/-40F… aren’t. 😀 The girls and I will head out later in the day to clear the paths. I’m just so grateful that the big job is done. Yes, we couldn’t have gotten out with my mother’s car, but this makes life so much easier!

The kitties were looking pretty miserable when they came out for kibble! As you can see by the nose in the window, they were eager to get back into shelter, once they had their fill of kibble and warm water! I do wish I’d been able to catch the death glare I was getting from Caramel, who is drinking water in the above photo. I think she is going to be a very happy camper, once we manage to catch her and she gets placed into a forever home – indoors!

This is what the temperature was like shortly after I got back inside – and still is now, as I am writing this! The -28C/-18F is bang on, but I’m happy to say we weren’t getting that -36C/-33F wind chill. The wind may be coming from the south, which we normally have issues with, it’s only 9 kmh/5 1/2 mph, and what trees and outbuildings we have on the south side are enough to reduce that. Still, it wasn’t a good morning to be out there for very long, that’s for sure!

The 14 day forecast is looking pretty good, though more snow is on the way. On Sunday – tomorrow – we’re expecting less than 5cm/2in, but on Tuesday, they’re predicting another 5-10cm/2-4in, then another 2-4cm/1-2in starting late Thursday and into Friday. I know so many people who are even more snowed in than we have been. Many have the equipment to dig their way out, but they’re running out of room for all the piled up snow! It takes my old brother, who lives closer to the city, 4 hours to clear his driveway with his snow blower. My sister’s husband uses their tractor and it takes him 2 hours, though for where they are, it’s generally a longer wait for their roads to be plowed, so it only gets them so far.

I’m liking the sight of warmer temperatures in the forecast, but the warmer weather also tends to bring more moisture – and more snow!

As much as we needed that precipitation, we have enough, now. 😀

The Re-Farmer

Morning kitties, and a day of surprises

This morning was quite chilly, but that didn’t stop the kitties!

We didn’t get much new snow, but it was blowing enough that I had to dig out the water bowls again.

Hmm. As I write this, I’m noticing the red flash on a weather alert on my desktop weather app. It’s an extreme cold warning. We’re supposed to reach -29C/-20F tonight, with wind chills of -40C/-40F!!

While doing my rounds, I made sure to check the end of the driveway, since I was expecting to head out with Cabbages today. The road was plowed, and it looked like we would be able to get through the end of the driveway without too much trouble.

When I came back to the house, I found myself being watched!

I love how Nosencrantz is still licking her chops. 😀

As cold as we’re supposed to get tonight, this afternoon warmed up to -17C/1F, so the cats were up and about when I started getting ready to take Cabbages into town.

I found Agnoos sitting on the sun-warmed black plastic of the snow shovel! I wasn’t quite fast enough to get what would have been an adorable picture of him, but I rather like the action shot I got, instead!

After starting the van to warm it up, I went to unlock the gate and found my first surprise.

The end of the driveway was cleared! We never heard or saw a thing! That was so very sweet. I just am assuming it was done by one or our renter’s hired hands, while on his way to somewhere else.

After opening the gate, I backed the van up closer to the gate in the chain link fence, so that Cabbages would be out in the cold as little as possible. Then, because I didn’t want to leave her, I didn’t stop to close the gate behind me and just headed into town. I would love to leave the gate open all the time during the day, but we’re still not quite sure our vandal would be able to resist coming in, despite the court order to stay away.

Which is how we ended up with my second big surprise.

The driveway was done while I was gone!!

The girls were cooking when my husband told them to look out the window, where they saw a yellow front end loader suddenly go by. This was a huge surprise for them, because they didn’t know I had left the gate open! Normally, I would have asked one of them to lock it behind me, but it was a last minute decision.

As you can imagine, once I was settled inside, I sent a thank you message to the renters. We have got to do something for them as a thank you. They won’t even accept payment for the fuel!

Since the driveway was cleared so nicely, I didn’t have to back up to the chain link fence to unload. I could park in the garage and bring the wagon over to haul the cat food.

And some honey. I had noticed my cousin snow blowing the driveway to their honey house while on the way to town with Cabbages. He was still there when I came back, and I happened to have some cash on hand, so I bought a couple of kg of his creamed honey. What a treat!

While going to the sun room to get the wagon, I found myself with a co-operative model this time.

Agnoos was perched on the sun warmed black plastic of the other snow shovel this time! 😀

As I am writing this, I can see the live stream from our garage security camera. I’ve bene seeing cats running around in the cleared driveway the entire time I’ve been writing. Right now, I can see The Distinguished Guest, sitting in a big, black, fluffy loaf in the middle of the driveway, and a bit of another cat, next to the wall of snow on one side. Oh! There’s another one, making its way through the snow from one of the sheds, into the cleared driveway.

They are appreciating our neighbours as much as we are!

They are just fantastic people! I am so glad they are renting the bulk of the property from my brother. We have such awesome neighbours.

The Re-Farmer


Happy Christmas to those who follow the orthodox calendar. 🙂 Happy Three Kings day. Today is our last day of of the Christmas season, and what a lovely day it turned out to be.

It was another cold one, but there was almost no wind chill, so it was quite bearable.

This morning, we had one deer at the feeding station, while this one just hung out at the gate for a while. I was able to get this picture through the kitchen window.

The deer and the cats are quite used to each other.

I even caught a flash of deer tail going past while I was setting out kibble and warm water for the cats. The deer didn’t run off until I came around with more feed.

Potato Beetle was quite content to enjoy the sunshine in his insulated corner, while the other cats ate. 😀

I found this interesting! One of the selling features of the Starlink system for more northern areas like ours, is that the dish keeps itself warm. You can see the icicles that show it’s working!

I hope the dish won’t need to adjust itself, because it’s quite attached to the roof at the moment. 😀

The roads were plowed yesterday evening, so before taking my mom’s little car out to help her with errands, I opened the gate and began to shovel away the plow ridge at the end of the driveway. While I was shovelling, a familiar looking front end loader came around the corner and headed my way. The driver stopped on the road and motioned to me, but my glasses were frosted over and I couldn’t see more than an arm waving around, so I came over as he opened the door – and offered to clear the driveway for me!

Of course, I said yes!!

This shot was taken after he was done and was backing out to the road again.

Now, I’m pretty sure that’s the renter’s front end loader. I don’t know of any others like it around. However, I did not recognize the driver. It could be they have a new hired hand? I don’t know. Whoever he was, I made sure to thank him enthusiastically, and I was soon off to my mother’s.

My mother had a few errands to run this morning, including a stop at the credit union. With all the restrictions still going on, and so many places that don’t recognize medical mask exemptions, even when I wear the Mingle Mask, I would just open the door for her and wait outside. Today, I used the wait to pop over to the mail box – I finally was able to print out the photo I needed, and have sent off my forms to get my PAL (Possession and Acquisition License), after passing my Firearms Safety course at the end of November. My mother was faster than I expected, and came out while I was about to top up her washer fluid. One of the staff came out with her, to help with the doors. As I helped her back into her car, she told me that the lady helping her saw me outside, and asked my mother to tell me that I was welcome to come in with her. I used to come in with her all the time, but as the restrictions got more draconian, and more warning signs popped up on doorways, I stopped. It’s good to know that they are reasonable.

Unlike our next stop at the pharmacy, which doesn’t recognise medical exemptions, so I can’t go to help my mother at all. You’d think, of all places, a pharmacy would get that some people just can’t wear masks; especially since the (illegal) mandates specifically mention exemptions, but some places really seem to enjoy our medical apartheid. At least they don’t harass my mother about covering her nose. She shouldn’t be wearing a mask at all, and can’t breathe if both her nose and mouth are covered.

The grocery store was our last stop and they are always good, there. My mother was able to stock up quite a bit, and will be set for a while. Between the beef I gave her, and the venison my sister gave her, she didn’t need to buy any meat at all. Which is good, because food prices are getting insane.

Aside from that, I was able to visit with my mother, and we had lunch before heading out for errands. Which is when I was able to show her pictures of her new great-grandson, who was born this morning! My SIL also sent birth pictures of his big brother from a couple years ago, and my goodness, they look so much alike! So far, their mother seems to be doing okay. She has some medical issues that they are keeping an eye on, but she should be home after 48 hours. Meanwhile, my brother and his wife are still there, helping out.

A new baby in the family was definitely the highlight of a very good day!

The Re-Farmer

The Best

Our renters are the best.

Okay, they’re actually my brother’s renters, but you know what I mean.

I messaged them asking if I could hire someone to clear our driveway some time this weekend.

Someone came over, tonight!

Isn’t that a thing of beauty?

There was so much snow, he actually had to push some of it almost past the pump shack.

Would you just look at that? Wide enough for two vehicles! And room enough to back out of the garage and turn. I tried to get some more photos, but they didn’t work out. It’ll have to wait until daylight. I don’t think the road has been plowed yet, either.

Tractors are wonderful things. Especially tractors with front end loaders!

Afterwards, I sent another message to ask how much was owed, but she didn’t know. Her husband had gone to bed without saying anything about it.

What makes this even more awesome is that they lost power during the blizzard, and didn’t get it back again until shortly before I first messaged about the driveway. They went 36 hours without power! Yes, they have generators, thankfully. I can’t imagine running an operation as big as theirs on generators for very long!

They are so awesome!!! With just one pass, he did more than I was able to do in hours! I’m just thrilled.

Oh, I remembered to bring that lock from the gate in to take a closer look. I couldn’t see what I saw before, so I got the key and tried it.

It went in just fine.

Either I goofed completely and the lock was just frozen or something, or whatever was in it fell out while I was carrying it.

The Re-Farmer