I thought that the weather forecast for today was that it would be low 70's and sunny so I was pleasantly surprised with it started to rain this afternoon. Not to pleasantly surprised that we had a thunder and lightning storm while I was out at the barn with CM who is getting to know Maiden so she can do a partial lease with her for a day or two per week. I have never seen Maiden's reaction to a thunder storm so I was pleasantly surprised to see that she didn't even flinch the first few claps of thunder. And she tends to be more spooky on the lunge line. I was much more surprised to see one of my fellow boarders jump on her horse bareback right as the thunderstorms started. Surprisingly her horse didn't seem to notice either.
As CM and I were discussing whether or not she should ride and I was telling her that personally I wouldn't just because I'd want to be ultra-safe and that though I'd never seen Maiden bolt or go crazy I wasn't going to guarantee it wasn't a possibility if other horses started freaking out, M. came in the arena and said the storm was getting closer and CM agreed it was a good idea to go the safe route and not ride. No sooner had she put Maiden in the cross ties than a clap of thunder rumbled by much closer and it started to hail on the plastic roof of the barn. Penny jumped straight up in the air with all fours off the ground in her stall, Gandolf reared up with his head showing over the wall of his stall and Maiden got a bit of a wild look in her eyes. But once we assured her she was fine she calmed down. Thankfully, Penny calmed down quickly too and Gandolf ... well ... Maiden lives in a stall next door to Gandolf so she's gotten used to him and his dramatics.
But I have to say I was very happy about how Maiden didn't even seem to notice the thunder. It made me feel more confident that if another thunder storm rolls around I'll have a better chance than I thought of being able to get off of her when it starts as opposed to having her flip out and either throw me or have me sadly attempt an emergency dismount - both things I'd like to avoid as much as possible.
In gardening news we have a ton of strawberries so I made my first batch of strawberry freezer jam. I have no idea if it turned out ok. I guess I should probably try some now that I've given away a few jars and for all I know it tastes horrible. I'm concerned that it may not have set well and is too runny so I'll check that tomorrow too. There was a whole article I read on how to troubleshoot things like it being too runny and all that but I'd have to look up specifically what the fix is for that. I also found a decent recipe for wheat/flax bread for bread makers that I like. The only thing I think I will change about it is to add just a touch of apple cider vinegar and maybe 25% more salt just to give it a little better flavor. Otherwise, I'm actually pretty happy with it which is more than I could say about some recipes I've tried in the past for bread maker breads other than plain old country white bread.
I also managed to get some starts in the ground today right before it started to rain which was good timing. Broccoli and bell peppers. Tomorrow I'm going to plant the watermelon starts under the little portable greenhouse my husband put together for me. I've been told watermelons will not grow here because it's too cold but I'm hoping the August warmth under a greenhouse will do the trick. We will see. It's an experiment. Much like the broccoli which I'm not sure what's going to happen there since I've never tried to grow it. The pumpkins are still doing well and are still fungus free - and oddly enough my roses are fungus free so far too even though I'd also been told it was impossible to grow fungus free roses in this area too.