We’ve been busy harvesting tomatoes and Will has been also busy trying to get the last fields of hay baled up, which he was unable to get to sooner, due to all the rain we’ve been having. Luckily, a dry spell has hit us, and we are so glad. But boy did we ever sweat a couple of cold nights just lately. The night before last, it was 33 degrees F all night with a near full moon and no clouds. You can bet we were up off and on, all night, looking at the thermometer. As we have so many gardens and plants, we can’t cover crops, so we just pray like crazy. It did drop to 32, just at dawn, and there was frost on our house roof. But when I went on the four-wheeler to check the gardens, none had suffered any damage. Whew! Last night, we had a full moon, which often brings a frost. But the temperature just dropped to 35 degrees and stayed there. Again, whew! Now it’s supposed to warm up at night quite a bit, so we’re breathing a sigh of relief.

These are some of my favorite tomatoes, Lucid Gem. Yum, and the color is fantastic too.

Yesterday, we had a visit from son, Bill, and granddaughter, Ava. They were going to borrow our trailer and take her pony, Whinny, down to their place. She’s scheduled for some training then Ava will take lessons on her. Ava was thrilled to be getting her home. Today, Bill built a big indoor pen for her, and she’ll have a nice outdoor paddock.

Ava tucks Winny in before they drive home.
We enjoyed visiting with Bill and Ava before they left.

Today, we had a visit from a local herb club, which toured our gardens and tasted lots of tomatoes. It was sort of a mini seminar with lots of questions. It was fun, but also tiring, as we tried to give folks as much information as we could in just a few hours. Tomorrow, I’m making a 3½-hour drive to pick up my new Mastiff puppy. It’s taken a long time to find just the right pup, but I think we’ve done that. I’m pretty excited, as you can imagine. — Jackie


  1. Hondo will likely be fine – Mittens and Buffy will be the ones to watch lol.. Always interesting times when a new fur baby comes into the home. Male or female, is going to be a big dog, literally.

    • He’s home and he already is big, almost as big as Hondo already. Buffy has gotten used to him in only a day. Mittens, not so much. She gets big and puffy and marches right to him. He backs down. Smart dog!

  2. Hi Jackie. How do you keep little critters out of your gardens? I am speaking of chipmunks and mole/voles. I “garden” using grow boxes; most of which are on my deck. For the first time ever, I have a pair of chipmunks who take ONE bite out of each tomato. Next up will probably be my winter squash which are not ripe enough to pick. Thanks!

    • Trapping is the only thing that will do the trick. Either live trap them and relocate them FAR away from you and anyone else they may bother. Or the other alternative….. Chipmunks are cute as heck but also horribly destructive too. Voles aren’t even cute!

  3. When I saw the frost advisory was up over you guys I prayed like crazy that it wouldn’t drop like they were saying it was going to. We got down to 40 here, but that’s nothing like 32. The kids and I were out before dawn yesterday cutting hay, and it’s always coldest before the sun rises and boy was I glad I had bundled them up and blankets and jackets and fuzzy socks on the tractor. We are very thankful that we’ve been able to make this hair on the field we are, and that it’s almost done. We only have about 200 acres left to make, and we just can’t wait to be done. Glad you guys had a dry spell, we haven’t had much rain at all in weeks. Finally gonna get that big storm this weekend I hope.

    Congrats on a new puppy! They can be hard to decide on. I’ve rescued all three of my current dogs, and plan to get a puppy next time. It’s wonderful to save a dog, but it would be nice to have a dog that’s used to us and our life from 8-10 weeks old instead of 4-6 months!

    • Our pup is 15 weeks old and a very good boy. He hasn’t made a mistake yet in the house or crate and doesn’t bark, howl or be a pest,
      Will has one field left to cut; about 30 acres of so-so hay. But he’s hauling our good hay home as weather permits.
      Thanks for your prayers. We got as close as it gets to frost but escaped. So far.

  4. I bet Ava is thrilled beyond words! How nice to get her horse home. She will make so many memories! Thankful you dodged the frost. We had a cooler week and actually go an inch and 3 tenths of rain. The most we have had since early July. Your tomatoes look delicious! Congratulations on the new puppy. Dogs sure are good friends. Any update on Javid? Prayers for a blessed week.

    • Javid continues to mend so we’re very happy about that. Congrats on your rain. Such a blessing when it’s needed so.

  5. How exciting for Ava having Whinny right close by!
    A mastiff puppy! Congratulations!
    I can’t wait to see pictures.
    Those tomatoes are completely gorgeous!
    I’ve gotta write that down and order those seeds.

    • Ava is sure happy to have Whinny home. I stopped there on the way home with the pup. They built her a big, nice stall and Bill’s fencing in her pasture.

  6. The last couple of weeks we have been dealing with temperatures over hundred. My garden has really suffered. Weather is so concerning. I was glad to hear that it sounds as if things worked out well. Bette

  7. We have had three frosts in our part of the Copper River basin, Alaska. The coldest was 28. Our sensitive crops are indoor and I provided heat. What kind of mastiff? We has a Tibetan mastiff and he had a congenital defect that showed up when he was about 13 months. He had grandmal seizures every two or three weeks which left him not breathing for two or three minutes. We finally had to put him down after a year, the vet had no answer and he got to not knowing where he was or who he was after a seizure!

    • Our new guy is an English Mastiff. His parents have been genetically tested for several conditions that sometimes happen in them. I’m so sorry your dog. That’s so hard on both the dog and his family.

  8. Sure glad you dodged the frost bullet! is the haying finally done now? We got late rain here, and farmers are cutting a second crop….after 6 weeks of NO rain. Amazing.
    Wishing Ava the best as she has her pony home now.
    Oh, boy, is Hondo in for it now. Good luck with the puppy.

    • Our haying is almost finished. Will has to cut one more field of so-so hay and is busy hauling home our good hay, waiting until the rainy period is done with.
      Ava is tickled to have her Winny home to care for.
      Hondo seems to like the new guy; they were playing in the yard yesterday!

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