Hard Crab Apple Cider follow up – I am the queen of procrastination!

We’ve had a busy day outside our living room window!

We’ve had quite a few deer visiting the feeding station, and just plain hanging out. The piebald has been standing around the old junk pile (maybe we should start calling it something else, since we cleared out the junk and there’s just old stacked boards now), chillin’ for at least a couple of hours. Others have just been wandering around the area, sometimes at the feeding station, sometimes nibbling lilac twigs, sometimes among the spruces, nibbling whatever underbrush they happen to be next to.

Keith had front row seating to watch them all, with his ever tragic expression!

Now that Saffron is gone, other cats have been sitting on the warm light fixture over the seedlings. Especially Fenrir and, pictured above, Beep Beep.

It must feel nice on their still nekkid bellies!

Today, I finally got around to sterilizing bottles and equipment, and bottling the second carboy of hard crab apple sider.

The one I meant to bottle months ago!

The other other we had fermenting was bottled back in August. If you follow that link, the post has links to the whole process of making it, starting from when we picked the apples back in September, of 2020. We had no apples in 2021, so no new crab apple brews of any kind, sadly.

So… yeah. This carboy has been fermenting since September of 2020.

When the other carboy was bottled, we didn’t do a hydrometer reading, so I did that from the last bottle we’ve got of it, while preparing to bottle the second batch.

I really hate doing hydrometer readings. I can’t read the tiny numbers and have to take pictures to be able to see them – but the camera does NOT want to focus on the hydrometer.

Anyhow.

After – hopefully – reading the hydrometer right, the ABV calculator I’ve got came to 10.5% Alcohol By Volume.

For the second carboy, I did a reading before starting to bottle, and the calculation came to 11.8% Alcohol By Volume.

Not too shabby!

The jug we’re using as the carboy after racking the initial brew was repurposed from a 3L wine bottle. I was able to fill three 750L bottles, plus a 250ml bottle, before it was down to the dregs.

Of course, we had to do a taste test to compare the two.

The first thing you’ll notice in the pictures, is that the cider I was about to bottle is a darker colour compared to the one already bottled.

The previously bottled cider had a strong, almost bitter, taste to it. It tasted stronger of alcohol, too, though it had a lower percentage.

The newly bottled cider had a fruitier, smoother taste.

Both tasted good, but I prefer the one that stayed in the carboy for 1 1/2 years. That extra 7 months seems to have made a positive difference.

I do hope we have crab apples this year. I look forward to making this again!

The Re-Farmer

Kibble thief!

We had a pretty good notion that deer were finishing off the water in the heated water bowl. Sometimes, all the kibble would be cleaned out, and we were pretty sure a skunk has been coming by. They don’t completely hibernate in winter, and I’ve seen a big on on the security camera live fed, every now and then.

While in the kitchen, I noticed the piebald deer standing in one of the cat paths, in front of the house. The other two deer were at the feeding station. The piebald usually drives them off, but when she disappeared, but the two were still at the feeding station, I looked around to see where she went.

No, it wasn’t the compost pile, as I’d expected.

She was in the kibble house!!

My daughter was able to sneak quietly into the sun room and get a bunch of photos.

Even Tuxedo Mask seems to be wondering what the heck it going on!

What a thief!

The Re-Farmer

Looks like good news this morning

I heard back from our mechanic today.

First thing is that it looks like my mother’s car simply needs a new battery. !! He has no idea what made that “POP” noise I heard; possibly a backfire, though it didn’t sound at all like a backfire to me. He put in another battery and it’s running fine. A new one has been ordered and we should be able to pick it up tomorrow. A battery is much more affordable than I feared!

While we are there to get my mother’s car, he will check the belt and tensioner on our van. He said the tensioner did seem kind of finicky when they worked on it. I’ll talk to him about our wipers and the issues with the EGR valve when we are there tomorrow. With spring coming, we just can’t be without working windshield wipers!

We ran out of deer feed yesterday, so after taking care of the outside cats, I made a quick run to the local general store. I’ve got the onboard computer display on my van set to display voltage all the time, now. When I started the engine, it was at 12.2 volts or so, but very quickly went up to 14.3 volts, where it stayed. I kept the music off, but I did turn on the rear defogger, and it still held.

The trip is just 3 miles. I spent maybe 5 minutes – definitely less than 10 – inside, but when I started the engine, the display read 11.1 volts! It quickly went up to 14.4, but before I even drove my first mile, it dropped to 14.0 volts and stayed there – and I didn’t have anything but lights and heat running.

I look forward to getting that checked tomorrow!

Meanwhile…

… the outside cats are doing just fine. No signs of fighting this morning.

And I am amused by the one-eyed smiley face on the heated water bowl!

After I got back with the deer feed, I grabbed a couple of containers to put feed out for the birds and the deer – double what I usually do, because the entire bag doesn’t quite fit into the storage bin we transfer it to! πŸ˜€ When I came around the corner of the house, our usual two deer ran off – then stopped and watched me through the trees. Once I started heading away from the feeding station, they both came running, not even waiting for me to be completely gone.

They know who brings their treats!

I tried to spread the seeds out more, so they’re not fighting over one little spot, but… they seem to like to eat together out of one little spot! πŸ˜€

While checking out the deer through the window, I was enchanted by a rolling ball of fluff.

David is so adorable. When he sees us, he twists his head upside down, makes cutesy faces at us and start rolling around and twisting himself into a pretzel, to get us to pay attention to him.

It works, every time!

The Re-Farmer

I’m getting really tired of this van

*sigh*

What a day.

Things started off well enough.

Susan got to watch the piebald deer chasing the other two regulars away.

I discovered a strange, furry fruit in the Korean Lilac!

Once outside with the kibble, I was greeted by a very dishevelled Potato Beetle. He headed into the sun room to eat, as usual, so I closed the door to keep him in!

The Distinguished Guest was looking ever more dishevelled than Potato Beetle, making it clear who else was involved.

From the many tufts of long, black, with the occasional white, fur around the kibble house, I’d say Potato Beetle had the upper hand in this battle!

Yeah, that’s blood in the snow, too.

By the time I got back from shopping, several hours later, Potato Beetle was looking a lot better, though with some new scratches on his nose. So when he wanted out while we were loading things into the house, we let him be.

My trip to the city didn’t quite go as planned.

Our big city shopping routine now usually includes a stop at Canadian Tire, first, where we pick up the wood pellets we use for litter. While there, I got more seed starting mix and more trays to fit the mini-greenhouse shelves, and a few other things.

It was snowing lightly in the city, so when I loaded up the van, there was melted snow on the windshield, and the streets were wet and messy, so while going to the nearby international grocery store, I had to use my wipers.

They didn’t work.

All I heard was the sound of them moving lower down into their recess under the hood, and that was it.

When I parked, I tried again, and I could hear that they were trying to move, but they could do nothing more than wiggle a bit. I popped the hood, which is the only way to access them, and they were slightly overlapping each other, but I could see nothing obvious that would be a problem.

Thankfully, I have a long handled windshield cleaner. It’s meant for the inside of the windshield, but i had paper towel in the van, too, so I was able to give the outside of the windshield a good cleaning before heading into the store.

Costco, in another part of the city, would have been my last stop. Since I didn’t want to be driving on messy streets with no wipers, I decided to instead to go a nearby Superstore. It meant getting a lot less than I wanted to, since at Costco I have access to a flat cart and can really load up, but half a shop is better than no shop!

When I finished loading up the van and was getting ready to go, I noticed something.

The check engine light was back on.

That light has been on since we had the EGR valve replaced. It got looked at, the code reset, only to turn on again almost immediately. Our mechanic tried to clean the lines as best he could after replacing the valve, but there are still bits of crud he couldn’t get at, and those are likely tripping the sensor. Since we hardly used the van last year, we didn’t take it back in. Our mechanic reset the code when he replaced the alternator.

I hooked up my OBDII reader, got the codes, screen captured them, and texted them to our mechanic. It’s Sunday, so he’s closed, but he’ll at least be able to see them tomorrow.

Before continuing on, I went through the displays from our onboard computer, which I do fairly regularly.

There was something odd.

When I picked up the van, I went through the displays and the battery read at 15 volts. I don’t remember ever seeing it at higher than 14.4 volts, so that stuck in my mind.

It was now reading 13 volts.

I had the heat, lights and a CD playing. With a brand new alternator, it should still have been at full charge.

I decided to monitor it while driving.

It kept dropping.

By the time I reached the highway to home, it was down to 12.4 volts.

On a hunch, I turned off the CD.

It immediately began to increase, eventually topping up at 14.6 volts and holding.

On the trip home, I drive through the town my mother lives in, which is the only place the speed limit is reduced. Once I was clear and back at highway speeds, I turned the music back on.

It held at 14.6 volts.

Great! Just some weird glitch or something.

When I got home, I had to back the van up to the small gate for unloading. I pulled partially into the garage so I would have space to turn the van around and maneuver to the gate.

In the minute or so that took, the battery was down to 12.2 volts.

!!!

I shut the music off, then the engine, and we unloaded. Leaving the girls to put the groceries away, I parked the van in the garage, which did not require any manoeuvring. Just one wide turn, taking maybe 30 seconds.

With the music off, the battery was back up to 14.2 by the time I parked it in the garage.

What the heck???

So I need to pass that on to our mechanic, too. This should not be happening! Not with a brand new alternator.

We have actually had something similar happen to us in the past, long, long ago. We bought an old car that had been sitting for many years, and one of the first things it needed was a new battery. We even got a high end one. Then we had some other work done to fix it up from being parked for so long, including a new alternator. The battery immediately started to die. If we had the radio, lights and wipers on at the same time, it would stall and we’d need a boost to get it going again.

Not fun while driving in downtown Victoria, BC, in a downpour, at night!

We took it to a different garage, the mechanic took one look and said, “that’s the wrong size alternator” and got us the right one. There was nothing wrong with the first alternator; it just couldn’t handle the power needs of the vehicle.

When we went back to the first place (a Canadian Tire), they said they would reimburse us if we could provide the computer printout to prove it was the wrong alternator, but the garage that fixed it was old school. They never hooked it up to a computer, because they could just see at a glance, that it was the wrong one for that car. So we never got our money back for the first mix up.

This is not the kind of mistake our mechanic would make. At least, I don’t think so! However, I have noticed odd electrical… gremlins… in the van, for some time. Things would start working, then stop, then start again. Loose wires, perhaps? The radio is particularly weird. It doesn’t always turn on or off until after several tries, and if we’re on a bumpy road, the volume will start adjusting itself up or down, and the knob for the volume doesn’t work right away. Which sometimes has us frantically spinning the knob, trying to turn down the volume, only to have it keep getting louder before it finally kicks in.

Whatever the problem is, it’s not showing up on the sensors.

We just got the van back, for crying out loud!!!

Can we win that lottery now? Please? πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

The Re-Farmer

Well, we’re hooped, 2 down, and surprising Cabbages update

Oh, man. What a day this turned out to be. Talk about topsy turvy!

It started out normal enough.

The deer were visiting the feeding station before seed was even put out. Tissue was enjoying watching them. We had several come by today, including the piebald.

Nutmeg was waiting his turn in the cat path as I put the kibble out.

So many cats! I count 13 in the photo.

While outside, I shoveled out the last two paths that were left to do. One was the path to the feeding station. The other was the cat path from the kibble and cat house, to the storage house.

We had cleared around the cat’s house, since we needed to open the roof up to get inside, and had tried to maintain most of it. We’ve pretty much given up on the back, though. There’s no room for the snow anymore.

The cats have taken advantage of our being able to keep the side of it clear, and have managed to still access the space under the cat house. Only the smaller cats can fit into there!

This is the opening they’ve managed to keep clear to get under the storage house. With the lilac bush there, we can only shovel their path so far, but they’ve packed down their own trail to the opening.

I’m not happy with The Distinguished Guest. She went after Creamsicle Baby today. Hard. I had to break them apart. Poor Creamsicle Baby was bleeding at the neck a bit, though from all the black fur on the snow after they battled, he defended himself pretty well.

Since we no longer have cats convalescing in the sun room, I went ahead and cleared the frame for the mini-greenhouse and brought it inside. The cover had a couple of tears in the back, so that had to be fixed.

While trying to figure out how to secure the mini-greenhouse, I got a message from the cat lady. She was in town and we worked out that she would leave her carriers in the donation bin at the shelter, and I would pick them up later.

She also let me know that she’d left Cabbages behind, snoring with their 5 other cats. !!

As soon as I could, after it was confirmed the carriers were dropped off, I headed out to start my mother’s car to go get them.

I turned the key, there was a loud POP, and it died.

I have no clue what happened.

I opened the hood, but there was nothing visible that was out of the ordinary.

We now have zero transporation.

Crud. We’re hooped!

The first thing I did was send a message to the garage about our van. It’s booked for a new alternator on the 28th, which is when my husband’s disability payment comes in (last business day of the month. However, he does get a smaller CPP Disability payment 3 business days before the end of the month, which falls on the 24th. Normally, that would have been our day to do a big shop but, obviously, that’s not going to happen anymore! It is enough to cover the cost of the repair, though. I haven’t heard back from him yet, and just left a phone message, too. Hopefully, I’ll connect with him soon. I did mention in my message to him, that we now have no way to pick up the van anymore! I’ll also have to get my mother’s car towed to him, but I’ll arrange that after we get things worked out about the van. We moved my mother’s car into where we normally park the van, so we’ll have to get it out of the garage, anyhow.

*sigh*

My mother’s car may have the block heater, battery warmer and trickle charger, but there’s still a lot under the hood that can freeze. My suspicion is that it has something to do with the starter.

I then messaged the cat lady.

Not only could we no longer pick up her carriers, but there’s no way we’d have the van back early enough to bring the cats in to the vet.

Also, just this morning, we had decided to make a change on which cats were going in. The cats have been after Nicco again, and my daughter asked if we could have her go, instead, for her own protection. So we decided on Nicco and Saffron, instead of Turmeric and Saffron.

The cat lady responded almost right away, asking if we could get them if she came over with the carriers.

!!!!

Yup. She just took it upon herself to take in two more cats for a couple of days, then bring them in to the vet herself on the 23rd.

What an amazing woman!

After giving directions on how to find us, a daughter and I started working on patching the cover for the mini-greenhouse. We didn’t get very far, when I got a call to confirm our location. She was at the intersection, but there was a misunderstanding in my instructions, and she turned the wrong way. She was already here!

So one of my daughters snagged Nicco while I grabbed Saffron, and we brought them to the sun room for her.

Not only did she come with her two carriers, but she also brought us some canned cat food! It was left over from Cabbages, who is now turning her nose up at Tuna.

!!!

We had a chance to talk for a while, and she updated us with some surprising information.

When the vet first saw Cabbages, he thought she had ingested the poison from something like a flea and tick collar. We don’t use those. All her bloodwork had come back healthy, yet she struggled to stay alive. She’d even had a seizure after the cat lady had picked her up from us. The eventual conclusion was the toxoplasmosis somehow getting into her brain. The treatment was the same, either way, for her condition.

Well, they’ve done another blood test. This time, a toxicology test at a different, specialized lab – a $400 test!

The test confirmed this compound was in her blood. She was poisoned. The vet thinks she got into fertilizer.

We don’t have fertilizer in the house.

Somehow, the vet thinks she was getting miniscule amounts of fertilizer over a long period of time, it built up in her brain until she finally became so very ill. Our force feeding her and keeping her hydrated with the syringe kept her alive long enough for the cat lady to get her to the vet.

We are absolutely flummoxed. The only thing we’ve got is Miracle Gro, it’s kept in the sun room, and the cats can’t get at it. Cabbages has never been in the sun room, anyhow.

While she was updating us on the mystery that is Cabbages, we also talked about Nicco and Saffron. She expects Saffron to be adopted out quickly; female orange tabbies get snapped up quickly right now. Calicos, however, are very hard to adopt out for some reason.

We also found out that she doesn’t like calico’s herself, nor female cats. However, her 5 yr old daughter has informed her that if they adopt out Cabbages, she’s moving out. πŸ˜€

I know they already have someone lined up to adopt her, but it’s starting to sound like they might be keeping her themselves. Now that Cabbages is healthy, she won’t have anything to do with the cat lady or the other adults, but she and their daughter are inseparable. She gets along with their other cats – and even their blind dog! Cabbages had never seen a dog before, but not only do they get along, she even went for a ride on him! She had climbed onto him while he was lying down, and when he got up and walked away, she stayed!

Cabbages may already be in her forever home!

Meanwhile, Saffron and Nicco will be staying with the cat lady for the next couple of days, make their trip to the vet, then stay with her for 2 more weeks. At that point, they will be ready for adoption and will stay with a foster until new, permanent homes are found.

We also talked about the next vet appointments in March. It will be worked out as we get closer to the date, but the vet is saying they would prefer to have one male and one female. We have no males indoors that need to be fixed, but we do have outdoor males that we can catch. So next time we may be bringing in one indoor female and one outdoor male.

It’s a shame we can’t catch any of the outdoor females. The only ones we could were Butterscotch and Nosencrantz who are now indoor cats, and Rolando Moon, who is already spayed and not going anywhere.

Oh, wow. As I was writing this, I just got sent a couple of photos. Saffron and Nicco have arrived at the cat lady’s home, safe and sound, and are now sharing the cat cage Cabbages had been recovering in. Saffron was comfortably eating already. Nicco has her usual stressed out expression. πŸ˜€

Cabbages, meanwhile, is helping the cat lady’s daughter colour, after giving the cat lady her “equivalent to the middle finger” then went on her way. πŸ˜€ What an attitude!

I knew the cat lady had already spent $1200 of her own money on vet bills a while ago, while still having weekly vet visits. Now I found out they did that really expensive toxicology test. She has easily spent over $2000 on Cabbages! That’s just in vet bills. She’s also been feeding Cabbages a special, nutrient dense, high calorie diet as she recovers.

All the more reason we started the fund raiser to help cover the costs. At $1500, it won’t cover everything, but it’ll at least cover a substantial amount!

If you would like to contribute to our fundraiser to reimburse the cat lady for Cabbages’ vet bills, click on the button below, orΒ click here. If you would like to read more about it,Β click here.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Now we’ve got to figure out what Cabbages got into that caused this. We don’t have flea or tick collars. We don’t have fertilizer. I asked what else might have this compound, and she didn’t know.

Whatever it is, none of the other cats are showing signs of being sick, which makes it even more confusing. What was she getting into, that none of the other cats are getting into?

I’m at such a loss.

Meanwhile, we are now down two more indoor cats. Since we’ve brought in Nosencrantz and Butterscotch, that brings us back to 15.

The cat lady not only brought us the canned cat food Cabbages will no longer eat, but has promised to bring us more donated dry cat food, too.

What an amazing woman!

This takes a weight off our shoulders, as we can now focus on getting transportation again. I’ve let my mother know about the status of her car – reassuring her that all I was doing was keeping her informed, and not expecting her to do anything about it. She started telling me my brother will come out and fix it. No. I’m not expecting my brother to drive all the way out here to try and fix her car. Even if we did know what happened to it! But men always know more about cars than women, so I should at least talk to him.

*sigh*

Well, whatever we end up doing will depend on what the mechanic finds, after we get it towed out to him. Hopefully, it’ll be something we can afford to fix out of April’s budget. The van is already taking up every bit of wiggle room in March’s budget. :-/

Not having a vehicle is just not a good thing out here. Yes, we’re okay as far as basic necessities. It’s more about if there’s some sort of emergency, like if my husband suddenly has to go to the hospital.

Ah, well. It is what it is. We’ll deal with it.

It’s not like we have any choice in the matter!

The Re-Farmer

We lucked out

The predicted blizzard conditions we were getting warnings about, passed well to the south of us. Once it swept down from the mountains and across Alberta, the system made its way mostly along the Canada/US border.

I guess there are some advantages to being further north!

What we did get was wind.

And deer.

Five of them!

The two in front are our usual visitors. The three in back are new ones. As least, that we’ve seen. For all I know, they visit when we’re not around to see them.

Unfortunately, the three visitors decided the chokecherry and saskatoon twigs were delicious!

After I took the video, I turned the living room light on, so they could see me, then waved my arms around like a fool. The two regulars ignored me, but the ones eating the twigs went away. And that’s all I wanted!

The two regulars came back later.

They were digging down really deep into the snow, to try and find more seeds!

This is what the area looked like this morning, after I put more seeds out.

That deep hole is almost completely filled in, and the snow is hard packed, from the high winds.

This wasn’t the only area blown over. I actually had to push my way through a drift, just to get outside!

It even drifted into the kibble house, though the cats did a good job of flattening it.

Check out the heated water bowl!

After knocking the snow out of the kibble trays and putting food out, I dug out the water bowls, knocking a thick layer off the top of the heated bowl. There was still water in it, though it was lot enough the cats would have had difficulty reaching it through that hole.

I ended up letting Potato Beetle out of the sun room this morning. He’d trashed a few things, trying to get out. He’s not injured anymore, and the only reason we were keeping him in was to prevent other cats from attacking him again. He was happy to be out, and hopefully, he will manage to keep away from whichever cats have been aggressive towards him.

Once the sun room door was open, though, Agnoos, Tuxedo Mask and Chadiccus were right in there! So I left the power bar on, for the light, heat bulb and the other heated water bowl, and left the doors open. When I was done and ready to come inside, I left the doors open just a little bit, so the cats can go in and out. I think there might have been four in there, at the time. We’ve since spotted Tuxedo Mask through the bathroom window, in his favourite spot on top of the board the heat bulb’s fixture is attached to, and under the light. The plan is to close the sun room all up again, after we go out and shovel out at least some of the paths – the wind chill is still pretty extreme right now – but we might have difficulties getting the cats out when we do! πŸ˜€

The Re-Farmer

ps: Just for fun, I compiled some short videos I got of the piebald deer, a few days ago. Turn your sound up, and you’ll hear the purring and chomping noises from Susan, who kept trying to eat my phone while I was taking video!!

Yard critters, incoming storm

This morning was another contradictory one, where the temperature was pretty decent and warming up, but the winds made it insanely bitter outside!

I got some photos yesterday, of the piebald deer visiting again. Her face was packed with snow, from digging under to find the seeds that had been blown over.

Check out where she is, in relation to the bird bath! For the snow to be that high – and hard backed enough to hold her weight – is really something!

The piebald chases these two away if they come around.

I got this photo before heading outside this morning. They’re really digging into the snow to find seeds! When I came around with my little bucket of feed, they ran off, but watched me from the trees. When I next looked through the living room window shortly after finishing up outdoors, they were already back.

The outside cats were quite enjoying breakfast, sheltered from the bitterly cold wind that was coming from the south.

We are still getting blizzard warnings. One patch of snow has already passed us by, and we did not get much snow, compared to areas to the south of us. There is more visible on the weather radar I can see is on its way. The forecasted high has dropped, while the expected amount of snow has increased.

Thankfully, we can hunker down and wait it out. I feel for the people who have to drive in this!

The Re-Farmer

Let’s back up a bit…

So, before we discovered issues where happening with the sump pump, our morning was pretty routine! πŸ˜€

The piebald deer was back again. Later on, I saw our usual pair coming by, and I think a singleton that’s starting to come by more often.

While puttering around the kitchen and heating up water for the outside cats, I spotted this camouflaged at, watching me through the window!

Inside cats, watching outside cat! πŸ˜€

I count fourteen in this photo.

I’m seeing Potato Beetle regularly again, and that wound on his head is looking like it really doesn’t like the cold! He won’t let me look to closely, though. 😦

With Butterscotch and Nosencrantz transitioning indoors, I’ll be able to leave the sun room doors open behind me while doing the morning rounds, again. Agnoos and Tuxedo Mask miss going into there! πŸ˜€

The Re-Farmer

Brrr…

Since I posted a screencap of our weather earlier, it has actually gotten a bit colder, instead of warmer, though the wind chill has been reduced.

While heating up water for the outside cats, I spotted this, outside our dining room window.

They were staring very intently at something past the south yard, but I couldn’t see what it was.

Butterscotch and Nosencrantz are still nice and cozy in the sun room. They are getting more active and wanting more attention, too. When the time comes, we’ll see if Butterscotch will let us bring her indoors with Nosencrantz this time, and see if she’s willing to become an indoor cat. If she does, that leaves only Rolando Moon as one of the originals that my late father used to care for, and there’s no way she’ll ever come indoors. My younger brother took her and had her spayed after my husband and younger daughter came out here ahead of the move, but by the time my older daughter and I came out, she had managed to escape the garage they were keeping her in and came back here. She is not a cat suited for indoors, at all! But as snarly, growly, bitey and mean she is – in between demanding pets and skritches! – we love her anyways!

Once outside, I did the minimum amount of cleared needed. We could open the door, but not all the way, so that got cleared. The cat’s non-heated water bowls had to be dug out of the snow. My daughters had already shoveled snow off the low-angle roof last night.

Things like the path to the compost pile, however, will wait a day or two.

You can see in the foreground, where the deer made their way through the snow into the south yard! They’re not quite comfortable enough to go around the front of the house, to the sidewalk path. πŸ˜€

We are fortunate where we are. We got snow, but were not snowed in. I would rather not, but if we absolute had to, we’d be able to use my mother’s car to get out, even if the roads are not yet plowed. I know others have had a lot more snow, and are going to need a while to dig their way out.

We’re supposed to warm up a bit tomorrow, so that might be a good day to start clearing out the paths. It’ll warm up even more, the day after, and generally stay mild for the rest of the month. We’re supposed to get a bit more snow here and there, but as far as temperature goes, we should be good.

Just think; the first day of spring is March 20 this year – not very long! Granted, where we are, we can reasonably expect a blizzard in April, but still… things should be slowly warming up now! If all goes well, we will have a slow melt of all this snow. It’d be nice for it all to be absorbed right were it is, and not drain away into the lake.

We shall see!

The Re-Farmer

Another hit of snow

The snow started falling last night, and it hasn’t stopped yet!

We are at a relatively balmy -7C/19F. According to my app, the wind chill is -13C/9F.

I’d say our wind chill is colder than that!

It’s warm enough for the kitties to come out for breakfast, though Caramel’s expression looks like one of supreme displeasure! πŸ˜€

I am so glad we built the kibble house. It’s made things much nicer for the babies!

Butterscotch and Nosencrantz are still doing well in the sun room, though Nosencrantz did seem almost interested in going outside with me.

Almost.

I had deer hanging around the north yard and waiting for me to be done. It was the usual pair, at first. Then this one showed up.

The piebald deer has returned!

This is at least the 3rd winter she has been visiting us. I can’t remember if she started coming during our first winter here, so it might actually be her 4th winter visiting.

She also chased off the other two! πŸ˜€

I checked on the van this morning. The charger read full, so I unhooked it, then tested the van.

It started fine, but then I watched the display screen, as the battery charge dropped before my eyes, then the “charging system failure” warning came on again.

So I hooked the charger back on again.

After making sure our mechanic was good with it, I called CAA to tow it over. As you can imagine, they’re pretty busy right now, so I made sure to let them know, there was no emergency or urgency. They couldn’t even give me an estimated time. Logging on later, they have an ETS past 5:30 this evening, but I don’t expect them that “early”. The driver will have to call me for more detailed directions, anyhow, because they just have the map pinned at the highway junction nearest us. Honestly, if they couldn’t make it out today at all, I’d be okay with that.

When it gets here, we should have enough power to start the van and back it out of the garage, but I’d the battery would be dead before they could finish loading it up, based on how fast I saw it loosing charge in the display. Chances are, they won’t be dropping off the van until after the garage is closed, so they’ll probably have to use their own charger, just to be able to park the van after unloading it.

The snow has pretty much stopped falling while I was writing this. A quick look at the weather radar, and it shows the system is just passing us now. It looks like rain is also on the radar, but it is going to miss us entirely. Previous forecast of reaching as high as 3C/37F this afternoon are now saying a high of -3C/27F. I don’t know how much snow we actually got, but the paths didn’t need to be shoveled when I was out this morning, and the driveway looks driveable. Which is good, because we can’t get the little electric snow blower out of the garage. I was able to shovel out one of the swinging doors on that side, but it still won’t open far enough to take anything out, and we’d have to take the wood chipper out before we could take out the little snow blower. At least we can get inside that part of the garage now, though.

Areas to the south of us would have gotten more snow than we did. My sister wasn’t sure she’d be able to make it in to work. Their farm is one of those “turn on the gravel road and drive until it ends” sort of locations, and their driveway drifts over quickly. I haven’t heard from my brother, yet; he’s even further south, and would be in the thick of system right now, judging by the weather radar. He should be able to work from home, though.

It’s a good day to hunker down, that’s for sure.

The Re-Farmer