Staying out of the rain, and taking a chance.

We had thunderstorms pass over us during the night, and it was still raining when I headed out to do my morning rounds.

The girls heard cat’s arguing with each other last night. When they went out to check, Potato Beetle came into the sun room, where he got to spend a nice, dry night, with his own food and water. Thankfully, that meant he had no interest in the food when he went out in the morning, because there’s a very wet and bedraggled TDG looking back at me in the photo – and he’s the one Potato had been threatened by!

All the cats were looking so wet!

And you can certainly see why. All the areas that had finally been almost dry are wet again, including this spot the cats normally use to get under the storage house. Even though they can’t get under there right now, because of the water, they still run through here. So do the skunks. The grass is so tall, you can’t really see that the whole area is under water again.

That lilac bush is struggling so much! It’s basically drowning. It still managed to bloom, though!

The main garden area has got a lot of areas with standing water. If we are to loose anything we planted at this point, it’s going to be from being drowned!

Along the bean tunnel, however, I saw both types of beans have started coming up!

I didn’t look too closely at things because, even though it was raining, I was being eaten alive by mosquitoes. They don’t mind being out in the rain!

I was keeping a close eye on the forecasts and weather radar. They were predicting a series of thunderstorms throughout the morning and afternoon, including at times when I would expect to be on the road with my mother, to take her to her doctor’s appointment.

So I left early. I figured, I could fill up the tank on my mother’s car and find something to do before it was time to pick up my mother. I’m trying to spend as little time at her place as possible, right now.

Which reminds me… my brother used his Power of Attorney to speak on my mother’s behalf and get her place treated for bedbugs. It’s a good thing he did. She could never have navigated the calls or followed through on them. It was totally beyond her abilities.

Her building is owned by a the provincial government, but the department that administrates it was almost impossible to get to. He got numbers to call from the senior’s centre in my mother’s town, chased a few of them down, found that the contact person he normally would have talked to was away for the week, sent some emails (because he was doing this from work and couldn’t be on hold for 20 minutes, over and over!) and eventually found out that the province is aware there are bedbugs in her building. It’s a problem with quite a few buildings they run. So much so, that they are being treated on a schedule. The next time they are in my mother’s area, she will get a note slid under her door with date and time and instructions. Which my mother won’t understand. My brother was supposed to get a copy of that note and its instructions emailed to him, but he never got it. All he knows for sure is, she’s supposed to be out of her apartment for 6 hours while they take care of the rest. When he told my mother this, she said she would just hang out in the lobby.

For 6 hours.

While her apartment – and any others in the building – are getting sprayed.

My mother, who has respiratory issues…



We’ll find other arrangements.

Once I got to my mother’s, we headed out again soon after. We got to the clinic quite early, but she ended up getting called in early, too!

Oh, the poor doctor.

We were there to talk about breathing issues she’s been having, but when he came in, instead of telling him about it, she started saying things like, “please help me with my breathing…” as if he already knew everything. She and I had been talking about it, and it was as if she thought he somehow heard and knew everything she had said to me!

Between the two of us, we managed to drag out enough information from her that he could figure out what sorts of tests to have done. Any tentative conclusions we both reached by the end of it may be correct, but other things need to be ruled out, first. It will take a few weeks, at least, before all the tests are done and he gets the results.

So that worked out fairly well. Even as we left, though, the doctor commented to me that my mother’s symptoms are quite strange – and they certainly are! Hopefully, we’ll have some answers, or at least a direction to look, after the tests are done. The one that will take the most time will require a call from the city, then someone has to pick up some equipment for my mother to use at home, then the equipment, and the data collected, returned. It may take up to 3 weeks, before all that’s done.

The rain continued off and on, and there was still severe weather on the radar, so we didn’t do my mother’s usual stop at a restaurant (I made sure to ask if she’d had lunch before we left!), and I took her home, with only a stop at the grocery store first. Since I was there with her car, it allowed her to pick up and stock up on a lot more, so she took advantage of it.

I feel much better, knowing my mother has at least some food stocked up, even if it’s just for about a week or so.

It had stopped raining for most of my drive home, more or less, but I’m glad I didn’t linger. The gravel roads are being destroyed by all the rain again. My mother’s car handled it well so far, but we’re supposed to get more storms tomorrow, and that spot near our place is already only passable on one side again. The road past our driveway is still closed, too, for all that I regularly see traffic going by, including small cars. One of these days, I should make the walk to the washout to see how it looks.

On a completely different topic, I found a site before I left for my mother’s, and sent some links to my family to check out while I was away. It was one of those “is this too good to be true?” places. It’s a clearance site for Lowe’s, with various sheds at massive discounts. As in, insanely massive. They were all in the same price range, roughly between $85-$90 Cdn, regardless of original price. It seems that these are all abandoned orders – stuff people already bought and paid for, but never picked up.

After much discussion, we decided to take a chance.

This is what we ordered.

Image belongs to

They have a 30 day trial period, but it’s unlikely we’d put it together within that time. We’d open the box to check, but would need to make a foundation for it before we could assemble it.

I was sorely tempted by their largest shed. That one did not come with a floor, which I could live with, but also did not come with shingles. Which is not a big deal, but for something that large, we wouldn’t be able to get them for quite some time.

So we went with a plastic one that was the largest, complete shed available. At 20’x8′, it includes two sets of double doors, 2 windows, 2 skylights, some shelves, shutters and a “foundation”, among other things. We’re a bit confused about the included foundation, because it also says a foundation is needed. Looking at the diagram, I think they mean what looks like a 4″ sub floor as the included foundation. We’d have to find and prepare a spot for a foundation, somewhere in the inner yard, where it would be most useful.

The total cost, in Canadian dollars, came out to just over $133 after shipping. Which is insanely cheap. Hopefully, we will actually get what we ordered, and it’s as good as the specs describe it. If it is, it will be a big help. If not… well, hopefully, we’d be able to get our money back.

The thing is, I’ve looked at other sites with deeply discounted products, including things like chicken coops, sheds, garage kits, etc., that I could quickly spot as scam sites. Seeing images stolen from other sites was usually the first warning! This one, however, actually looks legitimate.

Well, we’ll know soon enough. And if it does turn out to be legitimate, we will certainly get more! One that is currently on the site is a 12’x8′ cedar Cabana, with a split door and 2 windows with window boxes. It’s pretty much exactly what my younger daughter wants as the focal point of the peony garden she wants to plant, well away from the house. There’s currently a branch pile that needs to be chipped where she wants to plant it, so it’s not like we’re in any hurry! Looking around at some of the other sheds, there are even some that could easily be converted to a chicken coop, and cost far less than if we build one ourselves, even using salvaged wood.

Here’s hoping!

The Re-Farmer

Wet morning kitties

Well, I got quite a lot of walking done this morning, checking road conditions out. It was also another late night, partly to keep checking the old basement and sweeping the water into the floor drain and to the sump pump, partly because… well. I’m a suck for the kitties. I noticed Broccoli had been using the shelf shelter just outside the sun room, because every time I came through the door, she (and sometimes several other cats) would explode out of there and run off. She has been so bedraggled, and is still very pregnant, I wanted to do something to help keep her warm and dry. So I stole some of my husband’s yarn (my own stash doesn’t have much plain yarn in it) and crocheted a bed for her. I used 4 strands on my hook, to make it night and thick, and the base is a double thick, with low sides. So newborn kittens can’t accidentally roll out of it if she decides to give birth in it. By the time I was done and went out to put it in the shelf shelter (I neglected to take pictures), it was about 2 am.

Alas, when I came out this morning, a couple of pieces of the rigid insulation used to create the shelf shelter was on the ground. Since I made the openings narrower, when the cats get startled and run out, they’re more likely to bash into the sides now, and it looked like they finally knocked some pieces off. With the shelf shelter so open, there were no cats using it at all.

After putting out food and warm water, I took the time to fix the shelf shelter and, hopefully, made it more secure.

Broccoli wouldn’t let me get her in any of the pictures I took this morning! Junk Pile didn’t even come out, staying with her kittens in the cats’ house. The cat you see at the entry is her baby from last year, that looks so much like her.

After feeding the critters and switching out the memory cards, I went on to check the road conditions – more on that in another post. I was also able to check areas we haven’t been able to access for a while. More snow has melted away in the rain, but the standing water in the inner and outer yards has actually receded in most places.

One of the areas I checked out was the shed where my parents’ belongings are stored. There are several abandoned cars near is, one of which has a window that’s partly open. As I got closer, two cats exploded out of the window and ran off.

I could see another cat – I’m not sure if it’s Nutmeg or Toesentcrantz, but considering it didn’t run off, I’m guessing Nutmeg – watching me from the back window.

Then I saw Broccoli climb up onto the front seat!

So there were at least 4 cats in that car. I saw The Distinguished Guest sitting on the trunk of another one, so maybe he was in there, too, and I just didn’t see him leave. The car must be nice and toasty on days like today. I’m glad they are able to use it.

Once we’re finally able to get a scrap dealer to haul away all the junk cars, we’ll have to make sure there are alternative shelters available for the cats! No chance of that happening until our vandal’s civil suit against us is done. As you can see by the spray paint on the windshield, this car is one of the things he tagged and thinks he’s entitled to. Or at least entitled to $10,000 from me for it, and all the other junk he’s claiming are his. So for now, the cats can enjoy the shelter!

This area has a lot of burdock growing around it. I saw Potato Beetle in the area, too. This would explain all the burrs stuck in his tail!

Oh, I see my video uploads have just finished. I’ll include those in my next post!

The Re-Farmer

Wet, wet kitties!

It’s been raining pretty steadily all night, and it will continue through today. Thankfully, it’s been a moderate rain, and not any severe downpours.

When I came out this morning, I was greeted by a whole bunch of wet rats.

By far, the wettest was Broccoli, who is still pregnant, but she kept running away every time I tried to take a picture.

I finally got a picture with her in it – and an even wetter Potato Beetle!! He looks like he went through a puddle, and had straw and burrs caught in his tail.

Wise boy that he is, he soon followed me into the sun room.

He’s still there, as I write this. 😀

I wasn’t able to see much of the kittens through the biggest cat’s house window, but when the girls went out later, they were surprised to see several adult cat heads, peering at them through the window! They were able to see a kitten behind them, but didn’t want to stay too long or get too close and disturb them. I’m surprised about the other cats. Since Junk Pile had her kittens, I’ve only seen her in there.

Hopefully, this means that Broccoli will decide to have her kittens in there, too, and that the other adult cats will continue to leave the babies alone.

The Re-Farmer