November 30, 2008: Where in the World is EG's Little Traveling Box? #1

Where in the World is EG's Little Traveling Box?




On Monday, November 24, the caravan of five vehicles gathers at 9:00 a.m., anxious to head into the desert for our first group run of the year. What is that on the hood of our Ranger? Look real close...you might have to click on the picture to make it larger...it looks like a little talking box!




Annie and Otter Dawg are excited to be included.




We leave Bouse, Arizona, heading NE on the old Swansea Road. This portion of the road is smooth, having been recently graded, but the dust is rising so thickly behind our rigs that visibility is limited, causing us to keep a good distance between vehicles and holding our speed at a maximum of 30-35 mph.




We turn right on the Lincoln Ranch Road. These are all "primitive" roads, but easily traversed by a two-wheel-drive vehicle until we pass under the power lines, where the road narrows and can get quite bumpy in places. We are still in 2WD, but it's rough. We soon come to Johnson Ranch Road. I would suggest only 4WD vehicles continue on from this point, as we find ourselves driving down the wash toward the Bill Williams River. For those of you not familiar with a wash, think of a dry riverbed with loose sand, and sometimes large rock "falls".




It is soon time for potty breaks all around, from guys on the right, gals on the left, and dogs wherever they want! Needless to say, there are no luxurious rest stops out here.




Back into the rigs, we have to cross through the river in two places (the big red X on the map). I'm not expecting to reach the river this soon and don't have my camera ready, but we've made this trip several times before so I have an older photo of one of the group crossing.




Sometimes this section of the river is underground, sometimes it is so deep as to be impassable. Today it is just a refreshing little "swim".

Once we cross the river, the road is rough, narrow and like a roller coaster. It isn't long before Annie gets carsick and barfs all over her blanket. We had expected her to get sick, she usually does, so we are well equipped with water and paper towels for cleaning up.

Once again we enter a wash. This one is confusing. There are many possible ways to go, but our fearless leader, Jim "Bigfoot" Norton, knows the desert like the back of his hand. Just to be extra safe, he makes frequent stops to tie red ribbons on the brush so we can find our way back.




The brush is harsh, scratching the sides of our vehicles. We take it all in stride, and proudly display our "desert pinstripes". We are among the lucky, we have a son-in-law who does auto body work and can buff out the scratches when we get back home to Washington next spring.

We turn onto McGuffie Mine Road. The wash is rough, with loose sand and rock "falls" at each turn. Soon Otter Dawg gets carsick and barfs all over the center console. Out come the paper towels and water jug again. By now I'm thankful neither dog ate before we left, so it's not terribly bad cleaning it up.

As we near our destination, we come upon a sight we hadn't seen in our previous trips. Someone didn't quite make it!




We round the corner, nearing our destination, to be greeted by worse conditions than we've ever seen here before, the results of heavy rains having washed out the already treacherous stretch of wash and making it nearly impassable. We are bringing up the rear of the caravan, and Bigfoot calls us on the CB radio to tell us we might not want to go any farther, as the four vehicles in front of us had got beaten up pretty badly going down over the rocks. Mr. H gets out to took a look.






Believe me, it is worse than it looks in the photos. We decide to save the Ranger from unnecessary damage, and walk the rest of the way to our destination, about a quarter mile down the wash.






Finally, we reach our destination, McGuffie cabin.




And Little Box meets a barrel cactus.

"Ouch!", says Little Box. ""What am I sitting on?"




Venice McGuffie was born August 26, 1890. She came to the cabin, which is situated on McGuffie Mine Road in Mohave County, as the young bride of a miner.

The road south towards Alamo Lake was maintained much better than it is now and that is the way she would travel in an old truck. The last part of the road down into the house at one time had been surfaced. We could see some of the concrete that remains over that last rough spot. Rain has eroded most of what had been.


The man built a dam up from the house, then backfilled it with rock which served as a filter. Apparently there was a pipe a person could open years later & the water came out clear & cool. The man was smart to have designed such a system.


The house is wired for electricity so they would have used generators.
Venice may have been into ceramics ... there are some tiles on the fireplace hearth & in back of the house where she had made a shower. The shower bottom is leaned up against the house, tiles are embedded in the concrete. A kiln has never been found.






Mike Riddle, who has worked for BLM as a volunteer for many years, said her name was Vernice McGuffie. However, on a faintly painted sign on the house it looked more like Venice. (I later found the Social Security record of her birth and death, which verifies the name Venice.)

Mike would go out to check on her about once a month, but a BLM Ranger from Kingman would make weekly trips in there to check on her. Mike told a story about the BLM Ranger coming to check on Venice. One time when he rounded the corner, she was working on the roof with no clothes on. He said it wasn't a pretty sight. From that time on he would honk when he started down toward the house.


My friend, Esther Tucker, inquired of Mike about the "sheep tank" that sits below the bluff. He wasn't sure who had put the tank in there whether it was Arizona Wildlife or someone else. She told him the tanks we have been to have a metal collecting surface that channels water into a tank which then is dispersed to a smaller area on demand. He said this tank collected water as it came across that rocky bluff. It made perfect sense when we watched one of the men that came with us climb up out of that wash by hanging onto a pipe. With all of us watching him ascend, none of us took a picture, but we could see that the pipe went into the natural basin which is now filled with little rocks & sand.


After Venice moved out of the cabin, a motorcycle gang took over the house until the Kingman 4-wheeler group ran them out. Mike said that BLM has talked of razing the place before it becomes a hazard but he said they (volunteers) have ignored that. A group of bikers tore down the old outhouse, with intentions of building a new one. They never did, so we lost a valuable asset to the site.


Venice died in October of 1983 in Wickenburg, Arizona.


We have contacted a local minister who knew the family and had often visited Venice, to possibly get a bit more history of the cabin and of the family who lived there. I am still awaiting his return call, so I may have an informative postscript to this fascinating piece of Arizona history.

Following are pictures of the interior of the cabin as it appears today. Note the interior walls are constructed of the "skeletons" of saguaro cacti. These were sometimes used as a base for coats of plaster. It is doubtful the TV set is original, although I suppose it may have been possible to receive a signal out of Phoenix.









We spent some time eating our sack lunches, then some sat and enjoyed the quiet while others walked a ways down the wash toward the lake. Soon it was time to head back. Mr. H and I hitched a ride up the hill with Jim "Bigfoot". The first rock fall we had to ascend was pretty rough, it took some of the vehicles several tries before they made it. I'll let you judge the second one for yourselves....this is the one Mr. H opted not to navigate. At least the men got wise and tossed some large rock into the deepest holes, so the ascent wasn't as bad as the trip down.


video

As it was nearing dusk, we again crossed the river.




We did find a rest area on the trip back.




The 97 mile trip took six hours of driving and two hours of picnicking/sightseeing. We were dirty, dusty, sweaty and tired, but happy that we are still able to undertake such a crazy adventure at our ages. My daughter says we are too old to be doing it, but I say it keeps us young. I'm gonna keep right on doing it!

November 29, 2008: Just Biding My Time

Until something more interesting comes along, it's been a good time to get some baking done. My WIFI connection has been very sporadic this past week, the weather has cooled down considerably, and we've had a bit of rain. What better to do than play Scrabble with the computer and bake bread!




I made a loaf of white bread (for Mr. H, who will eat nothing but), two mini-loaves and four hamburger buns from a double recipe of Home Style White Bread. I don't use a bread machine, I do mine in my food processor and then bake in a regular oven. I've tried two different bread machines, but neither gave me the results I really like. The food processor is so quick and easy.




Home Style White Bread
Makes one loaf

1 cup water (70 - 80 degrees)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine -- softened
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk powder
3 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons active dry yeast

In bread machine pan, place all ingredients in order suggested by manufacturer. Select basic bread setting. Choose crust color and loaf size if available. Bake according to bread machine directions (check dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water or flour if needed).

Source: Taste of Home's Quick Cooking, December 2000


I also made a delicious loaf of whole wheat/cracked wheat bread for myself, but I'm not showing a photo of it. It wasn't the prettiest loaf of bread I ever made (I'll say no more than that), but the taste made up for the lack of good looks! I didn't follow a recipe, I just kind of threw things together. I need to do a bit more experimenting with it before I show it and the recipe off.

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I have a couple of surprise blogs coming up for my friend, EG (Engineered Garden). I have a bit more work to do on them before I post them, and I just love keeping him in suspense!

November 27, 2008: Happy Thanksgiving!

It's been a few days since I've been able to post, as our local WIFI has been down. Since I'm getting a signal this morning, I want to at least wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving day.

I have my turkey in the oven, the stuffing in the crockpot, giblets simmering for the pups (giblets) and the gravy (broth), and sweet potatoes pre-cooked and ready for their final preparation. I baked bread yesterday, the cranberry sauce is chilling, so not much to do until it's time to mash the potatoes, steam the veggies and serve dinner....just Mr. H, the pups and I, so we'll have lots of food and lots of leftovers.




Thanksgiving Glitter Graphics

November 20, 2008: It's My Money, and I Want It NOW!!

Don't you just hate that commercial? I don't like it, but I know how people can feel sometimes.

It wasn't bad enough that I ran up over $60 in overtime cell phone minutes dealing with DISH Network and AAA. Just before leaving Washington, on October 17th. to be exact, I took my high speed internet modem back to Charter Cable and canceled my internet service. I was told, at that time, that I had a $10 credit coming. So what did I get in today's mail? A bill, noting they had debited my bank account for another month! Not only did I NOT get my $10 refund, I was charged an additional $43.24!

I've had previous problems dealing with this company. When I first signed up for high speed cable, I told them I did not have cable in my home, I was quoted $29.99 per month, plus a $3 modem rental charge. When my first bill arrived, I was charged $39.99 for the service. I called to inquire why it was $10 more than I was originally quoted, and was informed there was an additional charge if I didn't have their TV cable service. Hello, people....I told you at the time I signed up for the service that I didn't have cable. In fact, you had to send someone out to bring the cable into the house (a month late, I might add. And yes, there was a dispute there, as I was billed for the entire month before it was even installed). Well, I went around and around with them, because that was NOT the price I was quoted. Even though they were, by then, running a $19.99 a month special, I lost the fight. So I ended up having to pay $43.24 a month. Not a happy camper here.

Dear Charter Cable,

You owe me $53.24. It's MY MONEY, and I WANT IT NOW!!

Sincerely,
Annie's (unhappy) Granny

PS: 1:15 p.m. and our cell phone service has been down all day (ATT), now our satellite internet service is non-functional as well (Hughes). I can't call Charter, nor can I contact them via their website. I can't even post this to my blog yet. Sometimes it's a pain being in the middle of nowhere in Arizona :-(

November 20, 2008: They Just Don't Get It

Beginning of rant.

Three corporate executives fly in three private luxury jets to Washington to beg for tax payers' money.

Astronaut drops $100,000 bag of tools into outer space. OOPS!

Arizona Department of Transportation wide load seen going down the Interstate 10 freeway, accompanied by two pilot cars and 3 (yes, three) Arizona Highway Patrol cars. Is that not overkill?

AIG wasteful spending just goes without saying.

Annie's Granny can make a pound of ground beef feed two people and two dogs two meals, if necessary. Yes she can.

End of rant.

On a lighter note, my daughter called the other day and asked what I wanted for Christmas. I never know what to tell her, as I really have everything I need and I'm too practical to spend much on things I don't deem necessary. I told her to just send a card, but she won't hear of it.

That night I was reading the SFG forum on GardenWeb, the subject being seed swapping. I've never swapped seeds, because I hang on to my leftovers for years and years and use them all up myself. I never save seeds from my garden, either. I always fear they will grow into something other than the parent, and take up valuable garden space to just end up as something we won't eat. This year, however, I have joined the ranks of those who are trying to spend less. To at least cut out the useless spending (unlike those in the above rant). I began by saving seeds from a huge acorn squash, a very large jalapeno pepper, a giant red bell pepper (all grocery store purchases), and three colors of marigolds that I know will stay true because they were from my own volunteers.

But I digress. Back to the Christmas present....it dawned on me that one thing I really want as well as need are garden seeds! I rushed over to the Ed Hume Seeds seed rack, one of my favorite places to visit when I'm in a day dreaming mood, and chose all the varieties of seeds I would like to plant in my 2009 garden. I didn't go overboard, as I still have seeds from 2008, but I didn't hold back, either. My order ended up totaling under $40, including their very reasonable $2 shipping. That was well within the $50 limit we set for Christmas presents, so I emailed daughter and told her what I wanted.

Can you believe I'm actually really excited and looking forward to this gift? It's practical, it will save a ton of money over store purchased produce, it will give me the joy of doing what I really love to do (grow a veggie garden), I will be able to spend the remaining winter days looking at the seed packets and day dreaming about the first day of April 2009, when I'll be back home to begin planting them in my garden. The perfect gift.




Happy one-month birthday to my new granddaughter, Alicyn!


November 14, 2008: The Frog Gardens...or..."Plant Your Butt on This Rock"

When we purchased our Arizona property in April of 2004, the only "decorative" plants were three Palo Verde trees, a couple of horrid mesquites, a nice palm tree and a lovely dwarf oleander hedge. One of the first things I did was go to a cactus dealer and spend way too much on cacti of all shapes and sizes, and a small lemon tree. These were promptly planted and carefully tended until mid June when we headed back home for the summer. We didn't have any way to keep the plants watered, and even cacti benefit from some moisture through the heat of the summer, so I hired a man to watch the plants and water weekly or as needed. When we returned the following October, nearly every cactus was dead but the palm tree and oleander hedge looked great. My man had decided cacti needed no water, and he evidently "forgot" about the lemon tree.

So I returned to the cactus dealer and purchased replacements for the ones I had lost, and bought another (larger) lemon tree. Then, when it was time to leave for the summer, I hired the same man to water the plants (I'm a slow learner). I explained to him that ALL the plants needed to be watered weekly, not just the palm and oleanders. Although he is mildly mentally challenged, he usually does a job well with repetition. But, alas the same thing happened again and I returned to more dead plants.

That is when I decided to place a rock in every spot where a plant had died, and glue a frog to each rock. Needless to say, my Frog Garden grew much faster than my cactus garden!

I have since given up on growing a lemon tree, but I haven't given up on growing cacti. I got smart, though. I bought some drip irrigation supplies and a timer, and it cost much less than I was paying someone to kill my plants each year.

I've grown fond of the frogs, sitting on their rocks, so they will stay and live among the cacti.

















November 13, 2008: Fencing Finale

The puppy play yard is getting closer to completion. I know, I thought we could get it finished in two days, and now we are going into our third week. It's difficult to finish projects here in the middle of Arizona's nowhere, it seems we can never find all the parts we need in one place.

The first trip for fencing supplies was all the way into Lake Havasu City, a 150 mile round trip drive to shop at Lowes. Our second trip for stuff we forgot, as well as for lumber to secure the porch, was to Parker (only 50 miles round trip), where I ended up getting the wrong color of green paint for my soon-to-be green gates, and couldn't find the right kind of latch for securing a metal gate to a wood post. Yesterday we made what I thought was to be a final trip for supplies, driving to Blythe, California (100 miles round trip). There we did find the gate hardware, called butterfly latches, but they were sure expensive for such a small piece of metal...like $12 each! We also bought some concrete stepping stones for a path from porch to front gate. It was only after I returned home that I realized I had forgotten the green paint. So that will have to wait until the next trip into "whatever" town.

Odds and ends to finish up are to make decorative caps for the wood fence posts (we found them at Blythe, but it was $14.95 for a package of two and I need four). I'm afraid mine will be very simple....whatever I can craft from leftover 4x4s and a miter saw. I was also planning to mount some solar lights atop each post, but again those were just too expensive in Blythe, so that will have to wait. We still have to clip the fencing to the T-posts and once they are all plumb and at the correct height they will be concreted in. I must lay the walkway, paint the gates and finish the painting of the porch addition, and then maybe I can take a day off. Or two or three.




Our humble "winter cabin" and the almost finished fence

Otter Dawg woke me up at four this morning, wanting out. Even though the area is now secure, I won't let the puppies out between 10 p.m. and dawn so I put him back to bed. Good thing, as not more than five minutes passed when a pack of coyotes came right through our property. A four foot wire fence is no match for a hungry coyote, and a little boy doxie is a pretty tasty morsel.

Mr. H decided the pups needed a pet door, so they could go in and out by themselves during the day. Of course, I wouldn't hear of putting one into the side of the mobile home, where snakes, lizards and who knows what all could gain entry. So I finally agreed to let him cut a hole in the bottom of the screen door. That way I can close the front door at night and keep the critters out and the pups in. Unfortunately, the hole is a bit high off the porch level, and maybe just a bit narrow. Annie gets her front half through it just fine, but her hips get stuck and her hind legs are a bit off the ground, so she has to wiggle and "swim" her way through the hole. Otto just ignores it and whines to be let in or out. Adjustments must be made.

Yesterday was watering day, and I really filled up the well around the palm tree. Annie and Otter had a real good time, they seemed to think it was their new swimmin' hole! Both of them would put their noses under water and blow bubbles while trying to pick up rocks from the bottom. I just ignored the mud they tracked onto the porch, as both were having so much fun and were very funny to watch.

Cookie has been enjoying some time outside on the porch, also. He's getting to be a very old man at seven years. The life expectancy of a Netherland dwarf is around 5-7 years, but this little guy has never had a sick day in his life, and he's still spry and seems quite healthy. We've been his people for 6-1/2 of his seven years.


"Excuse me....I happen to be on my pooper box. Sheesh, a fella can't even have any privacy around here"

Warning: Mr. H says this is the most annoying video ever taken. Yes, that is me in the background "conversing" with Annie, while Otter Dawg seems more interested in the talking frog in the corner. I was trying to get Annie to "speak" in her cute woo-woo voice, but seeing the camera in my hand the best she would do was plain old happy barking.

The Most Annoying Video Ever


I'm almost embarassed to show you my "garden". Compared to the lovely beds up north, these containers look pretty piddly. The visible greens (on the plant ladder) are the ones that came south with us, in the back of the Ranger. The large planter has three cucumber plants just barely peeking through. These were planted the first week we got here, and I'm quite sure they will never mature before we get a spell of freezing weather. I wish I had planted snow peas instead. The other containers were just planted this week and have beets, spinach, buttercrunch lettuce and green onions (from the grocery store). I did have a container of carrots, but they met their demise when I tried to transfer them to a larger planter, and dropped them on the pavement. I tried sticking a few of them into the front planter, but so far only one looks as though it might live.


This is a garden?



November 10, 2008: Dumb & Dumber

If you've been reading my blog, you probably know by now that Mr. H and I don't work well together. I'm surprised our marriage has held together for 46 years, as we never, never agree on how to do anything. Anytime we have a project to work on, we seem to muddle through it like Dumb and Dumber. Surprisingly, it usually turns out pretty well in the end.

The dog fence at the Arizona property is nearly finished, amid a lot of teeth clenching and tongue biting by both participants.

Will anyone but me notice the front gate is off six inches to one side? I measured and I marked, but I didn't stay around while Mr. H dug the holes and cemented the posts with utter disregard to my measurements and markings.

Will anyone but me notice that Mr. H set one end post with the inside edge on the mark I'd made for the outside edge, which will result in the fencing being installed inside the posts on one end rather than outside the posts as on the other two sides?

Just another week in the life of Mr. Dumb and Mrs. Dumber. But we can rest now, assured that the doxies will be safe and sound in their new play yard. Until they figure out how to dig under the fence, that is. If that happens, we'll have to head up the mountain for big rocks to lay along the bottom of the fencing.

Now we have to install posts, railings, pickets and a gate on the south end of the porch to secure that area. I'm sure it will look much nicer then the 1/2 sheet of OSB that is tied to the barbecue on one side and the heat pump on the other to keep the pups on the porch! This means another 3 or 4 days of bickering over how to do it (I usually get my way *grin*) and then, hopefully, that will be our last big project for the year.

Hey, you guys out there. If you ever have to dig holes for fence posts, or if you need to dig a trench and you have rock hard ground like we have here in the desert, build yourself a water pick! This thing is a real back saver. Hook it up to a garden hose and it blasts a stream of water down through that dirt in nothing flat. It makes quick work of burying fence posts or laying underground cable or irrigation lines.





Novenber 9, 2008: It's All "Relative"

My friend at Engineered Garden recently called himself "Notorious EG", which reminded me of something that happened to me a few years ago, while doing research on my family history.

I was in an LDS library, scanning through a census CD, when the lady next to me asked in what state I was doing this research. I replied"Missouri".

"Oh", she said "so am I. What county is your family in?"

"Mainly Miller and Maries Counties", I replied.

"Why, those are the same counties my family resided in", said she. "May I ask the family name?"

I replied "Rowden".

"Oh, my goodness! That is the family I'm looking at right now! I am researching the Breeden family, and I ran across this old newspaper article. I think it might interest you."


KILLING OF THE NOTORIOUS "JIM ROWDEN" AT VIENNA, MARIES COUNTY, MISSOURI; Jefferson City Peoples Tribune, October 18, 1865____

We are informed that, on Monday, the 9th. instant, while the Maries County Circuit Court was in session at Vienna, the county seat of that county, the notorious Jim Rowden was shot while engaged in a difficulty with a citizen by the name of William Breeden. It is stated that Rowden came into Vienna on that day and got somewhat under the influence of whiskey, and being in that condition, and naturally a man of extraordinary physical strength and overbearing in his disposition, raised a general row, knocking down several persons, drawing his pistol on others, and threatening to perpetrate violence to their persons.

He finally became involved in a difficulty with Breeden, and one Crissman, knocking Breeden down and severely injuring him; and while in the act of drawing his pistol he was shot by Breeden with a pistol, from the effects of which shot he died in a few minutes. Before he fell, however, he succeeded in firing one shot at Crissman. Rowden had been a terror to the peaceable people of Maries County for some three or four years past, and had, in that time, unmercifully and brutally beat and wounded quite a number of persons for no cause whatever, except to make a wanton show of his strength and play the bully.

Judge Miller, on the happening of the above occurrence, at once called the Grand Jury in, and gave the matter in special charge to them, and they refused to find a bill of indictment against Breeden.

It is thought the killing of Rowden will have a salutary effect upon the public peace and tranquility of Maries County.

It is believed that persons and property, particularly horses, will now be in less danger in that county.



Do you have any "notorious" people in your family history?



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November 8, 2008: Little Old Ladies

EG, of Engineered Garden fame, is always giving me a bad time on the GardenWeb Square Foot Gardening forum. This morning, just because I accused him of being a 12-year-old, he said "Oh well, you know what 12 year olds are good for....helping little old ladies cross the street." Which immediately reminded me of this:

One day last winter, we were getting ready to go into town to do some shopping when I noticed one of my cacti had dropped a large fruit. None of these had blossomed for me before, so I hadn't seen a cactus fruit up close. I reached down and picked it up, not knowing it was covered with tiny spines like the cactus itself. I ended up with a hand full of those fine stickers, but Mr. H was in a hurry to get going so I jumped in the Ranger and drove off.

Well, those stickers hurt so bad I couldn't hardly hold on to the steering wheel, so I told Mr. H we'd have to make our first stop the drug store to buy some tweezers. We did just that, and once the tweezers were paid for I went out the door and opened up the package, took out the tweezers and proceeded to the edge of the sidewalk where I could see the tiny stickers in the sunshine. I'm standing there, head kind of bent down to look at my hand while pulling out stickers, when I feel a hand on my shoulder and hear a voice saying "Dear, do you need help crossing the street? I can help you." My jaw must have dropped a mile, as I looked up at the lady (fortyish), and I very rudely said "Honey, I could probably CARRY you across that street!" I felt badly afterward, as I know she was being kind....but I really don't think of myself being OLD!!! I don't feel old. And just the day before I had climbed our mountain, so it was a shock to think I looked as though I actually needed help crossing the street.


We have quite a few "little old ladies" down here in Arizona who have no problem crossing streets or climbing mountains. That's me on the left, my friends Mickey, Alverna and Mel, atop Black Mountain (we call it Bouse Mountain). The red arrow at the far left is pointing to where our hike began.


A short rest before our descent


A spot of beauty on the trail, Scorpionweed or Desert Bluebell


I never saw my new $9 tweezers again after that day. I hope I didn't leave them sticking out of that nice lady's back.

November 4, 2008: I'm Still Here!

I feel badly that I haven't blogged recently....or as Mr. H would say "Did you BOG today?" Now that my gardening season has ended, the new grandbaby has been born and the move south has been accomplished, what do I "bog" about?

Let's see....we're building another fence. This has certainly been the year for fences, hasn't it? First it was a protective fence around a small spring planted garden, then it was the replacement of that fence and the big cedar fence that got flattened by the falling maple tree, then it was an extension of the garden fence to surround the newly built beds. Now it's a puppy retaining fence. We live on a corner, across the street from an RV park, so there are a lot of distractions to lure curious pups into the street. Not to mention some scary desert creatures that could be dangerous to their health. Can we say "rattlesnake"? Our "yard" is natural desert landscaping, with a small wash along one side where those desert creatures dwell.

Although this fence is going to enclose almost the entire front area of the mobile home, it is not going to be a pretty fence. Mr. H has insisted on plain, 4' welded wire attached to T-posts. I did win just a little bit, in that he's agreed to wood corner posts and gate posts, and to let me build a "decorative" gate. Eventually I'll also add some caps to the wood posts, and top them with some solar lights so our friends don't accidentally run into them when they drive into the yard.

Although the fence won't be lovely to behold, it will be nice to be able to let the pups out in the morning without accompanying them in my pajamas, with bed hair askew for all to see.