Oh the Desert Dreams of a River

Our camping trip ended early last Thursday. We had rain every day we were there but the last night was storm after storm after storm, which turned the soft dirt roads back to our campsite into deceptive mud pits. Luckily we had been monitoring the weather and had packed up and headed to gravel just before the sky broke.

I don’t have any great pictures to share because I was trying some new settings on my camera that didn’t work out. This picture was taken on the way back to camp the evening we called it quits. It was taken from inside the truck because I’m terrified of lightning. I’m also terrified of moths. There’s no reasoning with my fears.

Many people have tried to explain my chances of being hit by lightning or eaten by sharks but my brain screams back, “You might only have a 1 in 175,000,000 chance to win the lottery but someone does!” I just don’t want to be that someone who is touched by a moth, okay?

We’ll be making a few more weekend trips down again this summer. I’ll be sure to take better pictures then. I can’t wait!

Title From:
From This Valley
by The Civil Wars

And Driving Down the Road I Get a Feeling

On Friday we leave to go camping! The plan is to take a week of vacation every year around this time and camp somewhere. This year we’re going to Wyoming. Next year? Probably the same place. I love Wyoming. I love that at times the air itself smells like sage and I especially love the red dirt. In fact, there is a half-gallon mason jar full of red Wyoming dirt sitting on our bedside table as a bookend. The other bookend is an old pickle jar full of beach rocks from Rhode Island.

We planned for this particular week because historical averages showed minimal rainfall and where we like to camp is difficult to access with too much rain. Now, Ten Sleep and the surrounding areas are experiencing flooding conditions. Hopefully things dry off a little before we leave.

I know some people would be surprised that we’re not camping in Montana. Memorial Day seems to be the start of tourist season and so many people are already flocking here in their giant RVs. Montana is wild and breathtaking, certainly. I can see what draws people to visit; the same things enticed us to make this place our home. But we can explore Montana and all it has to offer any weekend. This week is more of a nostalgic return to the place we called home when we didn’t have one. Plus, there is a little part of me that doesn’t want to be eaten by bears.

Title From:
Take Me Home, Country Roads
by John Denver

We Took Small Bites at First but Then We Ate It All

When we improved our diet by cutting out all processed foods and/or anything with ingredients that could easily be confused for cleaning products (Butylated hydroxytoluene anyone?), we immediately noticed a huge improvement in how we felt. We were eating what we were supposed to be eating and our bodies were happy. I had more energy, I felt better about myself, and I had a much shinier coat. Wait, what?

We made the decision that if we were eating better and feeling better, we should offer the dogs that same chance. There was nothing wrong with the food they had, we weren’t feeding them the bottom brand and meat was the first ingredient, but the first ingredient of a chicken nugget is meat too and they’re still terrible for you.

So, we switched their food to Canidae. It was a toss-up between four brands and Canidae won because it had the lowest price tag. Sorry, I’m just being honest. I don’t eat only organic, hand-tended vegetables that are soothed each night by Kenny G streaming from overhead speakers, so we’re all going to have some balance between healthy and affordable.

We have mice. Did you know? We have a lot of mice. Right now most of them are foraging in the pasture and not aggressively trying to break into our closet, but a few are still around. We couldn’t gradually mix the foods together to help ease the transition because if we kept a giant opened bag of food anywhere in this house we’d end up like Glen from Hoarders with his 2,500 rats. Poor guy. To avoid all that, I had to dump the Canidae in their container with what remained of their old food and stir it around. Stirring 45lbs. of dog food is really easy and it’s not messy at all.

Levee adjusted within a day or three. Reyka took a little longer. She had some issues. One of those issues was made clear in an incident wherein she projectile pooped all over our couch. Luckily, our couch is leather. Luckier still, most of the jiggly poop was on Brian’s side. Since that unpleasant experience, and another that involved the carpet, a baby gate, a box with a ceiling fan inside, and the living room rug, things have settled down.

I haven’t tried the new food so I can’t say anything about how great it is but the dogs seem to enjoy the flavor. There’s not a noticeable difference in their coats or energy levels but I hear it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

Title From:
Stay
by Justin Rock

These Here Are My Desires

When Brian stops anywhere he will always text, asking if there’s anything I want. My reply is usually, “Yes, horsies!” Sometimes it’s “Yes, his irks,” because the more predictive my phone gets, the lazier I get. Sometimes I don’t even look at the screen, I just tap around near where I believe the letters are and hope for the best. We have a rule against correcting auto-corrects though, so whatever comes out has to stay, which is how things like “You ruined of schillings with trucks to stop it!” and “You’re so graphic with the teddy grahams,” get captured and sent to the whole family.

Today Brian surprised me with a couple his irks.

When I took them out of the bag my first comment was “HUOUH!” I don’t know how to spell a gasp, sorry. My second comment was “Wow, they’re shod! That’s really detailed.” My third comment was “Buhhhm,” which is why I don’t talk to people, followed by “Oh my, that’s really detailed.”

If I didn’t despise dusting, I’d collect every horse.

They’re Schleich, and can be found here (Amazon) or here (Tractor Supply).

Title From:
Roll Away Your Stone
by Mumford & Sons

I’ve Got the Sky, the World Is My Home

It’s been a while. I’ve been trying to be better about posting more regularly but there are times when I just don’t have anything to share. I’m certainly fortunate to live such a peaceful life but it doesn’t make for very good blogging.

“Today was another beautiful, endlessly sunny day. I watched the mule deer chew their way through a neighboring pasture and listened to the magpies squawk as they took turns stealing Pickwick’s food.”

Repeat daily.

Today I saw something else.

The first time we pulled into the driveway, to decide whether or not we wanted to rent this place or buy a camper and make that our home for a year or two, the “yard” was nothing but grasshoppers and weeds. The ground shimmered, like heat off asphalt, with the movement of thousands of insects. It was unnerving. We were given a week or two (I can’t remember which) of free rent because it was so overgrown and the work it would take to fix it was going to be extensive. Well, fix it we have. We’ve maintained the grass from the very moment it started sprouting again. Now, where long tangles of weeds once stood, green has begun to spread. I never get tired of pausing by a window to marvel at the change.

Unfortunately, the few spring showers we’ve had have come on the weekends, which is the only time the yard can be cut. So for three weeks the grass has been growing untrammeled. It’s like a long shaggy green carpet with random bursts of bright yellow dandelion heads. Dandelions are my favorite flower, weeds or not. I’ve never stopped to stare at an unblemished yard but I have, on multiple occasions, stopped to admire a hillside covered with dandelions.

With flowers come bees. I’m not as fond of bees as I am dandelions. I understand their benefits and I don’t wish them any harm but I’m very uncomfortable with them. My first apartment had a hive in the bedroom wall and our cohabitation did not result in many years of happy memories. It did result in the 100% confirmation that I am not allergic to bee stings and that bees, surprisingly, do not enjoy being sat upon.

Today, as I walked outside to refill the magpies’ Pickwick’s bowl, the yard was once again shimmering, this time with honey bees. About one of every five dandelions had a visitor. I cautiously made my way (the long way) around to grab his bowl and knock the beetles from the remaining nuggets of food before pouring a fresh helping. Then I ran inside and grabbed my camera to bravely attempt to photograph at least one of the dozens of bees, hopefully without being stung.

I made it! They were so engrossed in what they were doing, they didn’t seem to care that I was there. It was interesting and oddly enjoyable to watch them go about their business. Still, I can’t wait for this weekend and a fresh mowing.

Title From:
Beggarman
by Gaelic Storm