Monday 31 January 2022

Shopping, beavertails, deer and Henry

Your kind words are so encouraging! I have been very discouraged, with my lack of repair skills. It gets frustrating, especially working out in the cold. Joseph Brian is really good about fetching products from the store. I print off a screen capture of the item, aisle number, product identification. Once I sent him to the wrong store, having done my online research but failed to mention that. The poor man!

I cannot face going in to most stores. Last week he told me there was a screeching, screaming child, with a father laughing at the behaviour. JB told me he was glad I didn't go in! For me, both the teacher mode, and mother mode, kick in. 

The crazy 'freedumb protest' has been horrid in Ottawa. People are so upset with the attitudes and the behaviour of some bad actors. Some have left, but they aren't removing them, as the police are more worried about riots. I think they are worried about their own safety. The protestors honked all day and night, keeping engines running, spewing diesel fumes for the people who live and work downtown and intimidating anyone wearing a mask. I'd tow them tout de suite. No one can park there for three days at any other time. Just sayin'! 

Shepherds of Good Hope, a homeless shelter, had a staff member assaulted. A security guard went to help, and he faced racial slurs. They had to have the police tow vehicles as they were parked in their emergency spot. They faced verbal harassment, if they could get into work and volunteer. It was most upsetting for staff and clients.
Parliament begins today, it'll be interesting to see what happens. JB cannot watch. He just gets too angry. He's testified on The Hill, in front of a Senate Committee Transportation meeting. No fun.

 That said, the kids went skating on the canal, and had beavertails. They aren't actually made from beavers, but they are more like sweet, flat donuts, with sugar on top, and a choice of toppings. Caitlin said the conditions were great, and there weren't any protesters there. 
The deer are out and about. I've since moved this trailcam. I love the young ones, as they get really fluffy. You Two deer  


Often, the deer follow my shoeshoe tracks, but Henry  chose otherwise!


I hope you aren't tired of the bunnies, there were two on either side of the snow bank! Cottontails sidewalk


 I'm having trouble with the positioning of this camera. It won't show me the cottontails. You can see the second camera in the snow on the far right. The bunnies aren't big enough, or are too fast to trigger the camera. Some cameras have a delay. The reason for this is so that a large game animal can get into the centre of the shot. deer in the dark  


I have a door that is leaking air. That is my project for today. 

Sunday 30 January 2022

Home repairs: computer cord, mailbox, TP holder

 Friday, Jan. 28th

Jesse (my son in Vancouver) told me about Sugru. It's a fabulous thing to mend cords. You'll notice I had some white stuff, back when Daisy liked to chew the cord.[ A funny story about Sugru – 2019] I think I've caught the cord on the mechanism on my chair. Anyway, all fixed! I sent JB in to get it for me. They didn't have any white stuff. Jesse says it matches the black laptop keys! 


πŸ“«Our mailbox was bashed – again

Home maintenance and repairs can be a challenge for me. I watched my dad and he did a lot of this stuff. I have failed to master quite a few things, though. I kept all his useable tools, garden equipment, nuts and bolts. The repair wasn't quite good enough. The door doesn't quite align. I bashed away at it, to little avail. The problem was the riveting I'd done on the fly. I needed a nut and bolt.

Once I was calmer (the next day), I scrounged up some possibilities. The drill bit was in my pocket!  Toddling out to the mailbox, again...

It's a lovely day. We had 2 cm of snow overnight. It's quite pretty. It was much warmer, only -17 C.! 

The second one I tried worked! I told Caitlin that it was awful taking off my gloves, then having to take the other one off! Wow! We don't get a newspaper anymore, but the yellow Citizen box protects it, I thought.

There are still dents from where the blunt force object made a connection with my mailbox. The top hooky pieces are meant to keep it closed. It's not a good fit anymore. 


Saturday, Jan. 29

I've been looking for a new toilet paper holder. I loved the one we bought in Muskoka. The wooden one is in the downstairs bathroom. 

Time to tackle the new toilet paper holder. The old one was wretched looking. I ordered a new one, just as an afterthought, simply to bring an order up to free delivery (Wayfair). It was the only place I could find new cords for my outdoor Cherry Blossom fake tree. (That project is incomplete. I'm still working on it!)
The kittens quite liked the toilet paper roll, back in the day! Dorah is gone, and Daisy is happy in her rehomed situation. We speak of them all the time.

It took some time to remove the old holder brackets. One screw was stripped (the left one), and I had to drill it off. I didn't totally succeed. 
The white panel came in handy, later. It was from a horrible saga: The toilet issue (2019). We won't use that company again. (Plus they took CERB money, and still complained about the government.)

The next thing was to sand and paint over the white spots, then fill the holes with polyfilla. The paint I found was the right colour, but it was rust paint, and was solid on the top, liquid separated underneath. Whoopsie! Back down to the basement.

Back in the basement, I found the right paint. This was the only room I repainted when we moved in back in 2010. 

Overnight, while I let the polyfilla dry, I popped the toilet paper on a large candle holder. 
 You'll notice the white cover plate. It came in handy.

The guy accidentally sliced through the toilet stack: The toilet issue (2019). It required repairs. And a cover plate. Being able to see the studs was helpful. I knew the toilet paper holder would need to be anchored to them, not just in the wall. I was looking for a long piece I could screw in, and then secure the holder to that, when I came up with a better idea. 

Fitting it, making JB sit on the toilet to ensure he could reach it what with his sore arm, I figured we were good. I secured the heron carving to the studs, with JB's help holding it, and it is much more secure. The old toilet paper holder was flimsy and loose and would fall off the wall at will. In hindsight, I should have bought a sturdier one, but this will do. There is even a spot to hold your cell phone, if you take it to the bathroom! 
Ta da! Today's project is sealing the front door. We could/should replace it, but we're a bit tight right now. I'm still having issues with πŸ’°Canada Revenue AgencyπŸ˜“. After that, and the new driveway, I keep telling myself "it's only money!"

Saturday 29 January 2022

Nocturnal bunnies!

We had a deep freeze, -26 C. on Wednesday morning. It is a tad chilly. I've been having fun watching our bunnies. Via trailcams, mostly. The tracks in the snow let me know they are out and about. They are primarily nocturnal, for safety I think. They have a fine brownish collar.

Thursday night they were busy. I threw on the spotlight after dark, and saw one sitting on the snowbank. In the morning, you can see all the eastern cottontail tracks! 

According to the Canadian Wildlife Federation, they eat greens in the summer. For example, goldenrod, wild strawberries, dandelions and clover. (We have lots of those things!) This is why I leave my lawn a bit longer. It's better for the planet, as well. In winter, they eat bark, twigs, buds of shrubs and saplings. And bird seed!

I've seen them the odd time in the daylight in summer. My favourite shot is the second image, where you can see the white tail as s/he ran away from me. 

We've hares about. The first image we captured on a summer's walk in town. The second on the trailcam in the wetland. Snowshoe Hares are much heftier and their hind legs are enormous. They are white in winter.

There is a difference between rabbits and hares. From the Fletcher Wildlife Garden: The eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) is the most common species around here. This species weighs 1.1 to 1.2 kg, and may be about 450 mm long (Banfield 1974, Forsyth 1985), with the female the larger animal. They are smaller than hares. 

I was running out of new places for the trailcams. One night, I just plonked #2 onto the step along the sidewalk. I knew the bunnies were visiting. I've seen snowshoe hares on the wetland walking. Just briefly, mind you. They are very fast. I am old and slow!

This is what I managed to get...

I threw some uneaten popcorn on the sidewalk. I meant to throw it under the feeder. (Bad aim!) At 1:03 bunny clearly came from around the garage, setting off the motion light.

I decided to try a different setup, with camera #2 on the step, and #3 (the new one) at the bottom of the steps, and facing the bird feeder. Sadly, I'd forgotten to turn the camera on the night before. Ya win, ya lose, sometimes.


Jan. 26th I added the camera. You can see JB coming up the sidewalk, but the camera is focused on the feeder.

 I had some fun video of the cottontails chasing one another. They were way too fast for the trailcamera. Cameras are designed for big game hunters to track game, and not for the lowly rabbit, or naturalist. In my iMovie app I slowed the motion by 25%. I set it for 30 second videos, and curate, trim, and splice them all together. 


 Thursday, after working on this a few days, I managed to not set the camera up properly, and all I had were 200 images! I put them all together in an iMovie, and it's not too bad. It shows their behaviour. They set off the motion sensor light by the garage.


I'd set up another camera in the backyard to capture them coming and going. Nada! They are too fast. The cameras often have a time delay to capture a larger animal. Our bunnies are so quick! Another one scoots home across the frozen goldfish pond, and into the forest. They truly are amusing.

For more critter fun: Saturday's Critters # 424, hosted by Eileen!

Friday 28 January 2022

πŸ“«Our mailbox was bashed – again

 Here we be. The end of the week. Where do the days go? 

I had a wee breakdown Wednesday. I discovered that the mailbox was ripped sideways. When you are feeling sad and depressed, or defeated – everything seems worse. I didn't think it was the snowplow, as we haven't had snow in a couple of days. (I phoned the county, to ask if snowplows had been by. No response after my phone call.)

You can see evidence of a strike, it looks like one point of impact. It is discouraging, the violence. There is no reason. No purpose to it but to cause citizens problems, and ruin property. 

I was so upset. I've had to replace it a couple of times, once it was the snowplow. Another time, a baseball bat. [Maintenance during a lockdown

JB went into town for errands. I set to work. It was -14 C., and not the kind of weather you want to be working on the side of the road. That, and my anxiety trigger is noise. The large trucks roar by. Few slow down. 

Kind people move over the centre lane in their vehicles, if I'm fetching the mail, barring oncoming traffic. Others speed up, after coming around the corner. 

JB went into town and on his way saw that several other mailboxes were smucked, one was gone. That was Wednesday. By Thursday, I was determined to conquer this.

I did a bit of a workout and after I was warmed up, I bundled up and went out to the mailbox. Awake at midnight, I'd planned what I needed to take down the driveway. Removing the box, I thought it was OK to reattach it. The 3" screw had been bent, the other pulled out from the base. I hope the juvenile bastard who did it had a fine jolt and whiplash!

The more I looked at it, the worse it looked. It clearly needed a rivet, but I don't have the right size for it. My drill battery died (at midnight I'd planned on putting in the fresh battery before I began, but I forgot. Sigh. JB'd arrived home, took in the groceries, came back to check in on me and helped by carrying the box. He has one good arm! I had to go back up to the house dragging my tools, just in case I couldn't repair it.

I had to remove the original rivet, as it had been pulled out. Replacing it with a plastic wall anchor and screw, I shall hope for the best. I don't have a rivet or a proper nut and screw that would fit. You can't go to the store and buy just one, either. 

I hammered away at it, to get out the dents, but the door still doesn't fit right. I gave up. I think it'll work, for now. The traffic was horrible, the wind fierce as they flew past me. I had another cry, but it is done to the best of my ability. There is an empty lot behind the mailbox. They were working on burning some brush.

This noise I could hear coming. The engines rev, they prepare to pass slow moving vehicles, and they speed on by in the oncoming lane. 

Cold enough for you? The wind was whipping the rainbow flag and the snow about.

Oh, yes, and to add fuel to the fire, I broke a nail! πŸ‘†

Deep breath, hot shower. Feet up. I've a new toilet paper holder to attach, and the dustbuster has fallen off the wall in the pantry. Maybe I'll think about that today. I'm horrid using wall anchors. Hubby nuked me some premade dinner, and I calmed down. We watched The Repair Shop, and I hoped for some tips. 

I've more snow to shovel, and the bunnies have been busy in the yard in the dark. Of course, it helps if you turn the camera on before leaving it out for the night. 
Happy weekend. I hope things are quiet for you! 

Thursday 27 January 2022

Winter is entrenched

 Winter carries on. It was a balmy -14 C. this morning. Cinnamon continues to sleep at my feet. Several times a night, he likes to come over to me in the dark and pluck the ear buds out of my ears and drag my radio or iPod onto the floor. He's a character!

Nutmeg sleeps alone in the guest room on her wool bed.

First thing, the cats go out to check for mice friends. Jan. 23.  cats on deck 

I went out in my snowshoes, again. It's good, hard, physical therapy.

Our great excitement is the action across the street. They are purportedly building a retirement house. The sumac were cut down. A parking spot was created. As I emerged from the meadow and my snowshoeing, there was lots of action. Hubby spoke to the owner and he was assured that this guy would be the best neighbour ever. I've never spoken to them, although they have been working here a lot.

The noise, the beep beep, when they back up is disconcerting. Also, a porcupine was living in the rocks. I hope s/he has moved on.

Cinnamon came outdoors, but didn't venture far. He did 'bear' again. I'm not sure what he heard, but he is vigilant. That's how he survives outdoors!

I've been playing around with the trailcams. We finally saw Henry on the forest trailcam. That was comforting, as we hadn't seen him around the house for a few days. The placement of trailcams is the big challenge for all of us using them. This one was fruitless until now. 

If you watch, you'll see her walking along the sidewalk. That was my own fault as I sprinkled some sunflower seeds for traction on the ice. She recalls that! sidewalk doe:  

There are lots of deer in the yard. If you watch to the latter portion of the video, you can see the deer munching on yummy dead, dried weeds at the back of the yard.  


We had a robin on Wednesday. It's not spring. It's just overwintering. I have a page where I track their nests over the spring and summer. I've been tracking its visits.

Wednesday 26 January 2022

Cinnamon and I went to the island

 This is our little island in the middle of the wetland. Several trees have fallen over. It looks like good habitat for one critter or another. I hadn't been able to make it out there as the ice was uncertain. Jan. 8th I ventured forth with Cinnamon. 

 It is quite pretty, and raw, and this was prior to the knee-deep snow we had. 

Cinnamon thought it fun.

I could go and scrape off the LDD moth eggs. 

He went up the tree!

"Wait for meeeeee!!!!"

In the middle of the wetland, he climbed a tree, and was watching something. "You're on your own, Mummy!" I hope it was a deer or something. He is quite alert. This would have been a great photo of him, except for autofocusing on the foreground! 

First he led me down the deer path, they he climbed a tree. He was looking at something. I figure a deer, or a coyote!


Cinnamon wetland tree from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

I went walkies alone Monday, it's just too deep for Cinnamon. (Although Daisy would trod in my snowshoe steps!) He's such a sweet boy. I thought I'd walk down without snowshoes on Tuesday, and that was a mistake. I'd forgotten I'd not broken a track through, but around The Point to the wetland. Whew, I was tired. Good exercise for this old body! 

I was happy to hunker down indoors with both cats! They were sitting at our feet, together.

They've been playing together a lot, it being -25 C. this a.m., things have been chilly. We were watching The Repair Shop, and could hear things going on around the corner in the dining room. Nutmeg was on the table flicking pencils onto the floor for Cinnamon who was waiting below! I laughed.