I had not seen the neighbor to the left of me, if sitting on the patio, since last Saturday night when she walked over to ask me if we were cutting a tree down or a light post. I let her know we were cutting down the dusk to dawn light post installed by a previous owner. She seemed irritated by the news. I get the idea she does not like change to the neighborhood since she has grown up in the house she lives in. She is in her 60's. Toward the end of the conversation when I mentioned the fence was being installed last Monday, she asked me how far down were they going to put the electronic fence.
I had told her numerous times after I mentioned the electronic fence for the dogs that I had changed my mind and was installing a regular fence 5ft tall for the health and safety of my hounds and the dog. I left out the issues I was having with her and her mother to ovoid any arguments. THAT news pissed her off as she walked out of the yard at a fast pace. So it had been a week since we last spoke. Compared to multiple times per day when Henry was on his long tether and there were no boundaries for the neighbor.
I was surprised really by her compliment about how nice the fence looked and how nice it was for the hounds and the dog. What she said next shocked me into being speechless, I didn't reply or comment. "The fenced area is so nice I thought about putting my dog (used her name) inside the fence so she could run around." ... Really? She was serious. I am thinking to myself what does she not understand?
On a side note to explain the fence photos. Friday morning I started around 10:15am, raking up all the excess dirt on the inside and outside of the fence and putting two filled wheelbarrows of dirt, hard clay clods on the side of the berm. My friend Ralph will come and get them plus the two areas the fence builders stacked the excess dirt last week. Some people said to leave the dirt as it lay, that rain would soak it into the ground and the grass would comeback.
I will find out if that is true on the outside of the back fence, where I did not rake. I wasn't sure how much hard clay, as hard as concrete, would break up with a little or a lot of rain. I wasn't going to wait to find out, plus it didn't look finished around the fence until I was done a little after 2:30pm.
I found the fastest way to do it was to rake it into small piles, then putting those in the wheelbarrow, raking up what was left after that.
It looks like a lot of work but with a couple of days letting the dirt dry out it made it much easier to rake compared to last Tuesday morning, the day after the fence was installed.
I only had one thing scheduled for Saturday. I needed to clean my Pit Boss grill for the first time. I found out that I was next to a disaster because it was not clean after using it 3-4 times per week since buying it a couple of months ago. I also found out that I was not following correct procedures for starting the grill and turning off the grill. Evidently my old brain cells forgot what I read the first day of using it or I skimmed over the instructions to lightly when I bought it that I didn't see the right way to do things. It is a wonder that I did not have a fire at least if not an explosion due to vapor build up. Lucky lucky lucky.
I was about to walk out of Lowes Saturday morning with the stuff I needed to clean my grill and three bags of rock to put the corner of the house that had bare dirt. That corner had turned into Walter's favorite place to dig and cool off in the shade. Anyway as I was walking to the cash register I was looking for some small cactus to plant inside. The one I brought with me from Arizona was dying. It looked like one of the hound's noses pushed it over too far breaking it's stem and that was it for the cactus.
So I tried this one. The problem was by the time I got it home, it was leaning a little at the base. It had not been watered in so long that I used Lowe's water hoses in the landscape area outside to water it before I walked to the cash register. I was about to throw it away when I got home but saw the root was still attached, so we will see what happens with some fresh dirt and water. I remember all the cut cactus that Al use to plant at their house in Congress Arizona and it all grew in the hard Arizona clay.
The marigolds are doing well in the semi-sunshine, shaded part of the patio and out of reach of Watson and Henry mouthes.
I mentioned the other day when you saw chairs turned upside down on the corners of my step and patio deck, that the hounds were chewing on the corners and taking the rectangular end pieces out. Today I thought I would try some hot sauce, on the hotter side of the scale on top of some duct tape.
Henry and Watson walked around and licked every one of them clean, then looked up at me as if to ask "what's next?". They felt no pain from the hot sauce nor did that stop them from trying to take the end pieces out. I am trying to find out who sells this type of patio deck to buy replacement pieces. So far I have had no luck locating the seller. If you know who carries this type of deck, let me know.
Late Sunday afternoon I took that gray ugly cheap but comfortable chair out into the yard to take some blog photos. It was still 88° but felt good in the shade. Walter didn't think so and begged the short time we were outside to go back inside where it was 10° cooler. You will see his silent begging in the photos of him below.
He is a smart dog though, he finds the shaded areas no matter what time of day it is. I cleaned that patio door window just three days ago.
I was going to pull this plant out last week after Watson had chewed every bloom off. With some water and sunshine it has brand new buds ready to bloom this week.
I almost had history on camera in this photo today. Not only did I see how much those thin inner pieces flex since they are aluminum and not steel but I almost caught my neighbor on camera but she turned and ran away thus not getting in the photos. She is a dog lover, nothing wrong with that. She also likes to give them treats which I have asked more than a few times not to because it upsets their stomach. Like always she does not listen or acknowledge what I say. I had focused the camera in on the hounds before she walked up to the fence.
Since the marigolds have taken over my small Mexican table I brought with me I needed a new place to sit my ice tea glass.
I really like Watson's demeanor and personality. He is really going to be a great bloodhound as he gets older.
Henry loves attention, no matter where he gets it. He will wait for one of the ladies to come over to talk or pet him, sometimes for quite a while if they are not outside.
The end post is not in a hole with cement but bolted right to the house giving the fence a solid foundation.
Walter decided to try his half bark one quarter growl and one quarter whine to let me know he wanted to go inside. Bulldogs make the weirdest sounds ever.
Looking north though the 200mm lens, that intersection is .1 of a mile from the house. My friend from college lives just past that intersection to the right.
Watson has found himself some dead grass and hard clay dirt to chew up on the patio. It's like I never feed him.
Henry's Apple AirTag you see on his collar works very well. I can see where he is when I am miles from the house using Apple's "find my" app on my phone. I doubt if he will ever escape the fenced backyard. He has shown no signs of wanting to get out, so the AirTag may never have to be used. It just makes him a high tech hounds I guess.
Walter finally wins and at 5:05pm Central time, he, Henry, Watson and I return inside to put this post together. He is a happy English bulldog as he trots to the computer room. He was sleeping and snoring minutes later.
Yes, I have been analyzing dog food again. I cannot remember which dog food review website I was looking at Friday night but the current Purina Pro Plan I have been feeding the hounds since last fall had a long list of ingredients this review site labeled "harmful". As in causing bad things to happen to a healthy dog. This dog food from Fromm had zero ingredients listed as harmful and even controversial. I have used it before but stopped over the years due to their retail locations too far away or costs increasing faster than I liked.
I cannot get around the fact that after feeding my hounds what is rated as top dog food for over 34 years, all of them have either died of cancer or they have enlarged tumors. Why? It made me wonder in the past when I lived in the small house up north and I blogged about it at the time. I cannot figure out what is good food, compared to what is a marketing plan to make a profit with dog owners that feel guilty because their dogs or hounds are not getting the best.
As much as I love my hounds and dog there is no way I am paying over $70 for a 28 pound bag of dog food. Then to scramble the brain cells, my friends old vet swears by Purina Dog Chow. Then, Watson's breeder feeds his puppies Pedigree and his adult bloodhounds Purina Dog Chow. He told me his hounds live to be 12 to 13 years old and he has bought it by the pallet for the past 25 years. None of his hounds have had health issues.
What am I missing in my analysis?
I know that some review sites are paid by referrals to certain brand names of dog food so they rate them high. I get that. I have other friends that have had their dogs live to 15 years or more eating nothing but Iams. Some reviewers by customers on Amazon give Purina Dog Chow and Pedigree dog food 4 and 5-stars when the review sites almost tell you if you feed that to your dog you are killing them.
So which is it?
This is my next project. Nothing has been done to that area because I cannot make up my mind what to do. I DO know I don't want that large uneven hard to walk on rock there and have two people wanting it when I rake it out. I am thinking raking all of that out and (1) plant grass or (2) lay some large slabs of rock down with potted flowers and a couple of chairs. But I already have a patio so ... I am up for any of your suggestions for this area.
In the meantime I will dig new flowerbeds on the north side of the house. The grass I am going to dig up I will move out to the area I have been trying to grow grass next to the street. A third of it that gets shade grew well, the middle third did almost nothing and the last third is being filled with the grass I planted, some weeds and some grass spreading from the yard. The azaleas I bought a couple of weeks ago are going on the north side along with some of those yellow daisy's you see in the photo above. My neighbor is going to give me the ones she trims out every fall.
I also like the idea of having the painted brick blasted back to the original brick but I am not sure that will look good with the color of siding you see for the added on great room and the garage. Thoughts and comments are welcomed on that topic also.
Henry likes to bark every morning early. She is not pictured on purpose but an older neighbor a couple of houses away, walks across the street every morning rain or shine in her nightgown to get the newspaper from the side of her mailbox. Henry likes to tell her hello but she never waves at him.
The hounds and the dog are sleeping next to my desk as I post this. Walter is snoring loudly and Watson is learning to snore too, so I guess it has been another successful day here in "the tropics" of southern Indiana.