It’s still cold out there, and… on a more serious note

One of the first things I do in the morning, before heading outside to do my rounds, is check the weather.

This morning, at a time when I would normally be starting to head outside, it was -36C/-32.8F

Yeeeaaaaahhhhh…. No.

I waited a couple of hours before heading out, but it was still -28C/-18.4F At least there was no windchill, and the “real feel” was -25C/-13F

The wait meant I had a whole lot more cats to greet me when I came out! There were none at all, inside the cat shelter. They were all out and about.

They have quite a lot of food out, but still prefer the fresh kibble. Which they quickly abandoned, once they saw there was fresh, warm water!

One of them was eager enough to take a short cut through the snow! LOL

Once again, I skipped switching out the memory cards on the trail cams, but I did head out to the garage to double check that the vehicles were plugged in, and grab some sheets of insulation. We had used these to line the windows in the sun room last winter, when we were keeping the doors propped open so the cats could shelter in it. With the outer door fixed, and that cats having a lovely warm shelter of their own, we didn’t insulate the sun room this winter. That leaves the pieces available to use inside the fish tanks to help keep the seed trays warm.

windchill

It wasn’t a lot of extra time to do that, but even so, I could feel the cold in my lungs. Thank God I’m already a shallow breather, due to my chronic cough. In temperatures like these breathing deeply can injure the lungs.

Image source – available on t-shirts and mugs! (not an affiliate link)

There may have been no wind chill this morning, but as I glance at my weather app, I see we’ve almost reached our high of the day, at -24C/-18F – but the wind chill is now -30C/-20F!

Thankfully, tomorrow we should be back to more normal temperatures, and be warmer than -20C. Which is good, because tomorrow afternoon, I am heading out to help my mother with her errands, and have to do a bit of grocery shopping for ourselves, too.

It should be even warmer on Friday, when I take the van in to the garage to get checked over. I really hope he finds why it has begun to stall and have troubles when fully loaded. We were already splitting our monthly shop into a couple of trips, and if the van has problems with just a half load already, and have to make more frequent, even smaller shops, we lose all the benefits of bulk shopping. Plus, our province has kept up a lot of restrictions, loosening some but increasing others, with no change in the mask mandates. There are still a lot of places that refuse to accept medical exemptions, and going out to shop feels like going out to battle, every time. Being surrounded by faceless people is also starting to freak me out more and more. I’m even playing Pokemon Go less. The game has things you can do right from home, without having to go places, and among the thing you can do is exchange gifts with people that are on your friends list. You get to see each person’s avatar in the process, and people are putting masks on their avatars. It’s bad enough that the option is even available, but it’s like a punch to the gut, every time I see a masked avatar. Every avatar represents the person playing, and that person just turned themselves into an NPC.

It’s one thing to know, intellectually, the sort of psychological damage this sort of dehumanization causes. It’s quite another to feel it. And rather surprising, considering how little we go out anyhow. I don’t even want to imagine how wigged out I would be, if I had to be surrounded by it every day. I completely understand my friend who has self isolated for months, because being surrounded by masks triggers her PTSD!

At least I know what the cause of the discomfort is. Most people would have no idea. And why would they? All they would know is that their stress and anxiety is increasing, and there are so many things contributing to that right now. Unfortunately, that cognitive dissonance would cause all sorts of anger, even rage, towards anyone without a mask, and they wouldn’t understand why.

A bit of a rant, there, I suppose, but that lack of awareness directly affects people like myself, who can’t wear a mask. Even in places that recognize medical exemptions, it’s the other customers that become more aggressive and abusive. I have been fortunate so far. I may have been kicked out of stores that refuse to honour medical exemptions (which is illegal, but then, so are the mask mandates), but I haven’t been harassed by other customers, yet. It has, however, affected familial relationships and friendships in a negative way.

I have never enjoyed shopping to begin with. Now, it’s like walking around with the sword of Damocles hanging over my head, never knowing if it’ll drop.

The Re-Farmer

Happy Three King’s Day, and digging out the fire pit

Happy Three King’s Day! Today is the Feast of the Epiphany, which is our last day of Christmas. After today, we start taking down our decorations. 🙂

It was another mild day today, so when I finished my rounds this morning, I decided to go ahead and dig out the fire pit.

I considered breaking out Spewie, our little electric snow blower, but for the amount of snow we have, I figured it would be easier to just shovel it!

I shoved the snow off what I’m using for a cover, but didn’t bother moving it, yet.

On our warm days, the snow melted enough to create a layer of ice on the surface of the picnic table. We’ll be staying at these mild temperatures for a while, so now that it’s uncovered it should melt away on its own.

I cleared a path to the organized wood pile. That cover did not need to have snow removed from it. I didn’t bother shoveling to the big pile of branches. The little pile has kindling and should be enough for our needs. We may not use the fire pit at all, but at least now we have the option! 🙂

I made sure to dig the path to the fire pit wide enough for my husband’s walker, should he feel well enough to join us if we do a cookout.

I was being watched the whole time!

You can see the cats’ favorite way to get under the storage house. The path that goes around the back branches off to a partially broken window they also like to use, as well as through the trees to the path they’ve made to the storage building outside the yard. Well worn little footy paths in the snow! 🙂

I also had to dig a wider path around the kibble house. There is a lot of overhang on the roof that is working quite well for the cats, but not so well for a human with a walker! 😀

While clearing around the cat shelter and kibble house, I found this.

It’s a frozen little cat treat! 😀 Next to the slab of ice that slid off the “porch” roof of the cat shelter.

Rolando Moon looks like she’s thinking of that delicious frozen treat! 😀

So we will now be able to easily get at the fire pit if we feel like having a cook out, or just a nice fire. I still like the idea of using a fire to thaw the ground out, so we can set up the fire pit grill my brother and his wife got for us!

We do have the BBQ they have us, and the propane tanks does have fuel in it, but I am much more interested in the fire pit, instead! 😀

In other things, I was able to get through to the clinic to make an appointment with my doctor about my breathing issues. After hearing the messages about restrictions before it ever got to a human, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make an appointment at all. The messages say nothing about medical exemptions to mask wearing, of course. Which sucks, since not being able to breathe properly is why I need to see a doctor in the first place. I was able to make a telephone appointment for Friday afternoon, and then it will be up to my doctor to decide if I should come in or not. I made an appointment for my daughter for right after mine, so when he’s done with me, I can just hand the phone over to her. This is the first doctor’s appointment either of our daughters have had since we moved. After seeing how difficult it has been for my husband and I to get good medical care, they have developed a strong distrust of doctors. I can’t say I blame them, either.

But that is done. We shall see what the doctor has to say when the time comes. I am not expecting much of anything, to be honest. No one is getting real health care right now, and our premier has just put us under another 30 days of house arrest, even has many of our politicians have been caught ignoring those restrictions and have gone traveling to tropical places, visiting with their friends and family, and then pretending to be sorry after getting caught.

Thankfully, we are out here in the boonies, and I get to focus on more pleasant things. Right now, I’m working on a project to help me be organized about our gardening, including keeping track of what seeds to start indoors and when.

More to come on that, later! 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Second shopping attempt and, what the heck is going on?

We are having another beautifully mild day today! Just look at this image I got off one of the trail cams.

What a gorgeous sunrise! So moody with the fog. I changed the batteries on the camera yesterday, so it’s slightly out of position from where I want the motion sensors to be focused, but that just put it in the best position to get the sun rising behind the tree.

On the down side, this was screen capped from a video, and in the video, the sun was actually flashing like a strobe light. 😀 I was able to catch a frame in between flashes. In other videos, the sun was a giant, blinding orb covering most of the frame.

The camera has since been adjusted. 😉

It was a gorgeous day for another trip to the city. In past winters, I would have appreciated the mild weather and dry roads for such a trip. It would make things more pleasant for someone who doesn’t like to shop in the first place.

Things are not normal, though, and I was dreading the idea of trying to shop at Costco, but we still needed to get bulk items in flat cart quantities.

It didn’t happen.

When I got to the Costco, the line up outside was actually longer than it was when I tried to go there on Saturday! As I messaged my family to let them know I’d arrived, the line got longer, even as I could see it moving forward.

Since I wasn’t even sure if I’d be allowed in the store with my shield, I wasn’t about to stand in line outside to find out.

I decided to go to the Walmart in the smaller city. I wouldn’t be able to get everything, as it wouldn’t all fit in a cart, but at least I know I would be able to get most of it.

So after about 2 hours of driving, I finally made it to a store.

*sigh*

On the plus side, I did get almost everything we needed. Also, it was not the least bit busy, which is what I had expected at the Costco on a Monday morning!

We’re going to run out of cat litter before the month is out, but we shouldn’t run out of either wet or dry cat food. I was even able to get the big bottles of hydrogen peroxide they were out of stock of last time, to treat the hot water tank when it gets that sulfur smell again. I got only about half the protein for the price that I would have been able to get at Costco, but I won’t be trying to shop there again this month.

So we are mostly stocked up for the month. The rest can be bought locally, though we’ll have less room in the budget than usual for that. We will manage.

At least we would be able to, if nothing breaks down.

Which brings me to the first, “what the heck is going on” topic.

There’s something wrong with the van.

In past trips, when the van was loaded down, I could feel that it was struggling with the weight. A month’s worth of cat litter and cat food for more than 25 indoor and outdoor cats adds up. Add in our own grocery items, and it becomes an issue for our vehicle. It’s get up and go just goes away! I found that loading the heaviest things in the middle of the van (we’ve taken out one of the middle seats and simply left it out), seems to help.

As I was heading home from the Walmart and was starting to leave a controlled intersection, the van just did not want to move! But move it finally did, and it even got up to speed normally.

I had intended to fill the tank at Costco, but never had a chance to, so I was going to stop at a station when I passed through the town my mother lives in. When I got there, however, something told me to just keep on going. We have jerry cans of premium gas at home for equipment we can’t use right now, so I figured I’d just use those up, rather than have it sit in the garage all winter. I just did not want to stop and get out of the van again, if I didn’t have to.

I’m glad I didn’t.

When I turned off the highway onto the gravel road, I slowed into the turn as usual, but when I tried to accelerate again, nothing happened.

The van had stalled.

It started again without issue, but when I reached the gravel road to our place and stopped at the stop sign, it stalled again. No stuttering or any kind of warning to show there was an issue.

When I stopped at the gate and then drove into the yard to unload, it was fine.

I have no idea why this has started to happen.

I had hoped we’d be able to have a winter without vehicle repair expenses for a change! I’ll have to take it in to get it looked at. Whether or not it’s something we can fix this month, or something that has to wait until next month, we shall see. Until then, thankfully, we can use my mother’s car.

Then there is the other “what the heck is going on” issue.

This is something that has actually been happening more often in general, but it was a real problem while I was driving today.

I couldn’t breathe.

I kept finding myself suddenly gasping for air.

I thought, perhaps, it was because my sinuses were a bit stuffy, but I’m a mouth breather, anyhow, so that shouldn’t be it.

This is something that I’ve had happen to me while I’m, say, sitting at my computer. I’ve never really thought of it as an issue, though. I thought it was that whole “oh, I forgot to breathe” thing that happens when you’re really focused on something (when my husband was still working as a programmer, forgetting to breathe or blink while coding was common enough to be a running joke). However, having it happen while I’m driving is something else entirely. I seemed to be better while walking around, so I thought maybe it had something to do with being in a sitting position; pressure on the diaphragm, perhaps? But then, as I was standing and telling my daughter about it, I found myself running out of breath while I was talking.

I have no idea what’s going on.

I feel fine. There is nothing out of the ordinary. There are no other symptoms. I’ll just be going along as normal, then suddenly find myself gasping for air.

I need to make a doctor’s appointment, but with all the restrictions right now, health care for non-Covid related things are rationed almost out of existence. I’ll call the clinic anyhow, and see what they suggest. Perhaps I’ll start with a telephone appointment, first. I don’t know.

Meanwhile, we had parcels to pick up at the post office. (My husband finally got the rest of his Christmas gifts from me! LOL) I got my daughter to drive and we used my mother’s car. With the restrictions, my daughter has not been able to book the 2 hours of driving with an instructor she needs to do before she can book another road test. I don’t think they’re even doing road tests right now. She does have a license, and is a very good driver, but it’s still a learner’s license, and I have to be with her when she drives.

We’ll have to go out again, tomorrow. We still need to do a dump run, though if we use my mother’s car, we won’t be able to fit much in there and will have to make several trips. Probably on different days that they’re open, rather than multiple trips in one day. The Mingle Masks I ordered should be in tomorrow, so we have to go to the post office again. Plus, they were out of deer feed today, so I’ll be picking that up at the same time, too. I’ll have to drag my daughter around and have her drive me, just to play it safe.

What I really want to do is just stay home and be a hermit.

Ah, well. It is what it is! 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Low battery

I made it into the city today, to attempt our monthly shop.

I am definitely running low on batteries right now. I hate shopping at the best of times.

These days are not the best of times.

But before I explain that, let’s have some cuteness! How about some hugging kitties?

The cats have a habit of taking over my bed. There is always a row of them along my pillows, all mashed together. I just couldn’t resist getting a picture of Leyendecker and Keith all face-smashed together! Then there’s David, hiding his face in his paws… so cute!

Cabbages, I’m happy to say, is completely at home with the rest of the cats. Now if only she would be as comfortable with us humans! We can sometimes pet her and even pick her up, but she is not a fan of human attention, except for the occasional ear skritches.

Her siblings outside are almost more accepting of human attention!

Well, okay. Maybe not.

That doesn’t stop them from following me when I do my rounds!

One of the bigger cats (Nostrildamus, I think) burrowed these hiding places in the snow. From the gate, all I see are little ear tips above the snow, twitching in pounce mode, waiting for another cat to walk past on the driveway. 😀

I got the rounds out of the way early and didn’t even go through the trail cam files, other than to verify that the new camera had thawed out enough to start recording again. Then it was off to the city to see if I could do the monthly shopping.

My first stop was at a particular Walmart where I’ve never had problems before, but I’ve heard of some people having issues every now and then. It’s at least twice the size of the one in the smaller city I went to last month, and better stocked, so I thought it was worth a try.

It wasn’t.

Now, one of the things that had become part of the monthly shopping routine is that we would have breakfast in the city. That’s not really an option anymore, but I figured I would pick up something I could eat in the van at Walmart. I know it’s said, never go shopping while hungry, because you’ll end up buying things you shouldn’t. For me, it’s the opposite. The hungrier I get, the less I want to eat. The less I want to be around food. I’m more likely to walk away without buying anything at all. And if I let it go for too long, the sight and smell of food makes me feel physically ill. I end up having to force myself to eat at least a little bit to get back to having a normal appetite. Along with feeling physically ill by the sight of food, I also start to become … less patient, shall we say, and oddly weepy.

I had not reached that point when I arrived, but my tolerance levels were definitely on the low side.

I came in with my shield, got a cart and, while I was using the hand sanitizer before going through their barrier, the staff from the sanitation station on the inside of the barrier came over and asked if I had a mask. I told her I was medically exempt and that the shield was my compromise. That went back and forth a bit, then she looked over to a little station on the outside of the barrier and said she would get someone. There were two people at that station and one of them came over and asked if I had a mask. I said I can’t wear one. He started to say something about the shield and a mask, but I honestly couldn’t make it out though his mask. :-/ I did hear him say he would get me one and he went back to the station.

I was blocking the way, so I moved over to where he was and told him, I can’t wear a mask. I have a medical exemption. The shield is the best I can do. He ended up handing me a paper ear loop mask and told me to just hang on to it in case the inspectors give me a hard time. Great. Whatever. I turn to the barrier, and there’s a woman on the other side – another customer – who’d been watching me and she started waving a mask still in it’s packaging at me. As best as I could make out, I think she was saying she just bought a mask and… she wanted me to take it? But she just watched me being given a mask just like what she was holding… and I was wearing a shield… so… ???

At that point, I just couldn’t handle it. I’d already put up with hassles from the staff who seemed to think that a person who can’t wear a mask and is wearing a shield instead, should be wearing both. I didn’t need to be hassled by customers, before I even fully entered the store. I turned around and left.

Once back in the van, I messaged my husband and, by the time I finished, I was in a better frame of mind.

The next stop on my list was an international grocery chain that I knew would be okay. And it was. I was able to go in, do my shopping, and no one batted an eye at my shield instead of a mask.

This is the place where I like to pick up our fresh produce in non-Costco sized quantities, as well as stuff in their international aisles that we just don’t find anywhere else. This place is awesome. Best of all, they still have their hot take out food section open, so I was able to get some Chinese food to eat in the van. By then, it was almost noon, and I was reaching the “so hungry I want to throw up” stage.

This is not the place where we pick up the cat food and litter, though, and we were pretty much out of both. Normally, I would have picked up part of that at the Walmart, with the rest at Costco.

I decided to try the Costco. Which is half way across the city from where I was.

When I got there, the parking lot was full, and there was a line all down the side of the building.

It was warmer today, but not that warm.

I found a place to pull over long enough to send an update to my family, letting them know I was going to go to the Walmart in the smaller city I’d gone to last month. They might not have as much inventory, but I knew I would at least be allowed to shop and not get hassled.

So it was, again. I had no issues at all I did get some odd looks from costumers, and at one point, while I was loading the cart with bags of cat food alongside the litter boxes, a couple of ladies in the same aisle were looking at me and whispering at each other. I could make out just enough to know they’d said something about the shield. I was going to be a while, so I shoved my cart into a corner and waited next to it, and they rushed past me. I kept running into them as I continued shopping, and every time we crossed paths, they would give me looks over their shoulders.

*sigh*

By the time I was at the cash desk, however, I was having a really hard time with shortness of breath. I hope those Mingle Masks I ordered come in soon; I’ve been told they don’t create that problem. I started chatting with the cashier and made a point of saying how much I appreciated that I don’t get any hassle there, and mentioned what happened at the other Walmart. Even with her mask, I could see how startled she was. Then she told me about her mother, who basically hasn’t left the house in 8 months. Her mother has PTSD and can’t wear a mask. They were going to try a shield, but haven’t been able to find one (they used to be available at that Walmart, but it looks like a lot of places have simply stopped carrying shields). I ended up telling her about the Mingle Mask and recommending it, based on the experiences of others.

I gotta say, I was really glad to get outside, where I could take the shield off an finally breathe again. I was so disoriented by the end of it, I almost walked away without paying!

By the time I got home, I was too drained for anything else. I must have looked it. As the girls were unloading the van, my older daughter took one look at me, and asked if I was up to going to the dump, or leaving it for later.

We left it for later. It was only open for another hour, and I would have needed more than that to recover enough for another trip out!

We’ll have to make another trip to get the rest; I got most of what we needed, but not necessarily in the quantities we need for the month.

I did splurge when I spotted a few things that I grabbed while I could.

One of them was this soil test kit. We had looked for one last year, and they were completely out of stock all summer. I couldn’t find them anywhere! This has enough to do 40 tests, so we will be able to use it on different areas as we decide on where to plant. It tests the pH, which I already have a meter for that just needs to be stuck into the soil, but it also tests for nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. That will be useful information.

The other toy I got was a battery tester.

With the trail cams each using 8 batteries, and those batteries draining much faster in the winter, we have a LOT of batteries accumulating. The dump has a special shed to drop off things like batteries, so we don’t put them in the garbage. Plus, while some batteries may not have enough juice for the trail cams, that doesn’t mean they are actually dead.


The first batch of batteries I’d tested were the frozen one’s I’d switched out of the new trail cam.

They still had full power!

Then I went though the old batteries boxes.

This first batch is all of the batteries that are not usable. Some of which I didn’t even test, since they’d started leaking!!

And yeah, that’s an old DSLR camera battery in there.

Some of the batteries in there were ones that we found while we were cleaning the place up after moving here. I have no idea how old they might be.

The next batch are the batteries that are still usable.

All the batteries in here were either in the green zone, or the very small, yellow “low battery” zone.

All 276 of them.

They may not be usable in the trail cams, but we can use them for other things. Like the battery operated string lights we have in the hallway in place of night lights. We used to use night lights all over the place, but this house doesn’t have many outlets, and there are none at all in the hallway. We rather like being able to see well enough to not trip over cats in the dark, while also not having to turn on the hall light and blinding ourselves at night.

Aside from these, there were some AAA and D cells that had full charge, too.

That little meter has already paid for itself, many times over.

As for me, I’m looking forward to Sunday actually being a day of rest. After today, I need to recharge my own batteries!

The Re-Farmer

Clearing snow before it snows, and I think they’ve figured it out!

We had ourselves a very pleasant surprise today! Company!

Sort of…

I got an email from my older brother, asking if he could swing by this afternoon. Considering that it’s a 1 1/2 hour drive for him, this was a welcome surprise!

I got his message after doing my morning rounds, which included changing the batteries on the new camera with ones that weren’t frozen. The camera still couldn’t show a display on the screen inside, though; more than the batteries was frozen! So I had no way of knowing if it was even working or not. At least I was able to confirm how much easier it is to change the batteries on this thing. I did not have to take it down to do it!

Then, after things warmed up a bit more, we brought out Spewie, our little electric snow blower, and gave it a workout!

With a daughter helping by controlling the 200 ft of extension cord, so it wouldn’t keep getting hung up on the snow and unplugging itself, it was done much more quickly! We got the area needed to drive the van to the house, with turning space, widened the path to the compost heap, and even managed a path around the house, in case we need to reach the septic tank. I didn’t try to make a path to the fire pit or the barn this time, though.

Of course, it’s now snowing. We’re expected to only get a centimeter or so, so it should be fine. Even if it’s more, it’ll be easier to clear, later! It does seem funny to rush to clear away snow, before more snow arrives, though. 😀

The great thing is, when my brother got to our place, he was able to drive right up to the house, like he normally prefers to do. 🙂

He didn’t come into the house, due to the restrictions still in place, but we were able to exchange our Christmas gifts. 🙂 We gave him and his wife the olive server and cutlery I’d carved, using maple I’d cut away from the pump shack so I could reach and fix the window.

I will have to get a picture later, of what they gave us: a fire pit cooking grill! One that is mounted on a post, and can be swung off and on the fire! We are so excited! It can be used above the set up we have now, or replace it completely. I can’t wait to try it out! The ground it too frozen to install it now, though, so it’ll have to wait until spring. *sigh* 😉

While he was here, my brother took a look at my mother’s car. I had not hooked the trickle charger back up, because 1) the battery does not have + or – symbols on it, though I was pretty sure which was which, and 2) I could not figure out how the clamps would go on, while being flat enough for the cover to be put back in place.

While he was there, he ended up completely moving how the cords for the trickle charger, battery warmer, block heater and extension cord were set up. I had set it up as it was before, across the front, with zip ties holding things in place so nothing would drop onto the belts below (which had happened already, and I had to buy a new extension cord). This was not how he’d had it before, but how a mechanic had set it up, after some work was done. He’d had it set up tucked under the frame by the battery. He was able to get it to all fit into there again, and there are no moving parts they could fall onto in there!

While he was setting it up, and even double checking with a volt meter to ensure it was working, he searched and searched the battery for something to show with side was positive, which was negative. He did find the letters POS hidden under one of the clamps. I’ll have to take his word for it, because while I could see that something was under there, there was no way I could tell that it was letters!

So that is now done, and the trickle charger is finally hooked up. I try to use my mother’s car as much as possible, but over the winter, who knows how long that will be. We hardly use our own vehicle, this time of year!

Speaking of which…

After my brother left, I headed out to the post office – one of my husband’s Christmas gifts finally arrived! LOL – then into town to pick up a few last things before New Year’s. Normally, we would have done our monthly shop by now, but between the holidays and the weather, the end of December just doesn’t work out for that! With all the restrictions happening right now, we haven’t been able to stock up as well as usual, so we’re running out of things more than usual, too. Nothing essential, really, but I still prefer to stock up at least a little bit, just in case we can’t get into the city as planned. Last month, I didn’t even go to the city at all, but went to the Walmart of a smaller city, instead. It’s not as well stocked as the bigger stores in the bigger city, but at least I knew I wouldn’t be harassed for wearing a shield instead of a mask. As far as I know, 2 of the 3 stores we normally go to for our monthly stock up are safe for people with medical exemptions, and I’ve heard the one Costco location we usually go to is actually offering both masks and shields to people, and when people have gone in mask-less, they’ve only been warned if the mask nazi’s … er… inspectors where in the store. The inspectors are threatening stores with fines, even though the mandates expressly stipulate medical exemptions. But then, one store made the news for kicking a woman out for not wearing a mask, and she didn’t have hands to put one on. The exemptions clearly state that people who cannot put on or take off a mask themselves are exempt. It all seems so very arbitrary, which makes it difficult for people who can’t wear masks to know, from one day to the next, if they will be left alone, harassed, kicked out, fined or arrested.

I’m just thankful that we are isolated enough that it doesn’t affect us as much on a daily basis. Just in our own extended family, we’ve got people dealing with everything from trying to figure out how to get to work with the day-cares closed, to job losses, home losses, and dealing with severe depression as a result. I’ve always been grateful that my husband has such excellent private health insurance when he went on long term disability and, for all the challenges, happy that we left the city to live on and take care of the farm. Now, I am even more grateful for it. I honestly don’t know how we would have managed, if we were still living in the city we were in before. Our daughters could have stayed behind, too, but they chose to move out to help take care of the property, and their father, instead. They gave up a lot to do it, but it’s now turning out to have been worth it, for reasons we never imagined.

What a crazy world we live in, right now!

But I digress!

On a more fun note, after I got back from town, I was able to bring the van into the yard to unload it.

We were being watched.

Creamsicle Jr. was not alone at first. By the time I got my phone out to take a picture, Nostrildamus had come out to say hello. He had been sitting behind Creamsicle Jr.

Directly under the terrarium heater bulb.

In front of the light sensor on the timer.

I think they’ve figured it out.

If a cat is siting under the bulb, it is blocking the light sensor, which turns on the heat. While it’s unlikely that they made any sort of connection to the timer, it would be easy for them to figure out that if they sit in just the right spot during the day, that thing above their head starts getting warm again.

One thing about the yard cats; they do have to be smart, if they’re going to survive! 😀

I’m happy that the littlest ones are handling the cold as well as they are. Being born so late in the year, they were the ones most at risk from the cold. Not only are they doing all right, they’re downright playful in the snow! 🙂 They’re even regularly following me out to the gate when I check it, and switch out the memory cards. They still won’t come close to me, but they will follow me! 😀 (I’m happy to say that, while showing the new trail cam to my brother, I found it had thawed out enough to start working again! I didn’t even have to reset the date and time. 🙂 )

For now, judging by how often I’ve seen the red bar across the top of my browser, warning me that auto save didn’t work because I’m offline, I’d say the weather system has hit us quite thoroughly, and it’s taking our internet out in the process. That, and my weather app will not reload! The temperatures are still relatively mild, but I can see the snow falling on the security camera’s live feed. It seems to be enough to mess with our satellite. That secondary dish may have started working again after we pruned more branches, but it still doesn’t have a good signal at the best of times. It doesn’t take much to make it worse!

At some point, I’ll be able to post this… 😉

The Re-Farmer

Stormy day

If all had gone to plan for today, I would be just arriving at my mother’s right now, to help her with her grocery shopping.

This morning, things were looking just fine out.

Some of the cats still didn’t want to go out in the relatively warm temperatures! 😀

Switching out the memory card on the new camera was a problem this morning. I had my little bowl under it and pushed the micro SD card in to unlatch it, but it didn’t pop out. I tried several times, eventually getting it looser, but I still couldn’t get the card out. It has a little ridge at the end for taking it out of card reader adapter, but even pulling on that with a fingernail was not getting it loose. It did eventually come out, dropped into the waiting bowl I was holding under it…

Then bounced out, and fell into the snow.

*sigh*

I put the replacement card in, then went hunting. Thankfully, the snow was really soft under the camera, and I could see a little slot in the snow were the memory card sliced through. I scooped a handful around where it fell, but still couldn’t find it. The snow was so soft, it fell even deeper! So I had to very carefully dig around in the snow, and I did find it.

I then had to make sure it got good and dry before using it!

I also have to come up with something better to catch the memory card, that I can also fit in my pocket. Ideally, I’d have a little tray attached to the post, under the camera. Figuring out how to rig one of those up would probably be better.

It’s a good thing we’re not actually trying to hide the camera or anything like that! LOL

There has got to be a better way to do this, though. :-/

When I finally tried to upload the files, however, I realized I’d forgotten something important.

I hadn’t formatted the second card. There was nothing on it.

When setting up the camera with the first card, I was able to format it right in the trail cam. When I switched cards yesterday, I wasn’t able to get the screen working (likely due to the cold), and I forgot completely about it needing to be formatted before use.

So there’s a day or recordings, lost! I even saw our vandal going by on his quad, in files on the other camera, turning around near our driveway. It did look like he was just turning around, not stopping or doing anything nefarious, but I really would have liked to have had the different view of him.

We shall see how things work tomorrow.

That’s if I switch out the cards tomorrow. I might skip a day, with the weather we’re having right now.

On seeing that it looked like the storm was actually going to hit us, and fairly soon, I called my mother to see if she was up to doing her shopping earlier. She was, thankfully. She had other places she wanted to go to as well, so we picked up the groceries last. Unfortunately, there was a line up outside the store, which she had never seen before! With the restrictions on how many people can be in the store, they had someone outside (poor kid was NOT dressed for the weather!), counting people. He was a sweetheart and got a cart for me that I could bring to my mother so she could use it as a walker. Thankfully, the line was moving fast, so my 89 yr old mother with her damaged knee didn’t have to stand outside in the cold for very long!

I’m rather incensed about that. Not only have there been no cases of Covid traced to retail outlets in our province, there are none at all in her town.

The storm reached her town while we were in the grocery store. I was able to bring her groceries to her apartment, at least (her building is locked down, but it turns out they do allow deliveries). I wasn’t able to stay and put her groceries away for her, like I usually do. I didn’t want to get her in trouble with the abusive caretakers. Things didn’t look too bad in town, but once I reached the highway, I could see the storm had reached town. I actually drove out of it on the way home, but in the last couple of miles to the farm, I could actually see the storm coming in from the west. Not longer after I got home, my mother phoned to say how glad she was that we did her shopping earlier, because it was really blowing hard around her building! By then, we were getting fairly heavy snow, but not the winds. As I write this, the snow has actually let up a bit. The south of the province is getting the blizzard warnings. It’s a large system, but we may be far enough north to get just the edges of it.

The good thing is, we are well stocked and, now that my mother is also well stocked, we don’t have to go anywhere for some time. We could probably hunker down until after New Year’s, if we needed to. Not that I expect to need to. The storm should pass by tomorrow, and we’re supposed to get a couple of cold days, and then its supposed to get mild again. And by “mild”, I mean around the -10C/14F range.

About the only thing that is going to be an issue is our internet connection. Which we just lost, so I’m not sure when I’ll be able to publish this post! Oh, it’s back again!

Better publish this while I can! My apologies for any typos I’ve missed. 😀

The Re-Farmer

Catching up

Before I catch up on things, I just had to share this photo.

This is Little Braveheart, now known as Tissue, cuddling with “grandma”.

That is the protective foam insert that came with the new washing machine. Our old mama cat has claimed it as her favorite bed, but she doesn’t mind a kitten joining her for cuddles!

They do like to chew on it, though. 😀

Meanwhile…

Yesterday, I bit the bullet and headed out to do some bigger shopping. It’s really mostly cat food and litter, where the price difference makes it worth the cost of gas to drive so far to get it. That, and supply. Locally, not only are the prices higher, but they just don’t have the space for much inventory or selection. After hearing about what people have gone though in the city, where we usually go, I wasn’t sure it was safe for me, so I went to the smaller city instead. It’s big enough to have a Walmart. 😀 It’s a small store, but it carries what I need, and they don’t bat an eye when I walk in with a shield instead of a mask. I did remember to bring our pulse oximeter, and was glad to have it. It still amazes me that even a shield causes my blood oxygen levels to drop like that. The kitties are now well stocked in kibble again, though. 🙂

I had a bit of a surprise later on, when looking up the tracking numbers for various orders that we have numbers for. Our new trail cam is supposed to arrive today, along with some other stuff – maybe. Lots of stuff are now coming up as delayed, as Canada Post is overwhelmed. When checking this time, though, I realized the trail cam wasn’t being sent by mail. It’s being shipped by UPS! So now I’ve got the garage security camera aimed at the gate, with the sound on, to keep an eye out for the delivery. Assuming they even find our place. We don’t exactly show up on GPS. :-/ The first time we tried to have something delivered by UPS, they had the hardest time finding us. The last time, they left the parcel at the general store/post office for us to pick up. So I’m not sure what will happen.

I don’t like ordering things online, and this is another reason why. It’s just that much harder to actually physically get things out here! I’d much rather get things locally, but so many things just aren’t available here.

I look forward to getting to a point of self-sufficiency, where we don’t have to depend on questionable delivery services, supply chains and such. It’ll take quite a few years to accomplish, but with all the stuff going on right now, it’s really been hitting home, how necessary that goal is for us, out here in the boonies. It’s hard enough to get things we need at the best of times, and these are not the best of times!

The Re-Farmer

Stripped

A few days ago, I wrote about doing this…

Most of the sunflower stalks had been stripped of their leaves and tops, but the tallest ones were beyond the reach of the deer. I bent the stalks on each of those to bring the tops down.

This morning, they all looked like this.

They are all now stripped bare of leaves and seed heads! The deer were most efficient.

In other things I am happy to say I was able go pick up our new pasta maker in the mail. We look forward to using it soon! It had actually arrived on Friday, but I was expecting other things to be in by now, so I waited. Alas, nothing else had arrived. Including my Rare Seeds order. At this point, I suspect we won’t see either order from there from there until January, but the first part of my Veseys order should arrive next week.

Like everywhere else, people are ordering online a lot more, as local stores are either closed or not allowed to sell “non-essential” items. Like clothing. Our lock down was supposed to end on Dec. 11, but it’s already been announced that it will only be “relaxed” a bit. You still can’t buy new clothes, but now you can go to a thrift shop and buy used ones. You still can’t buy new toys for your kids, but you can buy wrapping paper and decorations, though those items are only temporarily allowed. Kids still can’t play hockey or go to the playground, but the NHL team is allowed to have practices now. They finally allowed the drive through light displays. Church services had been banned, but some had drive in services. After ticketing them for 10’s of thousands of dollars, the drive in services are now allowed, but with very stern warnings about compliance. The crazy thing is, these parking lot services went above and beyond, right from the start. Even the cars themselves were physically distanced, as if the virus can get through glass and steel and leap from vehicle to vehicle. They’re just a scapegoat, of course. Just like anyone who can’t wear a mask.

Something happened in the city just a few days ago that was incredibly disturbing. A young woman with PTSD had tried to go to a Giant Tiger to buy some groceries. Normally, why a person can’t wear a mask is not to be talked about, since it’s a privacy violation, but in this case, the young woman and her mother (who first shared the story on a group we’re on) were willing to tell why. This young woman had been raped as a child, and her rapist held his hand over her mouth as he attacked her. She now cannot have anything in front of her face without triggering her PTSD. Not a scarf or a blanket, nor a shield or mask.

When she went into the store, she was told she needed to wear a mask. She explained that she was medically exempt. Instead of honoring the mandate, which explicitly states when people are exempt from wearing a mask, they called the police.

What happened next was horrific. SIX squad cars responded. When she tried to explain she was medically exempt from wearing a mask, she was attacked, thrown to the ground, handcuffed, and a mask forcibly put over her face. She was then arrested and taken to a police station.

In the end, they let her go, because she had done nothing wrong. Later, after so many friends came to her door to check on her, she made a short video of herself, so she wouldn’t have to keep describing what happened, over and over. As you can imagine, the whole thing traumatized her all over again, but she assured those who cared for her that she was NOT suicidal, and that she was going to get through it. She just needed to be left alone for a little while.

This sort of thing is increasing. A politician in another locked down province recently shared what happened to his own son. His son and a friend were in a bar, which are allowed to be open. They are both medically exempt. His friend went to the bar to order a beer and was told he had to wear a mask. He explained he was medically exempt. They called the police. The politician’s son tried to stand up for his friend, explaining they were both medically exempt.

He ended up being tazed in the back.

As you can imagine, as someone who cannot wear a mask, these sorts of things really concern me. It’s not too bad when I go to local stores – I only go to the ones I know are safe – but I will have to go to the city to do the second half of our monthly shop. I was hoping to be able to do it after the lock down expired on the 11th, but that no longer matters. Nothing of substance is changing. I’m fortunate, in that I can get away with wearing a shield for a short time, but in some places, not even those are accepted. They say you have to wear a mask under it. Meanwhile, I struggle even with the shield, if I wear it for too long.

Part of what’s frustrating is when well meaning (and sometimes not so well meaning) people suggest wearing a mask anyway, to avoid all this. It’s just a few minutes, after all. That’s like telling someone with a peanut allergy that they should just try a different brand of peanut butter. :-/

Well, I’ve gone off on a tangent. I do try to keep things on this blog neutral but, from the start, I wanted to keep things as real as possible, talking about both the positives and the negatives of restarting our lives here. I didn’t want to put forward any illusions that things are sunshine and roses, because nothing ever is. Personally, I think we often learn more from the negatives than the positives! I never imagined I would find myself writing about being stripped of our basic human rights and dignity, but it is what it is. It’s one of the things we have to deal with.

I will say, though, that I am really, really glad we are no longer living in the city! The province we moved away from just entered a new lock down, too. Things are even worse, there – and I don’t mean with the virus.

We’re living in a house that needs major renovations, on a farm where most of the usable tools disappeared before we moved here, are being sued by the person who took them, for more money than replacing the roof would cost, and have to maintain security cameras in case our vandal does something stupid again, while our peace bond application against him has been delayed due to the Covid restrictions.

And I am still grateful to be living here.

The Re-Farmer

This is going to be an odd Christmas

Today is the first Sunday of Advent.

Leyendecker is undisturbed by human regulations and restrictions! 😀

Normally, our tree would have already been decorated, and the Advent wreath, with its candles, set up.

It doesn’t look like we’ll be able to have a tree this year. The cats just seem to wait until we’re not around, then go after it. The main problem is, there’s really just one place that works well for a tree in this house, and there isn’t any way to stabilize it. At least not without making holes for hooks in places I really don’t want to put holes.

So we’re thinking of using a garland that looks like spruce branches in place of a tree, and focus more on decorating the house.

At least, up near the ceiling! 😀

As for the Advent wreath, I forgot we no longer had candles. There are supposed to be 4 of them. Three in blue or purple, one in pink. One after another is symbolically lit on each Sunday of Advent. A 5th candle, in white and representing Christ, can be included, to be lit on Christmas day.

If I’d remembered we burned away the last of our supply of these candles last year, I would have gone hunting for them long ago. I’d found them at Michael’s before, but outside of boxed sets specifically put together for Advent, it’s hard to find the right colours, this time of year. Michael’s, of course, is shut down right now, along with all the other “non essential” stores. Churches are shut down, too, so there’s another potential source no longer available.

I did have other candles, though. I have a silver candelabra my husband bought for me years ago, that holds 3 candles – and I had kept the candles from the last time we’d used it. They’re gold instead of blue or purple, and only about 4 inches long, but they’ll do. In place of the pink candle, I have a white one. For the Christ candle, I have another white one, marked with a cross, that had been included in our traditional Easter basket for blessing.

Yesterday, I helped my mother do her grocery shopping. Her building is closed off to all but residents and staff, so she had to meet me outside. She wasn’t wearing her face shield, but the surgical mask under her nose again. When I asked why, she ignored me, so I suspect she’s afraid of being hassled, even with the shield. She had to go to the bank, first and had called ahead to make an appointment the day before. She was told she could come any time during opening hours, and given instructions. They don’t allow anyone into the bank anymore. There’s a table set up in the vestibule. Only one person allowed at a time. Not that there’s room in there for more. My mother filled out what she needed, then knocked on the door. When someone came over, they couldn’t even open the door very far, because there was no room with her walker in there.

I waited outside while she sat in her walker. Some guy came by, wanting to go in. After confirming with me that my mother was not waiting in line, but had already been helped, and that I was not waiting in line, either, he read the signs while putting on his mask. He read the “one person in the vestibule at a time”, then asked, “what’s a vestibule?” 🙂 It is not a word that is commonly used out here!

Then he decided to try and get into the bank.

Yup. Went in, with my mother, and tried to open the locked inner door.

*sigh*

I don’t know what my mother said to him, but I heard him answering “I know that” as he left. 😀

We started chatting about the ridiculousness of it all (seriously; in that tiny space, if the virus were an issue around here, which it isn’t, it’s like they’d created the very conditions it would most likely be spread!), and he started going on about how the reason we were having so many problems was because all the kids are allowed to go to school and spread the bacteria.

Yes. He said bacteria.

Thinking he may have misspoke, I mentioned it was a virus, and he just brushed it off and kept talking about how all these asymptomatic kids are getting everyone sick by spreading the bacteria.

Thankfully, my mother was soon done and I had to help her with the doors. Because, of course, they’re not using the entry with automated doors for persons with disabilities.

*sigh*

The rest of the trip was uneventful, and my mother is now well stocked for a while. I made a point of bringing our folding wagon along, so while my mother unlocked the side door closer to her apartment, I loaded it up and brought it over. She then had to push her walker while pulling the wagon to get her groceries in, then bring it back. If I weren’t concerned about her being hassled, I would have gone in anyway. 😦

Since I was out with my mother yesterday, it was today that I started something for Christmas that I’ve been wanting to try for some time.

I cooked up a baking soda and cornstarch dough. My intention was to make cookie cutter ornaments with it. I have a set of cutters that are meant more for gingerbread house type dough, that make interlocking pieces. Once dry, the pieces can be put together to make a 3D tree, star or reindeer. I had another set of cookie cutters in a variety of Christmas themed shapes.

It didn’t work.

I think I might not have cooked the dough long enough or something, but I cooked it until it was so thick, I couldn’t stir it anymore, so it should have worked. Yet it was way too soft to be able to do anything after cutting the shapes I wanted. After several attempts, I gave up and offered the dough to the girls. They made a bunch of little sculptures, instead, which will take several days to dry.

I guess I’ll just stick with the orange slice decorations I was going to start on while the baking soda dough ones dried.

It’s funny. With having moved so many times over the years, and now with my husband’s mobility so reduced, there is nothing unusual about having Christmas with just the 4 of us. Since we were already living on my husband’s disability payments, we’re used to being extremely fugal. Living in relative isolation, a lot of the restrictions and regulations don’t affect us directly most of the time. Yet, the long tentacles of government overreach is affecting even us. When we do go into town, we’re not allowed to buy anything Christmas related (unless it’s for pets; you can buy all the Christmas themed pet toys you want, but you can’t buy toys for human children), nor books and magazines, most clothing, and so many other things government talking heads have decided are not “essential”. All of this is affecting everyone, as prices for basic necessities, have to go up in response. So people like us and my mother – who at least have incomes, as small as they are – are going to be having a harder time of it. Gas prices are going down again, but there is nowhere to go. Supposedly, the lock down is going to end on Dec. 11, but our premier is already saying it’s not going to be lifted much, and telling people not to get together with family for Christmas, even with the reduced restrictions.

Meanwhile, it’s our seniors in long term care in the city, surrounded by people in PPE, but no family or loved ones, and no activities to help combat cognitive decline or loneliness, that are dying. Not necessarily of the virus, but of starvation, dehydration and neglect. Meanwhile, my mother can’t even find out how her sister is doing; her niece isn’t returning her calls (not sure what’s going on there), and my mother can’t navigate the automated phone system to talk to a human being. I’m not on the list of people they’re allowed to talk to, so I can’t find out for her.

I think I’ll call, anyway, and ask them to phone my mother or something.

It’s going to be a very strange Christmas.

The Re-Farmer

Half shop, and bubble!

First up, Happy Thanksgiving to all our visitors from the US! I hope you are having a wonderful day! 🙂

Today was my day to go into the city for our monthly stock up.

I was really dreading it.

I’m part of a local, private, online group where people around our province share where it is safe to shop for people who can’t wear masks. Since our province went into “enhanced lock down,” some places have gone full gestapo. The Costco I normally go to has always been really great, but something changed. Now, masks or shields are required, or no one is allowed in. I know quite a few people who cannot wear even a face shield, at all (largely due to PTSD), and they reported some pretty awful responses from the management. Worse, people were reporting that police have started patrolling the stores and parking lots at all Costco locations. They have been approaching people in their vehicles, when there is more than one person, demanding to know if they were from the same household. One woman had an officer come back to her vehicle and ticket her, for being part of a freedom protest a couple of weeks ago. How the officer determined who she was or if she were even at that protest, she didn’t know. Inside the store, people were reporting being hassled, medical exemptions being denied, and management being downright abusive. A different Costco location than the one I usually go to, which was already known for not being a safe place, has gotten even worse.

As you can imagine, I was quite concerned. Yes, I would be wearing a shield, but even people with shields were reporting being denied entry to some stores, getting harassed by security, and so on.

Normally, a daughter comes with me, but with the “enhanced lock down”, I wasn’t sure we would both be allowed into any stores at the same time. So I went alone, just in case.

Normally, we do a drive through breakfast, then Walmart, then an international grocery store, then Costco, so that stuff that is frozen, or needs refrigeration, is in the vehicle for the shortest possible time.

Today, I skipped the drive through, and bought most of what was on my list at Walmart. I walked in with my shield, and no one batted an eye. I was the only person I saw with a shield instead of a mask, the entire time. I did get odd looks from a couple of customers, but with their faces hidden, I really couldn’t tell what their full expressions where. One old guy just stopped dead in his tracks and stared at me. ???

The last thing I got at the Walmart was a small tray of sushi for breakfast to eat in the van, then headed to the international grocery store. I was able to get the rest of what was on my list there. This place is awesome, and I probably would have been fine without even the face shield, but I didn’t want to take a chance of them getting fined $5000; something else our provincial government has started to do.

Along with what was on my list, I also found something I was quite excited about, in the Indian food aisle.

Duram wheat flour!

We’re going to be making pasta! 😀

It doesn’t take much for me to get excited. 😉

Best of all, though, I was able to skip Costco entirely.

Since neither place had flat carts, I wasn’t able to get things in the same amount we normally would. I basically did a half-shop, as far as quantities go, so we will need to make a second trip. Especially for the heavy stuff, like cat food and litter. Most of the smaller, lighter stuff, we can get locally without hurting the budget too badly. The lock down is supposed to end on Dec. 11, so we have at least enough to last until then. I don’t expect the lock down to actually end, though. From what I’m seeing, I expect things to get worse, not better. And I don’t mean the virus. I hope I’m wrong.

Once I got home, and the girls and I were putting everything away, I happened to see something odd through the semi-transparent lid of our flour container. So I opened it to check.

It’s a bubble!!

The “bread egg” I buried in there managed to expand a bubble far enough to break through the top of the flour!

Well, at least I know that yeast is still active and happy! 😀

Tonight, I’ll be fishing it out to soak overnight, to continue my Babcia’s bread experiment.

But I digress…

One thing I made sure to do as I headed out, was bring our pulse oximeter. After the issues I had before, I wanted to monitor myself. I used it before I left and I can’t say I was surprised to see my heart rate was at 112 – I was already pretty stressed! – but my oxygen was at 95%. I typically read at 97 or 98, so this is low for me. The “normal” range is 95-100%, unless a person has something like COPD or some other lung disease. Anything from 88-94% is still considered safe, but below that, it’s recommended to get medical help.

While I was shopping, every now and then I would pause and take a reading. When my levels were below 95%, I would do some breathing exercises, watch my levels go back up again, then continue. I remember one reading where my % was okay, but my heart rate had gone up to 126!

I am really glad I brought it along.

I’m really glad we had one I could bring along!

One thing all of these mask mandates and trying to wear a shield has done, is make me more aware of my own breathing. I mean, really, who even thinks about it normally, right? Well, I’ve started to notice that I’m having issues at other times. Like while I was driving home, I found myself short of breath, and opening the window a bit to get more air flow. I’ve even noticed times when I’d be sitting at my computer, then suddenly gasping for air. What the heck?

I have kept the oximeter with me since getting home, and every now and then, I’ll do a quick test.

My heart rate has gone down to about 68-70, which is good.

My oxygen has dropped down as low as 93%.

What the heck is going on?

I don’t feel anything is off or out of the ordinary, except possibly my sinuses. My husband suggested I might be having an allergic reaction to something. Normally, I get that in the summer, when I’m working outside. I have no idea what I’m allergic to, other than it’s something environmental. I’ve had allergy tests to try and find the source of my chronic cough, and I’m not allergic to pollen or cats or any of the other usual stuff. So I think I will try taking antihistamines for a few days and see if that changes anything. This is all so very strange.

Anyhow.

We are now stocked for about half the month. With Christmas coming, we don’t expect to do much for special shopping. Most of us have already purchased gifts online, which I hate doing unless it’s for things we cannot buy locally. I’ll have to increase the number of times we go to the post office for the next while. 🙂

One thing I did do, since we will be starting to make pasta, is order a manual pasta machine and a pasta drying rack. They should arrive in the first week of December.

Meanwhile, my daughters let me know we were running low on yeast. At the Walmart, they were mostly out. I got a vacuum packed brick of “instant yeast”, and a small jar of traditional yeast, which is what we prefer. At the international grocery store, however, they had plenty of large jars of the traditional yeast, so I snagged one.

Between our ample stock of flour, yeast and other basic ingredients, we’ll be able to do all sorts of bread baking in the next while, if we want. 🙂

Now that this trip is done, we shouldn’t need to go anywhere, other than the post office or the dump, for quite some time! Hopefully, I’ll at least be able to help my mother with a grocery shopping trip. No visitors are allowed in her building right now, but I can pick her up outside, then bring her bags to the outside doors. The social workers at the senior’s centre have offered to get groceries for her, too, so she should be okay. In her building, they slid notes under everyone’s door, telling everyone that they had to wear masks, even in the hallways – but “graciously” allowed them to be mask free inside their own apartments. !!

How did we ever get to this point? Have we learned nothing from history?

The Re-Farmer