Thunderstorms in the spring are a fact of life around here but . . a dog that flips out with even the most distant thunder . . that’s about to get the best of me.

Last night, right on schedule – 4:30 a.m. – Rita heard thunder in the distance and she was immediately in a panic. I got up and tried to keep her calm enough that Vince could finish sleeping but nope, that wasn’t going to happen. He was sure he could take her to bed and get her to calm down but nope, that wasn’t going to happen either. 

A friend had suggested a cat cube and I got one of those and Rita likes to sleep in it sometimes but she wanted no part of it last night. We’ve tried the doggie xanax and that made things worse. We tried benadryl which did nothing. Someone suggested Dramamine so I have a call in to the vet now to see what he says about that idea.

Last night I kept trying to get her to lay down — either in her own bed on the sofa, or in the cat cube, or sometimes she likes her small bed on the floor next to me. No . . she wanted to run through the house in a panic. Finally, she decided to curl up in Speck’s bed.

Rita in Speck's Bed

Rita in Speck’s Bed

Poor, old Speck. He was so confused. Someone else was sleeping in his bed. He kept standing there looking at her, and trying to figure out what to do. I think Rita would have been comforted if Speck had gotten in the bed with her but he’s afraid of her and keeps his distance and didn’t want any part of snuggling with her in his bed. I finally convinced Speck to go back to the bedroom and get in his bed in there.

When the alarm went off at 5:45 and Vince got up . . I went back to bed. The weather was calming down and so was Rita. Even when she’s in her worst panic, I can still sleep through it but Vince can’t. And, if I close the bedroom door, and I go to bed and leave her in the rest of the house, I’m afraid she’ll scratch up the door. Maybe tonight I’ll put some boxes in front of the door so she can’t scratch the door; Vince and I will both go to bed with earplugs and let Rita sort it all out on her own! You know what will happen . . we’ll forget about the boxes and break our neck when we wake up in the morning and try to go out the door with boxes in front of the door.

Who would think that two little dogs could cause so much frustration . . for the humans and for each other?


Thunder –

We’re scheduled to get thunder at midnight and again at 2 a.m. I think I’m going to take a nap this afternoon and then if I have to be up half the night with Rita, maybe I can sit and knit without being so sleepy.

There was a time . . pre-Rita . . when I looked at the weather to plan my day around the storms. Now, I’m trying to plan my days and my nights!

We moved here in 2011 in the midst of a horrible drought so I have no idea what’s “normal” or if there is such a thing any more but we have rain in our forecast today, tomorrow and Friday; no rain on Sunday, then thunderstorms again Monday through Saturday, no rain the next Sunday, then thunderstorms again for the next three days and I’m afraid to look any farther than that.

By July and August, no doubt, we’ll be beginning for rain and we’re so happy to have lots of rain in June. It just seems weird after our first few years here being so dry.

Pioneer Quest

Vince in charge of finding our shows on Netflix or Amazon or Kodi – whatever he uses . . I have no idea how it all works. Since we gave up cable over 3 years ago, not only have we saved close to $3,000, but we’ve watched some amazing shows and documentaries.

A couple of weeks ago, he found Pioneer Quest. It was filmed in 2001, so it isn’t new but it was so interesting. I could see myself doing that but I don’t think Vince would ever have agreed. I just asked Vince if, given the opportunity to do something like that 15 year ago, would he have done it. He didn’t have to think twice . . NO! I would have done it and except for the horrible mosquitoes, I might have made it.

If you haven’t seen it, you might enjoy watching it. Basically, two couples, complete strangers, one younger and one older, were deposited in the the middle of nowhere, somewhere in Canada, where it gets darned cold, and had to pretty much make it on their own. They were supposed to live exactly like the settlers did in the late 1800’s. It made me think a lot about what we do, compared to what our homesteading ancestors did.  Even though we live a different lifestyle from those in tities and more urban areas, for us, it’s nothing like what the real pioneers had to deal with. We really are lucky in so many ways to be living in the days we’re living in now. 

Whether we stay here or whether we eventually move on, I’ll always be thankful for the time we spent on our little piece of land, with our chickens, our fruit trees and our garden. I’m also thankful for air conditioning, indoor plumbing and internet that most of the time works.

I’m thankful that even though this is not the lifestyle Vince would choose if given his choice, he’s gone along with my dream of living on at least 40 acres and doing what we do and while he doesn’t say walk around outside saying “I love this place”, I think he enjoys it to some degree. He enjoyed watching Pioneer Quest and I think it may change the way he feels about what we do . . just a little.

Garden Bounty

Yesterday I spent hours working in the garden, mostly adding Epsom Salts to the tomatoes, weeding the beans and artichoke patch.  Once we get through this weekend’s storms, I hope we have calmer weather and I can plant more artichoke seeds. They’re finicky little things and getting them started aren’t easy. I had transplanted quite a few but the seedlings were so fragile, that not many of them survived, then Vince helped with the weeding, and . . there went a few more of my seedlings. I’d like to get the bed completely filled with as many artichokes as will fit and then get it mulched really thick and be done with the weeds there.

By the time I finished in the garden, I had grabbed a few things. If we have the rain they’re predicting for the next few days, the garden will be a muddy mess and I won’t be out there much.



There were a few potatoes, a few onions. Some beets for roasting. I love roasted beets. A few carrots. The carrots and beets are almost gone. The artichokes are small but tasty – we ate them last night. And, cabbage. I made coleslaw with one and will make corned beef and cabbage maybe today.

I’m ready for tomatoes and beans!