October 07, 2021

Hounds & Dog Move Into Fall

Unless I look at my date and time in the upper right screen of my iMac I sometimes forget what month it is. I have the time but no calendar, or date on my Apple Watch faces for either watch. The weather has been fantastic though as we have settled into our move that took place five months ago. The temps are dropping but are about the same ranges as Sierra Vista AZ ... the only difference or a few differences, is the intensity of the sun and the view of those Huachuca Mountains. The hounds and the dog love the patio here though and spend as much time outside as possible. With the patio door open most of the time, they can come and go as they please. Believe it or not in that photo, Watson is a week past five months old.

I can tell he is going to be a big old laidback bloodhound. I would pay any amount of money to know what he is thinking when he sits out in the yard alone, daily. He eventually lays down. He really likes his yard and that fence I had installed has been worth every dollar, for more reasons than one.

Walter likes bones although very few times am I able to catch him with one. He plays first thing in the morning with the hounds as I can hear them sprinting from the yard to the living room and back from my seat in the computer room. Soon after that all three will come near my desk or chair and sleep until they hear me fixing breakfast. Watson is food driven, so any scent of any kind of food, he is awake, up and in the kitchen within seconds.

I am not sure we are going to have a fall this year. The leaves are not turning colors as fast I as I think I remember. It's already into October but my memory has probably failed me on the exact time in the fall that the leaves turn colors and drops to the ground. I have a lot more leaves to mow here than I did a few years ago. Remember when I told you, or have I told you that my neighbors are obsessed mowing their yards. Well I was talking to one of my next door neighbors about how they get rid of the leaves. She doesn't like any leaves in her yard and said "there are times I am mowing them in January" !!!!!! I replied that I will NOT be doing that, sorry.

I like the yard here, it is great for the hounds and the dog but I really really miss sitting on my small patio I  had out west where I could see the Mule mountains to the left, St Joe straight ahead in Mexico and the Huachuca's to the right. Those mountains had or have a magnetic pull every day that I would see them. They could make a bad day a great day after a few minutes. It's quieter here, peaceful but zero pull, consequently I have had some problems lately missing where I use to live. I loved it out there. I don't have the major urge like I did out there to hike or bike and it seems all I do here is yard work or clean the house. Luckily the hounds and the dog keep me sane and make a bad day into a good day. Sometimes that isn't enough.

After a full day of playing outdoors, sunbathing in the afternoons on the patio and eating two meals per day ... they all make time to catch up on their sleep. They have to because usually no later than 5am Walter is waking us all up with his loud snorting and other weird noises an English Bulldog can make. I keep reminding myself that the furniture store salesman told me the couches were dog proof. So far so good.

Watson has basically claimed the love seat as his.

Just like years ago when Winston and Stella would leave me a seat on the couch, Walter and Henry do the same thing now. I only get an end seat though, depending who gets there first determines which end I sit on.

Watson is going to be bigger than any bloodhound I have had. He is a male for one reason, they are always bigger than females but his mom was huge and his dad was even bigger. He is the first bloodhound that bays and howls just like a bloodhound sounds. Sadie and Stella didn't do that much, Watson does it every time I come home, whether I have groceries or not. I have asked the neighbors about it and they say they cannot hear it. They love the hounds and the dog but still wish I have not installed the fence.

I got a text the other day from my mailman, asking me if Walter was available for a short visit. He loves Walter and wants one just like him but is finding it hard to find another English Bulldog the same solid color as Walter. I told him Walter would be out front waiting for him to stop by on his route. Walter and I were on the side yard looking for weeds in the flowerbed, when Matt pulled his postal truck into the driveway. I told Walter "your friend is here' and once he saw the truck he knew and took off sprinting from the side yard out to the driveway. These photos were taken by the mailman.

Walter is letting him know that he is ready for another treat, the small Milk Bone.

He wasn't sure he heard Matt say he had to go and get back to work. If I had not told Walter to "come on" and walk toward the house I am sure that Walter would have jumped up in the postal truck with Matt. 

For the newest blog readers, a little over two years ago I sold my small ranch style house where I had lived for 22 years. It was built in 1966 and I had tried to keep it original as possible. Over the years I would paint inside and outside of course, lay new flooring, did what was needed to maintain it. I seriously considered remodeling it and doing all the upgrades in the spring of 2019 to stay there but the pull to move to SE Arizona was too much. I am showing you this photo and the next one as a "before" picture compared to the way it looks now.

This living room use to feel so large when I lived there but you can tell I was short on space with two of my bicycles leaning against the wall. The house only had 938sq ft of living space but there was plenty of room for me, two bloodhounds and at times two more basset hounds. Last December I sold it a second time, getting out of the contract I had when I moved. The new owner did what I would have done, no he did more, as you will see with the next two photos.

When he noticed the old gray powered insulation (can't remember the name)  had slid down the walls when remodeling the small bathroom he decided to check the other rooms and the only way to do that was strip the whole house down to bare studs. IF I would have stayed I was planning on having the crawl space cleaned and sealed, I would have replaced the old tile ceilings with drywall, painted the walls, upgraded the counter tops, appliances and had new flooring installed. He had other ideas, good ideas, to bring everything up to 2021. 

This is looking back into the kitchen toward the carport. Easier now since they removed that small partial wall between the kitchen and living room, opening up the space. The house was moving from 1966 to 2021.

They decreased the size of the large window that looked out into the carport and across the highway to see the fields of corn or soybeans, so they could install a pantry. I am not a fan of the white and gray which seems to be "the color" that all houses are going to the past year or so. Yet when I saw this photo he sent me on Sunday I really liked that color combination. When I stopped by the house in July (?) they had just installed the floors, cabinets but not the counter tops. He was cutting and installing the trim you see above the cabinets.

Although the space had been opened up by taking out that partial wall, the house still felt small to me after  spending two years living in a house with 1350 sq ft and higher ceilings, then the past five months in a house with 1,750 sq ft that has a great room that is almost half the size of this older house I lived in.

Years ago, every fall I would buy mums. I never planted them for some reason as I would just buy them new in pots every fall and sit them out on pavers and the front porch.

Well after digging the yard up in front to replace pips from under the house out to the septic tank these mums show up this sumner on their own.  The kid working on the house said they had no idea where they came from but they were popping up along the front of the house. I use to sit the pots on those pavers I had in the flowerbeds. 

I never knew if these would grow when I planted them a few years ago. They survived as the workers would enter that door to repair and seal the crawl space.

Here is where you will see another big change. Like I said I tried keeping the house original as possible and that included that ugly design between the two windows. Those strips of wood were placed over plain wood and if I had taken them out I would have had to pull out the original aluminum siding in the shed and install them in that space between the windows. I guess it was more work than I wanted to do myself, so it never got done. The Japanese Yews grew more than I estimated when I planted them. By the time I had them pulled out, their stems were so large that my electric trimmers would not cut them.

So last Sunday I needed a road trip. They told me on my last visit in June or July they were going to tear off the old aluminum siding and install new siding, plus installing a new roof. I told them they would be replacing the soffits too because each time I painted them I wondered how much longer they would last before I would have to replace them.

The landscaping isn't finished yet but they are close to completing the house remodel inside and outside.  That was a great place to live for 21 years. The eventually built an interstate six miles down the road. I was outside a very small town with privacy and 8 acres behind me to walk the hounds. I was 25 miles away from a great college town. I like the changes they have made.

It was the right decision to move in May 2019. I loved my time in Cochise Country and exploring SE Arizona. I never thought I would move from there, nor did I have any plans to move. As much as I miss it, it was the right decision to move here in April 2021. I love this small city of 117,000 people, like my house and the yard for the hounds and the dog ... but I miss that "pull" the mountains had, which got me outside riding a bike and hiking different trails while at times pulling me out of depression.

Yes they have those trails and place to ride a bike here but the urge is not there. I was concerned about that before I decided to move. I told myself while looking in the mirror one day that if I stopped riding and hiking after moving here ... then the decision to move would be a failure. Still time to change I know but once you stop it is extremely hard to get started again.
I really do want to move from lawn care and house cleaning back to riding my bike and hiking the area trails.

In the meantime Henry and the puppy Watson are keeping me busier than usual. Once I stop them from doing something I don't want them to do, they find something else. That is what puppies do. Walter basically stays on his own schedule but does like to do things with the two hounds. 

I have fully recovered from my fall last month. Although I have noticed my blood pressure has increased since then and has stayed at the same level. There might other reasons for that though, like less outdoor activity.

Here's hoping I start some new habits before I blog again.


  1. When i was visiting the midwest i always noted the mowed lawns... it certainly does seem an obsession to have it so neat all of the time!! Just perfect and most all of the homes were that way...
    Dogs look great!

    1. I have seen some mow in the light rain, early evening in the dark and after a spring rain would mow as soon as the white small blooms from clover showed up. I might be the only one that uses a non-riding mower but I like the exercise. Thanks, they all are pretty healthy I think.

  2. So happy to hear you are feeling better. Loved the photos of the two hounds and the dog. Cannot believe how much Watson has grown since your last post.

    Nice update on your "old" house with the before and after photos. Love that crown moulding above the kitchen cabinet. Spectacular.

    1. The gap between the top of the cabinets and ceiling was pretty large. He was concerned it might be too big to cover and still look good. The young man did some great quality work on the remodel. Watson grows by the hour. Walter is getting rounder and heavier, I can barely pick him up to put him in the car. LOL Since being neutered Henry has figured out he can jump.

  3. Hi Steve,the previous house remodeling looks quite an improvement & your dogs terrific- obviously thriving.Your reminisce re: the mountains reminded me a friend ‘s solution was to have a favourite picture made into a large mural that was on one wall of his den- sure looked great but I have no idea where or how that was done.All the best.

    1. I was going to do what you friend did. In the meantime a good photo I took of the mountains with my camera and arms on the outside of my fence has been my computer desktop page since leaving. I saw an advertisement on tv the other night watching baseball that will make any size of photo that I send them. I think did a search and found the top ten place that will turn digital photos into any size. So I will get some made of favorite hikes, hounds and those mountains.

      Yes the old house needed improved and brought up to date. Even remodeled, it felt small when he gave me a tour of the house. I like what they did inside but would prefer a different color outside. The first time I painted the house soon after I bought it in 1997 I did a little darker gray with white trim.

  4. A friend suggested to paint the house a color that would blend in with the environment. I was looking for a different color at the paint store when I saw this color on a pamphlet for a two story house. I thought I would give it a try and liked it. Interesting the first time I painted the house it was gray with white trim. His plan was to fix it up for his daughter but now I am not sure. I didn't ask when he sent me photos on Sunday. It is easy to get into the carport. Room at the top to do a 3 point turn. Henry is a lot like Winston but has a few unique pieces that are his personality. Before I moved in 2019 I thought of keeping the house and go back and forth. I have thought of buying a small house in SV for winter but the location here, I am told the winters are pretty mild. In SV at high elevation those winter winds are pretty strong where you are inside anyway. Yes, I am happy and lucky the recovery went well.

  5. Ahhh, that elusive motivation.

    Great stuff but it has an annoying habit of being really good at hide-n-seek!

    When heading north to family reunions I always know I'm back in the Midwest when I start seeing those lawns manicured to within an inch of their lives.

    1. LOL ... an inch is about right. I have never understood why they mow grass so low that their blades take it to dirt level on a slight hill. Both neighbors do that. Mine, cut at 3.25" tall. Based on owners manual. IF you find any of that elusive motivation stop by. A little to far to hike San Pedro again but I am told some nice hiking trails nearby.