Well, it’s a good thing we cleaned up the outhouse

Oy vey.

It’s past midnight as I write this, and it has suddenly become a rather unpleasant night!

I was returning from the bathroom when, while walking past the old basement door, I heard a splashing sound I should not have been hearing, so I went down to take a look.

The septic backed up again.

The pipe with the P trap was full to the top, and water backed up into the laundry sink to the point of overflowing. Thankfully, we don’t really use this basement much, because the water has spread pretty far. Thankfully, whatever caused it to back up happened relatively recently; the last major use of water was a load of laundry, and greywater seems to be most of what I was looking at down there.

I’ve already arranged for the septic guy to come over tomorrow morning. Getting that done was actually in the budget for next month, which means we would have had it done at the next of next week, when my husband’s disability payment came in on Thursday.

Once the tank is empty, I can see what I can do about unclogging the pipes. I am guessing it is the same sort of thing that happened last time. If that turns out to not be it, we’ll have to call in a plumber.


The last time this happened, we were able to set up a honey pot in the bathroom until we could use the toilet again. We don’t have it anymore; I took it over to my mother’s when we found out she was having mobility issues getting to the bathroom at night. We did, however, get the outhouse cleaned up, and made the entry safe to use. So we do have an alternative.

There’s a bit of a new issue, though.

Once we determined that we would have to use the outhouse, I grabbed the flashlight, some cleaning supplies and toilet paper to set it up. It’s been a while since I’ve gone in there, so I wanted to sanitize the seating area. When I opened the toilet lid to clean it, however, things looked… different. When I was cleaning it out before, I made a point of checking underneath, and saw the contents were composted and level from being flooded out by melting snow over the years. It needed to be emptied, but not in any urgent way.

It’s now full.

Of gravel.

After shining the flashlight around, I was able to spot a small hole.

It looks like a groundhog made a den entry leading under the floor boards, filling much of the space under the seat with gravel.


So that’s going to have to be all dug out. It can be accessed from the back of the outhouse, but not very easily.


It’s been a while since we’ve seen the groundhogs; I’ve seen one, once, a couple of weeks ago or so, and that’s it. They no longer visit the bird seed, and we no longer see them around the yard. It seems early, but they seem to have gone into hibernation already.

I suppose it’s good to find this out now, and not in the middle of winter or something.

I am not looking forward to having to clean up the mess in the basement.


The Re-Farmer

Delivery Fail, and coming unhinged

We’ve had ourselves a chillier morning today! Light snow, and bitterly cold winds from the south is what greeted me this morning, when I went out to do my rounds.

Kitty loaf is not impressed.

It does look pretty, though!

Switching out the micro disk cards on the new trail cam has gotten somewhat easier. The micro disk itself has become easier to take in and out; it isn’t as “sticky” as it was at the start. As long as I have enough of a thumbnail to push the card in, to either latch of unlatch it, it’s not too bad. 😀

When I open up the camera, I switch it from On to Set Up, first. The screen turns on, and that’s when I can see if the cold is an issue. If the screen is mostly blank and barely lit up, the camera is too cold. I’ve found I can use my hands to warm it up enough that the screen will start working. Which, on days like today, can be rather hard on the hands! Thankfully, it only takes about half a minute. Then I can switch the memory card and see if there are any issues.

When I got the camera, I got 2 micro discs along with it. I just ordered the recommended ones, not really noticing that one of them was actually a pack of 2. Those are the ones I’ve been using. The problem is, when I switch cards, the camera wants me to format the new card, every time, after giving me a message that the card is “incompatible.” So all those days when I found nothing on the card, it was partly because I couldn’t see the screen and missed these messages. Once the card was formatted in the camera, it worked fine. It didn’t matter if I’d already formatted it on my computer.

I shouldn’t have to do that every morning.

Last night, I dug up the extra card, formatted it on my computer, and used that, this morning.

The camera had no problem with it. No messages, and no need to format the card in the camera!

The cheaper cards were the problem.

On mentioning this to my husband, he dug around and gave me one of his extra Micro SD cards to use. It’s a 64 gig card. WAY more than needed. The other cards were 32 gigs, and even at highest resolution while set to take both photo and video, I could probably leave the card for a week and still have room to spare. The main thing is that the card won’t need to be formatted every morning. It’s even the same brand as the new one I put in this morning, so it should be fine. I’ll know for sure when I switch cards tomorrow morning.

It still doesn’t solve the problem of the camera not really working when the temperatures dip. Once it gets cold enough, it simply stops recording. It does start up again on its own, when the temperatures rise. This is frustrating, because in all other respects, I really love this new camera! But all the features I love about it are useless if the camera simply stops working when it’s cold. At least we have the second camera that keeps working. With that one, the cold is only an issue for the batteries, not the camera itself. As long as it can get any juice out of the batteries, it will keep chugging along.

Ah, the things we have to put up with, because of one person we can’t trust.

A few days ago, my husband got a phone call. There were two things odd about this. First, the call went to his cell phone. Being in a dead zone, any time a cell phone rings is downright startling. Second, the call turned out to be from Fed Ex. They had a package for him, and needed our physical address.

As near as we can figure, this was something my husband ordered back in November. After all this time, he’s actually already got a refund on it. He had been expecting it in the mail, too. Fed Ex doesn’t do box numbers!

So he called the number back using the land line and, after being on hold for about 45 minutes, finally got through to someone. After giving our physical address, he gave them precise directions on how to find us. The person he talked to even looked us up on Google maps and did eventually figure out where we were. Just inputting our physical address hadn’t worked! He then let them know about the locked gate, so they said they would send an email in advance, letting us know the package was on the way from the city.

We got that email, telling us delivery would be made yesterday. So when I went out to do my rounds, I unlocked the gate and left it open.

The last time we did that for the washing machine repairman, the gate was open only half an hour, and our vandal showed up and tried to break it again. So we were pretty uncomfortable having that gate open, but we also didn’t want the package to just be left in the snow in the driveway, either. We kept a close eye on the security camera’s live feed!

Then my husband let me know that we could close the gate up again. He just received an email. Apparently, FedEx couldn’t find us, so they weren’t going to deliver the package. They wanted us to call about getting it.

Which means, they would expect us to drive to wherever their warehouse is in the city, to pick up a package they’ve been paid to deliver to us.

I don’t think my husband plans to call back. There is no way we’re going to make the trip. UPS found us, no problem. FedEx can figure it out, too. Even when we were living in the city, we’ve had issues with them. They would actually leave notices on our door, saying no one answered when they knocked, but we had been home and no one knocked.

I was just happy to be able to close and lock the gate. No sign of our vandal, either!

Later in the afternoon, I did take advantage of the slightly warmer day to go get the mail and pick up some more deer feed and bird seed. We’d run out of both, that morning.

One of the things I’ve noticed when heading outside to do my rounds, is that our door has been making an increasingly horrible noise. The inner doors in the “new” part of the house are still the originals, and they are wooden, hollow core doors, not insulated steel doors, as are available today. These doors are heavier than interior doors, so I do think they have some sort of insulation inside them, but I really don’t know.

The “front” door, facing the spruce grove, almost never gets used, so aside from needing to put insulation between it and the storm door in the winter, to keep frost from building up at the bottom, inside the house, it’s fine. The door we actually use all the time is not doing so well! The house shifts with the seasons, so it’s not really a surprise that the door is scrapping the door jam now, and we can hear the wood of the door splitting and cracking at the bottom. So I’ve taken to lifting the door as I close it, to reduce the noise.

How much the door lifts was quite a surprise, so when I had the chance, I took a closer look.


The door is coming off its hinges.

This morning, I snagged my husband to help me tighten the hinges. This is the top one.

It’s hard to see in the picture, but the screw heads are even slightly bent!

Of course, with the top hinge being so loose, the middle one is, too.

Thankfully, the bottom one is still solid, but that won’t last long if these ones get any worse.

There is a built in closest near the door, so it can’t be opened all the way. My husband held it open as much as he could for me to be able to fit the screwdriver in place. Normally, I would just open the storm door, but between the cold and the cats, that wasn’t an option. While my husband lifted the door and held it in place, I tightened the screws.

As I did so, I could tell this wasn’t going to work. The screws were barely catching on anything. Still, I hoped to at least get it a bit tighter than before.


As soon as my husband released the door, not only did it drop, but some of the wood split above the top hinge.

I reached up with my phone to get this picture.

In the photos, you can see there are cracks in the wood of the door frame, too.

We knew the front door needed to be replaced, and were already thinking we would replace the entire frame, too. I just didn’t think we’d need to do it because the door is falling right off the hinges!

Theoretically, we can install hinges in different locations, and that would tide us over until we can replace the door and frame completely. Given how loose the door is, we might not have a choice. Even if we had the money for a door kit now, we wouldn’t want to install it in the winter. Because you just KNOW something will do wrong and it’ll take forever to do! 😀 My brother recently replaced one of the doors of his house, and he used a door kit, with two doors and the frame, as we would be doing here. Everything was standard sized, so it should have been a simple switch. It wasn’t, and it took him days to get it installed properly! I don’t think our doors are standard sized, so I don’t expect anything to do smoothly.

This is something were I would much rather hire someone to install it, rather than doing it ourselves. It would cost more, of course, but would be worth every penny.


Another thing on the list that just became a higher priority.

The Re-Farmer

New toys, and this is un-flippin’ real!! :-D

Okay, first the fun stuff.

I made a much delayed trip to the post office (using my face shield for the first time).

There were several packages waiting for me, including one that had these – being guarded by a Susan!

That gouge will allow me to carve much deeper than the curved blade of the sloyd knife in my carving kit. I have a couple of practice pieces in mind before I try carving a cup or small bowl, with some maple and apple wood pieces ready and waiting to try.

Besides the gouge, there is a sharpening kit for curved blades, including polishing compound. The other side of it has a matching recessed area, and the sandpaper can be affixed to it using 2 pieces of wood that slide out.

I look forward to using it to sharpen my sloyd knife!

Then there was the other thing in the mail.

The thing I had to sign for.

The return address was our vandal, so I knew I was being served… something. But what could he come up with?

When I opened it and figured out what it was, all I could do was laugh. What an abuse of the court’s time!!!

Our vandal is claiming a number of items around the property, in the amount of $13,000. I actually can’t tell if he’s asking for the stuff, or if he want’s the money. Probably the money. I’ve already sent a copy of it to my lawyer. (My Legal Shield membership, paying off again!)

Here’s the thing.

We don’t own the property or anything on it. When we moved here, my mother said we could use anything on it as if it were our own, but also made it VERY clear, that she was still the owner and called the shots. I’ve also gone out of my way to make that line of owner ship clear, even as we talk generically about “our house” our “our place”. It’s “ours” in that we live here, but we do not own any of it.

What’s on the farm, belongs to the farm, so now that the property belongs to my brother, it’s his. We have the same deal with him as we did with our mother. He knows this, because he contacted my brother to get written permission to go onto the property for “lumber” he says he paid for. Except there is no “lumber”. Unless you count the scrap and salvaged wood, all of which is damaged in some way. Lumber is one of the things listed. I have no idea what he believes is still in that barn!

On top of that, with a number of things listed, I don’t even know what he’s talking about. Others, it could be any of a number of things. It’s pretty vague. Still others are just laughable. Like the TV. He’s never claimed ownership of the TV before. I supposed it’s possible that he bought it for my late father, but if he did, it was a gift, and ownership went to my mother when my dad died.

So he’s demanding (most likely) $13,000 cash from me, for mostly junk, when I don’t even claim ownership of any of it in the first place. Besides, if I had that kind of money, we’d have a new roof by now.

There is, however, one final kicker. I have an email I sent to him, more than a year and a half ago, where I told him that if he wanted to take stuff he was claiming (some of which I already confirmed was never his), he could do so – after providing proof of ownership. He never responded. He couldn’t. He has no proof of ownership.

There is a court date, by teleconference, in February, but I’ve got 20 days to file a response.

What a flippin’ joke!

The Re-Farmer

The kibble house is working – and creeper is creeping again

It started to snow last night, and continued all night. Where we live, it was still a light now – other areas got much more – but it was enough to be a test for the kibble house!

The inside is completely free of snow. 🙂

Unfortunately, three of the containers were on the ground – you can see the patch of grass on the left, where one of them ended up. It is most likely the skunks doing this.

I might add a narrow board across the front to try and prevent that. As long as the floor boards can slide under it, that should work fine.

The heated water bowl was still plugged in. 😀 There was almost no water left, though, so we had some thirsty, as well as hungry, kitties!

While doing my rounds and heading to the trail cams, I noticed this.

Though a light layer of snow covered the paw prints enough that I couldn’t make out what they looked like, I can be pretty sure that this trail was left by a skunk. They are low enough to the ground that their belly fur would leave that wider trail in the snow. 😀

Once I was done my rounds outside, I settled in to check the trail cam files.

I have since called the RCMP.

Our vandal was back.

Between the still shots from one camera, and the video from the other, I have about half an hour documented. While the appliance repair guy was here, the gate was left open. Our vandal showed up in the driveway, going from side to side for a while, before moving the two sides of the gate. The video picked him up stepping in to grab one side of the gates that was open to the inside, pulling it all the way to the outside, then reefing on it. Because of where the hinges are set in the post, when opened all the way to the outside, the gate can hit the post. After repairing the damage our vandal did last time, and repainting the gates, I added pieces of pool noodle to cushion the gate. This way, even if the wind blows the gates all the way open to the outside, the foam slows the swing down, and they bounce gently, rather than slamming, metal against metal. It also reduces stress on the new hinges. So when he reefed on the gate, the foam protected it, but with his pushing it so hard, there is only so much the foam can do to reduce the stress on the hinges. (At this point, there does not appear to be any damage.)

The files then show him going back and forth a few more times, before we can see the appliance guy leaving and me locking the gate up. There is, however, a 14 minute gap, where there is nothing to show where he was or what he was doing; all I can say is, he wasn’t in front of the cameras to trigger the motion sensors.

I remember as I walked to the gate, seeing how the two sides of the gate were positioned and thinking it was the wind again. It was odd with the one side, because I’d deliberately left it open as far as it could swing, which means it was in the fence and on the old tire I’ve got as a bumper. That side is the one that the wind blows around the most, but not so much when it’s open all the way. Now I know it wasn’t the wind at all!

So I called the RCMP as soon as I was able, and started a new file. The person I spoke to went over my options with me, and gave me the name of the constable that would be calling me back about it. I then looked up and called the nearest court where I can start the process to get a restraining order (there are several types available, one of which includes damage to property), leaving a message. This is also where I would be going to start the process for a psychiatric assessment.

While I was writing this, the constable called me back. We talked about our options again, and after going over the past files, he didn’t feel that pressing charges of mischief again would be the most productive. If I did do that, they would arrest him, file charges against them, then let him go and the whole process that happened last time would happen again. That the charges were stayed after he’d finished whatever program he went through, the constable felt that this was highly likely to happen again. Obviously, it didn’t work last time. However, as long as there were charges against him, I would effectively have a restraining order, and would not have to apply for one. I could still apply for a psychiatric assessment through the courts, but if I did, a judge would throw out the charges, since basically he would be viewed as not responsible for his actions, and I would no longer have any protections.

One main difference between the restrictions he’d be placed under if I press charges, as opposed to getting a restraining order, is that with charges, he’d still be keeping his guns. With a restraining order, there is enough documented justification for his guns to be seized, and he would be required to stop drinking alcohol, which is another big part of the problem. I could apply for a psychiatric assessment, and it would not affect the restraining order the way it could with pressing charges.

So for now, I will wait until I talk to the court clerk before making a decision, but it looks like the most effective route to take is to apply for both the restraining order and a psychiatric assessment. And I’m far more interested in our vandal getting help for his mental health issues than I am in getting him arrested.


While we have seen him on the cameras doing things like walking to the gate and giving the finger to the cameras, or slowing down as he drives by to peer down the driveway, etc., this is the first time we’ve seen him come to the gate while it was open like this. Which means we now cannot open the gate and leave it unattended to let people like the appliance repair guy drive in and out. We now know that, if our vandal happens by and sees the gate open, he will do things.

This is so tiresome.

At times like this, I wish we lived even more remotely than we already do!

The Re-Farmer


Oh, what a day this turned out to be. I’m looking at the time and wondering why it’s not several hours later, because this day has felt much longer than normal!

But first, I share the pleasantly unexpected thing.

As I finished up my outdoor morning routine and headed for the house, I noticed something white in the window of the cat house.

Plus, something moving in the shadows behind!

Unfortunately, my coming closer startled the cats. You can just see a hind leg of mystery kitten, who dashed out as I got closer. Little Braveheart was still in the window, and I was pretty sure it was Tabby that I saw in the shadows.

Then, the Creamsicle emerged!

Creamsicle was the first cat I saw checking out the new shelter, and I’ve seen Tabby lounging in the window. I’ve seen other kittens coming out from under it, but this is the first time I’ve seen Mystery or Braveheart inside, and the first time I’ve seen more than one cat in there. This is very encouraging. I know, in past winters, even cats that didn’t get along would still join the pile on the swing bench to keep warm, but it’s still great to see some confirmation that they can use the new space peacefully together.

What I am really hoping to see if Butterscotch’s babies going in there! They are so much smaller and younger, they are the most as risk from the coming cold. Weather Canada is forecasting a long fall and late starting winter, though. I hope they are right, because I’ve also seen forecasts for an early, long and bitterly cold winter coming up.

Meanwhile, the predicted rains last night turned out to be a brief but wicked thunderstorm, complete with driving rain, thunder, lightning, high winds and – no surprise – losing our internet. Thankfully, we did not lose power. As I write this, in the early evening, we’re still at a very warm 25C/77F!

Among the things I needed to do today was head into town and pick up my husband’s prescription refills. Even with a box of insulin, thanks to his excellent private insurance plan, the grand total is rarely more than $100. Last month, his refills happened to include both his injections and needles, and for the first time since things got messed up with his restricted painkillers, his bubble packs had all of his medications in them. So it was quite a shock, but not too unexpected, for the cost to be closer to $300. This time, it should have been less.

It was more. The total was almost $400.

At this time of the month, I simply didn’t have that. The cashier started checking the slips for me and noted that not all of them had the 3rd party payment (what the insurance company pays) on them. With 16 medications, it added up fast.

So I got her to suspend the sale while I stepped aside to look through the slips and then, if necessary, transfer funds from our emergency account. I was perplexed, though. What changed?

I went back to the pharmacists and asked if anything new had been added. The pain clinic doctor was supposed to call our regular doctor and talk medications. Our doctor said that he would fax any new prescriptions directly to the pharmacy. Could that be what happened?

Nope. Nothing was changed. However, according to what was showing up on the computer, we had reached our limit with the insurance company for medications.

Our what???

This has never happened before.

In the end, the pharmacist took back the printed out slips and told me to just take the medications, and come back after we cleared it up with the insurance company. They would rebill the amount then.

Yes. The pharmacy let me walk away with hundreds of dollars of medications without paying for them! Her comment was “we know you’ll come back.” Which is true. There’s no risk to them, since we are regulars, but still… that’s a lot of money walking out the door!

The next several hours was spent alternating between my husband and myself on the phone, with him calling the insurance company first.

In a nutshell, because we now live in a province that has Pharmacare – a provincially run government insurance program – the insurance company covers the cost of the deductible, then stops paying out because the system then covers the rest – but the system didn’t kick in.

As far as I knew, when we sent in an application for Pharmacare, shortly after moving here, we didn’t get accepted. I remember getting a letter asking for my tax information from 2015, when no such information was asked for on the form (my husband and I were both on the one form). I remember getting another letter since then that was basically a giant word salad and, as far as I could make out, we didn’t qualify. So I assumed we did not have it.

The insurance company’s limit on the deductible was only $1500. I called the pharmacy and talked to someone there who looked up my husband’s file, and they’d actually paid out almost $2000, so we were well past the limit. Most confusing of all, according to what she was seeing, is that we were approved for Pharmacare. We had it. But it didn’t kick in when it should have.

She gave me the number to call and find out why.

It turned out our Pharmacare deductible was actually over $3000. Which meant we were on the hook for the rest. The guy I spoke to said we should have gotten a letter back in the spring with the deductible amount. That would have been the letter that I understood as telling us we didn’t actually qualify. He said he would mail us a new one, which our insurance company would probably want to see.

Also, two of my husband’s medications (one of which is the pain killer that comes in slow and quick release forms) are not covered by Pharmacare at all.

My husband then called the insurance company back. Sure enough, once they have the proof in hand, they will adjust the limit to match what our deductible.

I called the pharmacy back and explained it to them, and they are fine with our coming back after all this was done, so they could re-bill the insurance company, and we would be paying only whatever was left. How long that takes depends on how quickly the letter gets to us in the mail (after that, my husband can just email a copy to the insurance company), which could take more than a week.

Our pharmacy is awesome!

If we were living in a province without Pharamacare, this would never have happened. What I don’t understand is why this didn’t happen last year! I guess the new medications my husband was put on after his stay in the hospital was enough to kick it over this year, but he was put on them late enough in the year last year, that it wasn’t an issue.

By the time this was all figured out, my husband and I were both completely drained.

The rest of the day’s plans went out the window.

It’s time to de-stress!

The Re-Farmer

New baby sighting, and washer update

While doing my rounds, before going to the city, I went to the usual spots to see if any more branches had come down during the night.

None had, but when I reached the fence near the pump shack, I heard something moving on the metal table beside it.

It took me a while, but I eventually saw a kitten slink under the table itself.

Was that Junk Pile cat’s white and grey baby?

Near where I was standing is a spot the cats use to go under the chain link fence. Rosencrantz, whom I’d seen earlier as I put kibble out for the yard cats, went through, stopping several times to look back at me and give me a death glare! 😀

Just look at that face!

So was that Rosencrantz’s baby I was seeing?

She made her way to the pump shack, then settled down in front of the door, keeping an eye on me. I could no longer see the kitten under the table, but then and orange head popped out of the hole at the bottom of the door!

I’d actually enlarged that hole last year, when Pump Shack kitten was living in there. (We haven’t seen Pump Shack cat, nor her mom, Guildenstern, in a very long time.)

It took a while, but the other kitten did eventually come around.

Of course, there’s that little sapling in the way! 😀

This is most definitely NOT the grey and white kitten I saw before. This one has more white, and also has patches of orange in it.

So this is a first time sighting of these babies!

These would be the younger siblings to Keith, David and Junk Pile cat.

Shortly after this, my older daughter and I headed for the city. Having gone looking around online last night, I had several possibilities for washing machines that I wanted to check out at Home Depot.

Once at the store, I went looking at the machines. I wasn’t too surprised that there were fewer than what I saw online. Aside from the prices, I had also looked at ratings. GE had some of the lowest ratings, while Whirlpool had the highest. Those were out of budget, though. Plus, I wasn’t seeing any on display.

I had an employee acknowledge me when I first got there, asking if I needed help right away. I didn’t, yet, which worked out for him, since he said he needed to go to the back for a while. This gave me lots of time to look at the machines before settling on this one.

It was a GE, but not the same model I was seeing on the website that had the lower ratings. In fact, I don’t recall seeing this model online at all. The price was also easier on the budget than others on display. There were several cheaper ones but… they were also TOO cheap! And I don’t mean just on price.

There was also the issue of size, which turned out to be more of a non-issue. Where we have the washer and dryer is already tight. My daughter at home measured the width and messaged me the info. Our machine at home was 26 7/8ths wide. We could go up to 27 inches, but that was it. The machines were all either 26 7/8ths inches wide, or 27 inches wide. This one was 27 inches wide.

I then waited for the guy to come back.

And waited.

After a while, I asked a nearby cashier if she could see if someone was available, on the possibility there was someone else in that section.

There wasn’t.

So I waited some more, wandering around a bit.

Which is when I discovered there was a whole other section of washers and dryers I’d somehow managed to not see.

Of course, that’s when the guy came back.

I told him I was looking for a washing machine, mentioned that I’d just noticed the other section. After a quick walk around, I showed him the one I said I’d decided on.

“No,” he said.

I could only laugh. He did explain, though.

Basically, the brand sucks. He’d never use one himself, and wouldn’t sell one, if he could avoid it. His recommendation was to go with either Whirlpool or LG. I’d seen both brands were highly rated, but I hadn’t looked at any LG models online.

The first one he took me over to was a Whirlpool. It was over budget but, more importantly, it was 27 1/2 inches wide. That half inch would make a difference.

He showed me a couple others he recommended, both LG, that were 27 inches. The closer one we came to, I told him straight up was out of budget, so he showed me another one.

After going back and forth, I went with the cheaper LG.

This is it.

It cost $100 more than the GE, but it was still within budget. Well. Almost. After taxes and whatever fees were added on, it ended up costing $835 and change. So $35 over budget. It is also a higher capacity machine, at 5.5 cubic feet instead of 4.9 cubit feet in the GE I was looking at.

Unfortunately, they do not keep an inventory of stuff like this. It has to be delivered from the national warehouse in Ontario.

Expected delivery to the store: Friday, the 24th.

That’s more than a week away.

Now, I could have decided not to buy it, then tried going elsewhere, but that would most likely have meant going to another city, at a competitor’s location where we got our replacement hot water tank. That store has higher prices for the same makes and models, though, so even if I were able to find an identical machine, I probably could not have bought it.

So I bought the machine. If we really, really have to, we can go to town and use the laundromat.

As he did the computer stuff, and put me into their system, we had time to chat. I told him about our washer dying yesterday, and how we had to decide if it was worth fixing. I told him about finding the plastic part under it, and he cringed. I mentioned the screws, and he cringed a bit more. Then I mentioned the puddle of oil, and he did a whole body twitch while in the middle of typing. 😀

After the transaction was done, he made sure to let me know to expect a call on Thursday, the 23rd. If there was no call, he said to call him early on Friday (I made sure to take down his name). The delivery trucks stop running at 4:30. Once they stop, there would be no chance of it arriving until Monday, so it would have to be early enough for him to make some calls about it.

The new washer will be delivered to the store. We’re too far away to have it delivered to our place. Which actually helped a bit, since it kept the price down. There would have been a delivery fee on top of everything else, but he was able to waive that.

So we’ve got more than a week without a washing machine.

And I needed to do laundry, yesterday.

While we could make the trip into town to use the laundromat, we’re not going to bother. At least, not yet. My daughters have already done a load of their own laundry in the bath tub, and I’m about to do the same.

The one good thing about the new washing machine not coming in right away is, we have time to haul the old one out and clean up the mess of oil under it.

By the time we got home, I was surprised it wasn’t even 2pm yet. If felt like it should have been more like 4 or 5!

This has been a very expensive month. I had to buy the push mower. Then I had to buy the parts and pieces to fix the sink. My daughter bought the new stove, and now we’ve bought a new washing machine. Meanwhile, we’ve got the riding mower still in the shop (at this point, I’m hoping they’ll continue to take their time getting to it!), plus my mother’s car will be ready for the end of the month. That one, at least, I’ve got almost 2/3rds paid off. My older daughter is still getting regular commissions, but my younger daughter is not going to be able to find a job for some time, given the pandemic situation, and our Premiere extending our “emergency” status for a couple more months, in spite of the lack of cases in our province. So it’s not like there’s any way for the income to increase with the outgo!

Unfortunately, it means a lot of things we’d hoped to get done this summer, likely won’t happen. We need to buy plywood for a floor on the trailer, and more for other projects we had in mind. I was hoping to buy materials to create a base for the cordwood outhouse we were planning to build this summer. While there is a lot we can get started on to prepare that won’t cost money, we do still need to buy some things, like mortar ingredients, and I was hoping to have concrete paving stones as a “floor” to build on. That project will likely have to be pushed back to next year. Plus, if anything else breaks down, there’s very little left in reserve. I’m just thankful we had as much as we did, set aside, to cover these. I just can’t help but think, how on earth are we supposed to come up with $10,000 for a new roof, when stuff like this keeps happening?

But, thanks to my husband’s private insurance and disability income, the bills are being paid, there’s food on the table, and gas in the tank. Being hear at the farm, we’ve got a roof over our head (even if it needs replacing!) and are secure as “caretakers” of the property. We are much better off than so many others, and have much to be thankful for.

Well, there’s one thing that might help, on the financial side. Our internet provider has had a new tower built in the area.

When moving here, the only option we had was satellite and, because of plan limits at the time, we had to get two of them to provide enough data for our needs. (Getting internet is a necessity, since my daughter’s business is entirely online now.) Even then, we had issues. Eventually, we were able to double the data one of the plans. Meanwhile, we lose connectivity fairly easily. Particularly in summer, when the foliage is full. The primary account’s satellite is usually fine, but the secondary satellite is barely a couple of feet to the side, and the branches block the signal more frequently (I’ve lost internet several times, just writing this post!). As we reach the limit on the data plan for our primary account, we switch cables on our router to the secondary account – and we switched cables just this morning. We have been regularly going over our data plans, and while the company waived those costs for the past couple of months, due to the lock downs and more people being stuck at home, that ended this month.

My husband talked to the company and will arrange for someone to come by next month to do a site survey (when we’ll have money to pay for the survey). If they can get a signal to the new tower, we would be able to move away from satellite completely, have only one account, unlimited data, and save almost $200 a month.

Yeah. We spend over $300 a month, just to get internet out here, with limited data and frequent loss of connectivity.

I’m really hoping they find a signal this time!

The Re-Farmer

Well, crud. Again.


We checked the washing machine. Sort of.

After shifting the dryer, then moving the washing machine, my darling daughter squirmed her way behind it to see what she could see.

Besides cat fur dust bunnies from hell and miscellaneous objects that somehow made their way under the washer and dryer…

…and the round plastic cap?? of some sort, that was oily along its edge…

…and the rusted out screws…

…and the puddle of a yellowish oil.

We tipped the washer as much as we could, so she could look at the bottom to see where the plastic thing came from, or the screws, or maybe where the oil was coming from. Unfortunately, we couldn’t tip it enough for her to see. At least not without sticking her head in the puddle of oil.

The next thing to do was to pop off the back panel, to see if the drive belt was off or what else might be the problem.

The back panel turned out to be completely different from anything we found while researching stuff online. My daughter could not see where or how the panel came off. From her angle, it looked like all one piece. From above, I could see where there was a seam between panels under the power cord, but that didn’t help her any.

As she struggled with it, I made the executive decision.

Tomorrow, we’re going into the city and getting a new washing machine. It’s not worth the hassle to fight with and fix this old machine.

It’s going to decimate our contingency fund, but that’s what it’s for, I guess. Thank God we have it, but nothing had better break after this!

After looking around online, I found the best prices at Home Depot, of all places. Not that there is a lot of difference, really. We won’t be able to get top of the line, but we won’t have to get bottom of the barrel, either.

So everything is all put back again, until we have to drag it all out again tomorrow. We’re going to have to figure out how to work around that dryer. The entry way isn’t very big.

*sigh* I think we’re going to have to shove the table to the side in the dining room again. The only way I can think of doing this is if we bring the new machine into the dining room, pull out the dryer, pull out the washing machine, put the washing machine in the dining room, clean up the mess under it, install the new machine, put the dryer back, then haul the old machine out to join the old stove in the junk pile.

There are two steps between the entryway and the dining room that we’ll be hauling these over, too.

At least washing machines are light!

Well, I guess I’d better start heating to bed. The earlier we start for the city, the faster we can get this over with!

I want to end this on a fun note, so I have some photos to share with you. When heading out to do my evening rounds, I wanted to do some watering to empty our rain barrel a bit.

As I started towards the sun room, however, I found a furry visitor, eating cat kibble! Stinky was back for an evening meal. When he saw me, he started to head for the sun room door, so I decided to head towards the barn and check on things. With the winds we’ve been having, I wanted to make sure there was no damage, plus I wanted to give Stinky time to finish eating and leave.

When I came back, I found…

… two of them!

It’s been a while since I’ve seen two!

I watched them for a bit and took pictures – the zoom on my phone’s camera sucks, but it’s better than getting too close! 😀

This bigger one is the newcomer for this year. We had two coming over regularly, last year, and it may be these are the same two – or the little one is an offspring.

The bigger one ambled off and disappeared under the storage house.

The little one stayed to snuffle and nibble at the fence post we used to hook the chain to, when using the come-along to move the new cat shelter off the trailer a couple of days ago. After a while, he disappeared under the clothes line platform. At that point, I went ahead and did the watering from the rain barrel I wanted to. The rain barrel is right near the platform, but as long as Stinky was under there, he was well sheltered and would not see me as a threat.

Gosh, they’re cute!

The Re-Farmer

Good grief

What a runaround today has been.

But first, I will share something to make you smile!

Upside down, furry friends.

Two Face and Dave were busily playing, with Two Face grabbing, licking and biting Dave’s head and him… letting her. 😀

At about 1am. I just had to turn on a light and get pictures. 😀

So… today’s runaround.

When my husband’s bubble packs got refilled, the pharmacy told us that one of his medications was out of refills. For some reason, this one painkiller got only a 1 month renewal. He’s actually on two versions of this painkiller; a quick release and an extended release. The extended release version was missing.

The pharmacy had faxed the clinic, but as of Saturday, there was still no response. They did have a pre-bubble pack prescription left for 6 pills. Three days worth. So I took those. My husband will be out of them again, after today.

So this morning, starting from when the clinic opened at 9, my husband tried phoning the clinic.

After more than an hour, he still hadn’t gotten through, so once I finished my rounds, I drove to the clinic.

Which is in a town 45 minutes away (as far as I know, the clinic we had been going to previously, still doesn’t have new doctors to replace the two that moved away, which is why we had to switch to a town further away).

When I got there and talked to a receptionist, telling her we couldn’t get through by phone, she was apologetic. It seems that on Mondays in particular, the doctors all have telephone appointments and use up all the lines.

I explained the problem and she looked up my husband’s file. According to what she saw, the doctor had phoned the pharmacy on Saturday. She even had a time. It was maybe an hour after I’d already stopped by the pharmacy myself!

So as far as she could tell, the pharmacy should have had a 2 month renewal for these meds.

Once I was done there, I messaged my husband and let him know, asking him to call the pharmacy while I made a quick stop at the hardware store nearby to get the latches I needed, then drove to the pharmacy. Which was another 45-50 minutes of driving, so it would give them plenty of time to find the fax and fill the prescription.

By the time I was done at the hardware store, I had messages from my husband. The pharmacy had no fax. They said they would talk to the clinic about it.

So I drove to the pharmacy anyway. By then, the pharmacist had gotten through to the receptionist at the clinic at noon, which is when our doctor was supposed to be in, but he wasn’t yet. He needed to sign the triplicate, before the clinic could fax it to the pharmacy. That hadn’t happened yet. The pharmacist told me that, if she didn’t hear from the clinic by 2, she would call them herself. She knew my husband would be out of the painkillers by the end of today, and how much of an issue that would be.

I decided I would stay in town for a while and have breakfast lunch, then make a stop at the beach.

It’s been about 8 or so months since a storm completely covered the boulders at the main dock, and the waves are still only starting to reveal them again. Where I’m standing to take the above picture, I was about 5 feet above water level. Normally, there would be a lot more boulders visible, and the beach here would be more “slope” and less “erosion cliff”.

The beach was busy, though not crowded. This is a resort town and normally it would have been packed with tourists and people at their cabins for the holidays, even on a weekday. It was good to see people out in the sunshine.

I walked around the strip of beach I usually do, pausing at a Pokemon Go gym near the beach to do battle. I had gone to a tree for some shade, and would have leaned on it (since the park bench that used to be there is now gone), but found it was occupied.

This bumble was just wandering around on the bark, minding her own business, so I let her be. 🙂

The pharmacist had told me they would phone our home number if the prescription was filled. By about 3, there was no call, but I swung by anyhow, just in case.

The pharmacist had called the clinic, but the doctor was with a patient and had not been able to sign the triplicate yet. She did not know when he would be done, and there was no fax, yet.


I told her I had to go home, and asked if they could phone us when they got the prescription. She told me they could deliver it to us, even as far out as we are. I told her we don’t have a credit card to pay for it, which is how they usually do payments on home deliveries. She said that we’re there so often, they would just set it aside (the printouts with the bar codes) to pay for it the next time we came in. !!!

Which would be amazing, though I don’t expect it to happen. As I write this, I can see that the pharmacy is either already closed or, if they’re back to regular hours, closing soon.

I really, really hope this can be taken care of by tomorrow. I will happily make the extra drive in to get them!

Thankfully, with my being gone most of the day, the girls were home to take care of the routine stuff. So while I can’t say it was a completely wasted day – I at least got the latches I needed, and even found pruning paint, for the next time we have to cut away live branches – but it feels like nothing tangible got accomplished.

I’m going to install those latches, just to say I got something checked off the to-do list!

The Re-Farmer

Long Day

Yesterday was our day to do our monthly shop, which always makes for a long day. We actually decided not to do a full shop, though, and will go back later in the month. Specifically, we didn’t get all the cat kibble and litter we usually do. It gets really hard to pack the van with groceries with so many bags and boxes taking up space!

I’m really enjoying the longer daylight hours, too. It was still daylight when we came home!

We were greeted with gorgeous views in the morning, too.

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It’s finally done!

I am thrilled to say, the problem with our septic has been dealt with AND the pump itself still works! We’re still not sure why it stopped pumping completely. More on that later.

The whole job was much, much bigger than we expected.

Also, my brother is a saint. God bless him! I don’t know how we would have managed without his help!

Let’s back up a bit.

This is what we had to work with.

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