December 30, 2020

Closing Out 2020

As you can see Henry keeps me pretty busy during the day. Those are sharp needles next to his nose but he loves the taste of potting soil so he is not stopped by a few needles. He has a great personality but I catch myself looking back to 2004 and trying to remember if Winston was this obnoxious as a puppy. He was six months old yesterday and is already waking me up at night or coming to get me in the day if he needs to go outside. Yet, I have to watch what I leave on tables and needless to say, my house is puppy proofed.

He likes his yard and doesn't mind the cooler temps in the mornings (30's) and isn't afraid of the dark when he hears the local coyotes crying so close by their sounds. He drags every bone he has outside, I bring them back inside every night. 24 hours later I am doing the same routine.

Walter still runs the house. He decides when all of us wake up to start the day. He still likes to get everyone up at 4:10am sharp so he can go outside to relieve himself. Then his short legs come sprinting across the yard in the dark, around the corner and down the hallway as he dive bombs into 'his' sleeping bag back on the floor. Soon he is back to sleep snoring while the rest of us lay there wide awake in the dark.

Stella and I started more walking about a month ago. Henry goes with us now and he LOVES to walk and has quite the nose. I wish I could take photos during that time but here in 'the city' each as to wear a retractable leash unlike walking free back in the field in 'the tropics' of southern Indiana. Not enough hands to carry two leashes with hounds going different directions ... with a camera.

So what is the bulldog statue doing out in the yard?? It is the weirdest thing. Anywhere I place him, the puppies will not dig in that area again. Once that area was secure I moved him to the corner of the yard just to the right of him where he sits this morning. No digging in that area either.

Henry does finally wear out by days end. He also fits in a siesta every afternoon after his lunch. As you can see he didn't take long to get so heavy that I can barely pick him up and LONG ... he will be the largest basset I have ever had ... oh, I take that back. I bought Max through the rescue service 20 some years ago. He came at at 81 pounds and huge shoulders. Lived on cottage cheese on his kibble until I got him. He could't walk past the year into the field ... but a few months later he was doing the full walk in the field and was down to 62 pounds ... with better kibble and no cottage cheese. Henry will not have that problem but he loves food, his and everyone elses.

For some reason, their winter routine is sleeping under my desk and/or on my feet while I am at the computer or close enough where I can barely get out of the chair.

Barely enough room to put a blog post together.

Kibble eaten, dog food bowls washed and clean, while Henry waits for me to pour my second cup of coffee with hopes of getting more kibble ... maybe just a morning snack 30 minutes after he had breakfast.

Walter only wants to sleep after his breakfast and when he sleeps he always snores.

Walter also lets me know when I have been on the computer too long. He is quite the talker, making sounds I have never heard from any dog or hound.

If he doesn't get the answer he wants, he will start pawing my leg while I sit in the chair at the computer desk.

Their highlight of December was watching the Parade of Lights pass by the house the Saturday before Christmas. I stood outside to watch. I was taking video but found out later, a 62Mb file is a little too big to send to people or post on the blog. Basically 150 vehicles started from the Sierra Vista Mall and weaved their way around town with a police escort. If you have wheels, it drives and stops, can be decorated with Christmas lights, then you are in the annual parade. From ATVs to large lifted trucks, all decorated.

Yes the SE Arizona skies never disappoint at sunrise.

I tried to capture Jupiter and Saturn with the moon. This was the best I could do on December 16h, leaning agaist the patio corner for stability. No tripod and the camera held with shaking hands.

I saw these lights this morning, just right of the mule mountains down towards Bisbee. The camera caught the white light and missed the flashing red lights of a helicopter, most likely working the border. Traffic has doubled every month sinse September with each month doubling the previous month in captures. I am told by a reliable source the "Tucson Sector", which is the border from the New Mexico state line to Nogalas AZ is used mostly for drug traffic, even as close as due south from my fence.

This is Cyclops light. Usually taken from an older car or truck, Chevy, Ford something like that. But they are also popular to some that have old (67 and earlier) VW buses or trucks. I never inteded to keep it on the top of my new purchase and knew it would sell. My 'new' VW Commercial Panel Van is a 1960 on the title but was built in September 1959. It has the larger engine with dual carbs hidden in the back engine compartment. Keeping up with traffic on I-10 from Phoenix to Sierra Vista was not a problem. Stella likes the short step into the cargo area and my back likes the fact I don't have to help a 90 pound dog get in the back of the FJ to go to the vet.

Yes, it works ... It is being shipped to California today bringing a nice little $400 addition to the 2021 dog food fund.

I have not gone every Friday like I use to but it's always good to hit Papa's 50's Diner south of town on Highway 92 ... their menu is as large as their pancakes and all is very good. The single cab pickup out the window always has people asking me if they can take pictures. It is popular where ever it goes.

I haven't been doing much as the photos show. There is always tomorrow to get back into routines I liked or start new ones. I have spent a lot of time looking at old vw's that are for sale. In the last 5 years they return 49% on your investment and so far in 2020 they say it is 29%. I sold my 64 panel you saw here a few months ago for a 50% profit after owning it only  4 months. No, I am not flipping them but like in 2000 - 2007, I sell the ones I like but don't love.

I put an ad on the VW form call the last month, saying I was looking for a drivable, original, patina, 55-63 model year in dove blue or what they call light grey (tan) ... I had 14 responses with a few telling me they were not planning to sell their bus until they saw my ad. I had to ask myself WHY?? Well after we talked and they gave me their asking price I could see why they would decide to sell but it was outside my limit. To give you some idea ... one drug out of a Texas field, patina like I wanted, in need of rust repair, no transmission, no engine ... $30,000 and above.

I just realized last night that college football bowl games were being played. You are talking to someone just a couple of years ago, never missed a game, watched every night in December to mid January, that has not tuned into a game yet. College basketball is the same way and I have even lost interest in watching the school I graduated from. Contract renewal in Feburary with Directv is in serious jeapordy.

That is about all I have from "The Wild West" ... Have a Happy New Year everyone.


  1. Those fur-babies can be pretty manipulative!

    My first car was a VW Bug. This was 1970 but I don't know the year of the car. It was my uncle's and the day before it became mine he went to the garden center and loaded as many rolls of sod as he could fit into it - then opened his window on the way home -

    Needless to say, first task of new ownership was to clean several puonds of dust and dirt out of every nook and cranny.

    1. LOL ... those bugs and buses are pretty good multipurpose vehicles. I grew up with bugs in the family but bought my first in 1973 ... a nice 67.

  2. Wishing you and the Hounds and a Dog a good New Year. Loved your photos and the update. The photos of the night sky were just terrific.

    My area is recovering from 16' of snow over 18 hours on Monday. Shoveled and plowed out but extreme icy conditions and staying in. Don't want a fractured hip.

    Take care, be well and stay safe.

    1. That is a LOT of snow ... I don't mind snow, I don't like ice though. I do not miss those Indiana winters where we had similar stuff. Happy New Year to you also.

  3. Thought those pictures of the moon were great, as was the sunrise... you can think of just about any color and eventually the sky will deliver!
    Your pups are so happy and love one another... so cute

    1. They love when people come to see them. Walter is NOT a car rider nor a walker ... he is a true homebody just as his AKC write up said. He just wants to hang out at home and enjoy life. Henry ... is going to be a character, already is in some ways. Stella is slowing down but loves her walks.

  4. Nice catch up post, I notice you didn't mention Heidi ...
    Do you want to say why or not? -Mary

  5. Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year. It will be good to see 2020 in the rearview mirror. (That's what they say, anyway, hindsight is always 2020. LOL)

    1. Thanks Russ .. 2021 can't go anywhere but up but that could be questionable also.

  6. Another great post!!! You are making AZ look very inviting. And Walter has the most expressive face!! Thank you.
    Don in Okla.

    1. To me this is the perfect location for year round weather. Walter is quite a character.