Stuffs happening out here finally!

desertstephJune 27, 2010

yep, 7 months after his accident dbf is back on the 'machine' clearing the space - making way to bring the doublewide here. he also had to clear a space for my dogs out back of what I'm in now so they'll be out of the way. My boy dog loves his 'daddy' and he watched every move dbf made on that machine. Every time dbf drove it past boy's pen he'd holler out to boy dog! my normally rowdy and vicious boy is a wimp in the presence of dbf. He'd leave me without a 2nd thought to go home with dbf!

a friend of dbf's (and his wife) hauled the monster machine out here this time and stayed to help him. they had to measure off the area for the DW and put in stakes and water down the dirt. Another load will be delivered on Tuesday (I think then). I was out there until I got sick (heat exhaustion?). I came in to rest and threw up. my sister says that's heat exhaustion or heat stroke. I haven't looked it up yet. Did me in for the day.

dbf was back out here early this a.m. to water dirt more and drive the monster over it to pack it down. He then tore off the back deck of the trailer I'm in (what a mess) and moved a set of steps around to the back door. He wants me to use the back door while they work out front on the new place.

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OH Steph. How exciting. I took lots of pictures while all the dirt work was going on and so glad I did. Once it is done and smoothed back out it is a little hard to remember what is going on under that dirt.

You need to be really careful with the heat. I got knocked back a couple of times when we worked for the cemetery district. Burials on really hot days. It is not like you can say rest now we will finish later. The family would not appreciate that. It does sound like you could have had heat stroke and you need to remember next time it can come on faster. I froze water in pop bottles and carried them with me. Also those cool bands for your neck really do help. Even wet wash cloths or dish towels are better as they are bigger and cover more area with cooling dampness. AND wear a hat.

I hope you are feeling better tomorrow.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 6:09PM
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"cool bands for your neck"

I had some of those yrs ago - I need to get some more (want them for my dogs too). AND you reminded me - I need to wash my hat! and then wear it. it's been hanging on a hook for a few yrs now... needs cleaned up so i can wear it.

I can see the sun on my face this afternoon. and I am SO sore! that is mostly from walking, walking... back and forth to move the sprinkler on the dirt, out to his truck for his cold water, to the front, to the back... ugh! and poor dbf kept on working long after I crashed inside! he left about 11.30. I was glad to see him in his truck (a/c) and off his foot(less). silly him - he just drove up to my bedroom window (where he knew i'd be) and honked! lol! I slide the window open and he told me he was leaving and I should order more water. Then I had to ask him for money for the water - ugh I hated doing that. but I can't get to the bank before the water guy will be here again! I go to the bank at about 4.30 - after the worst of the sun is west of the mountain...

I forgot to get any pics of him /land today. but will go out later and take some of what it looks like. He scraped away soooo much of the brush. My land looks naked!

I know dbf wouldn't like it if I passed out out there with him - I came in today (for good) as soon as I knew I was fading fast. I also had put water in a pop bottle and had it in the freezer - tasted so good when I came inside.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 8:11PM
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Steph, also, wear a hat. I had a hat with a pocket in the top so I could insert a wet cloth. You gain and lose heat on the top of your head and the bottom of your feet. You might even wet your socks and put on some enclosed shoes too.

I'd say that if you threw up, it was probably heat exhaustion. Heat stroke is mostly a real rapid and thready heart beat. Drink plenty of water either way. If you feel light headed, lean over with your head between your knees (if you can bend that much), to get the blood back up to your brain. For better ideas of how to deal with the heat problems, I recommend you look up first aid for it. I had to study it for my captains license but that was so long ago I forgot most of it.

Take care of yourself. And I hope your DBF is not overdoing it either. Thank God for friends.

You will miss your brush, won't you? Hope something grows in its place soon to stabilize the soil/sand.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 8:44PM
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Step, how exciting to get started on your new home! It seems like they got a lot done in a short period of time.
Do you have to do a new septic tank too? I hope every thing goes as smoothe as possible.
Yes, be careful with the heat. Elderly people (that's us now) are more likely to suffer. Your DBF is probably more acclimated so it is not bothering him the same as you.
Do you have any problem with your dog digging out of his pen? We have an escape artist here! He is very resourceful and I think he spends all of his time plotting how to get out of the yard!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 11:17PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

desertsteph, hope you're feeling better. Yes, you must be so excited--so many things to look forward to with a new home. You must have a million thoughts and plans whirling around in your mind. Can't wait to see the next step.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 12:01AM
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moccasin - "You will miss your brush, won't you?"

I sure do! looks so weird out there. if you look at the 2nd pic you can even see the difference in the dirt. about where the guy in blue is standing you can see a difference from the dirt to his left and to his right (about there). the darker is where brush WAS. the lighter strip runs in front of my 'now' trailer and was my 'walkway' - goes in front of dog pen and girl gets cabled to the 'stick' (rebar) sticking up from the bottom of the pic. there's a ring at the bottom of the rebar that I attached her cable to so she can go in circles - lol! the cable doesn't tangle. that's right in front of my 'now' doorway/steps. the real light strip out by where Sue is standing (horizontal) is part of the driveway - and about where the mountain lion was. that little dark area on the lower right of the pic is the shadow of the overhang on boy's pen - so you can see how close the mtn lion was to him...

my sister says her place was like this about 3 yrs ago and she thought it'd never grow back - but now it's hard to even know where they tore everything out. so there's hope. hopefully this will all be done by fall and in late Oct/early Nov I'll be planting. some things I'll keep in pots til spring.

"first aid for it."

I'm gonna google heat exhaustion tonight so I'm better prepared in this heat. for me and anyone else out here working! dbf is used to this heat - he's worked in construction (his bz) most of his life. does (or did) a lot of concrete work. always seems to be clearing, grading some piece of land somewhere. he has his own equipment - dozers, grader, flat bed etc. I think he could ride that monster all day long if it weren't for the heat. still, at 68 I try to get him to slow down - and stay out of the heat.

idie - "Do you have to do a new septic tank too? I hope every thing goes as smoothe as possible."

no, the one I have is good for up to a 3 bdrm home. I've got 4 so we need to rip the closet out of the one behind the kitchen - it'll then open to the backside of the kitchen and be my tv/computer room (most likely).

and I've got to say - with my dbf I don't expect anything to go smoothly...sigh...

"Elderly people (that's us now")

and just HOW did that happen? lol!

"Do you have any problem with your dog digging out of his pen?"

yes. dbf had put fencing on the ground then topped it with dirt. 'boy' did dig INTO the pen on the NE corner (thought he was digging to China!) - so he went under it in that corner. smart dog. then from the inside the fence lowered into his hole under his weight and out he got! stinker!

" hope you're feeling better. Yes, you must be so excited--so many things to look forward to with a new home."

yes, I am tonight. been mostly lying down since 11.30 this morning tho. up by necessity. nature calling, put girl out, get water for them (my gravity feed tank), get ice for me, get something to eat. that's it.

I gotta tell ya my legs, thighs etc have been so, so sore! up and down the steps every 10-15 minutes for hrs and hrs (moving the sprinkler) and times in between if dbf needed me for something. and walking across the soft dirt again and again and again... 3.5 hrs of that...until just the last few hrs I was having a heck of a time just walking! it's still painful and slow tho - lol!

mama - "-so many things to look forward to with a new home. You must have a million thoughts and plans whirling around in your mind. Can't wait to see the next step."

yes I do! and mostly I want in the new place (once electricity is on and there's a/c) for my dogs. I'm gonna let boy in to have the run of the place before it's all cleaned up... he's only been in here once and he was terrified! so I think letting him run thru the rooms and check it all out before furniture is in (and it's cleaned) will be easier for him to get used to. and so I can leave here during the day with a safe a/c'd place for my girl to stay. she's too old and sick to be out in the heat more than a few minutes to go potty. the new place has doors to rooms that I can close off and keep her from getting into something that will hurt her. I only have 2 inner doors in here and neither closes tightly. and she's always looking for food!

I'll be glad to have space. and a/c in it all. and a shower NOT attached to a tub. and a kitchen with space, cabinets and a pantry. doors that close. a water line that doesn't leak. and the final space of land determined so I can plant w/o thinking he'll be ripping it out one day soon...

thx to all for the concern and tips. I'll be cleaning my hat tomorrow after new water gets here - it'll dry in about 10 minutes in our dry heat. and next trip to W I'll be getting some sunscreen and looking for those neck bands that cool you down. and I think a spray bottle to carry with me and squirt myself...

tomorrow I'll take pics of my naked land and post. I'll keep taking them and posting them here.

The water truck should be here early so it'll be another early day... my tank only holds 1500 gals. dbf said he'll bring his own water truck out for the rest of the dirt work - it holds 4,000 gals. I guess he forgot that my water tank is HIS water tank from one of his properties he sold last yr ... lol!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 2:11AM
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Steph, I am amazed at the difference in your climate and living conditions from ours. I've never lived in an ARID region. But I've had to deal with limited water supplies when I worked on a boat. The sound of running water would wake me from a sound sleep, and I sprang into action to seek and stop. Water is as precious as gold. Even over here in Alabama the Beautiful, where everything is green and lush and HUMID, I'm gasping for breath imagining your searing heat. It can suck the life out of you. You are living a pioneer lifestyle, and I really admire you.

Do not fret about taking time to lie down. Some people think better horizontally than "on their feet." I am a horizontal thinker when letting ideas drift into my mind.
I know this is an accepted way of inducing creativity, because of the research lab I worked in. They had the offices and all, and I observed a lot of really comfy leather sofas with the angled arms which could serve as head rests. Then it occurred to me that they were providing an atmosphere where us horizontal thinkers could function comfortably. They never gave ME a sofa, but I did have a nice swivel chair that leaned back pretty good! :)

Life is good, Steph. It is so exciting to make progress.
I'm recommending a book for you. THE WORST HARD TIME by Timothy Egan. About the dust bowl survivors, what they endured. And lung disease from the dust. Unbelievable. Not really that far back in our history.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 1:02PM
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Steph, how exciting for you! Your new place sounds wonderful. I hope we get to see some "inside" photos for inspiration. I'm planning on a shower that is just a shower and not part of a tub as well. I like the idea of a bathtub but I actually very, very, rarely ever use one. I am considering not having a tub at all in the new house. Tubs in my home tend to be something else I have to dust.

I hope you are feeling better. I love to be outside and wanted to get some of my roses planted, but I think it is too hot out right now and have to wait. I tend to stay out in the heat, and I got very ill a couple of months ago from it. It has since made my heat tolerance go down. It'll have to wait, as in the evnings when it is cooler out I like to take a walk with my husband.

Be careful, as heat sickness can damage our kidneys.

So much for the saying "but it's DRY heat". To me, hot is hot, and it doesn't matter if it's humid hot or dry hot.


    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 3:10PM
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WOW it just flat out sounds hot there Steph. My mom lives in Congress Arizona and never could figure out how she handled the heat. EVEN dry heat is hot. We are having dry heat here at only 94. I was so happy to step in our front door after my walk home from work and feel the cool of the swamp cooler. It is a very comfortable 75 in the house.

So excited for you Steph. Just be sure to take care of yourself.


    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 6:06PM
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"I'm gasping for breath imagining your searing heat. It can suck the life out of you. You are living a pioneer lifestyle, and I really admire you.

Water is as precious as gold"

moccasin - yes, it was somewhere between 109 and 112 yesterday - will be all week I think. heard it'll then go down to 108 - we'll think it's a cool wave then!

I sure do live like a pioneer out here. when I first moved out here I didn't have water inside yet or a phone. for about 7 wks. finally had to get a phone because of work and water line got fixed. little did I know then that it was a preview of a lot of my time here as far as the water line goes. I've gone for months at a time w/out inside water. I've washed my hair and showered outside myself... and gone to my sister's house too. my sister says I'll have to relearn how to live like a 'normal' person. lol!

water is very precious out here at 44.00 for 2,000 gals.

btw, I have trouble breathing with humidity! it's what you get use to. my first yr here was rough breathing, now it seems normal. when the monsoons come (july/aug) tho it gets a bit more difficult.

thx for the book title. I'll put it on my book list. I feel like I live in a dust bowl - or at least a dust trailer. I'm hoping windows that close tightly will keep a lot of it out.

"I like the idea of a bathtub but I actually very, very, rarely ever use one. I am considering not having a tub at all in the new house. Tubs in my home tend to be something else I have to dust. "

sandy - I haven't taken a bath in so many yrs I can't's good to have one - just not with the shower. I think the mstr bath actually has a garden tub also. I could only see a small part of the bathroom when I went there to look - thru a tiny, tiny hole in the plastic covering the open side of that half of it. I could see a standing shower and was thrilled! it's a big bathroom - about 8 x 12 or 14'. I could see the vanity straight in and the toilet was on the right (on wall of my closet) and something has to be on the left - there's several feet of space over there the whole length front to back of the room - about right for a tub. that I won't use and have thought about that dusting it stuff - ugh. lol!

I'll post pics as it goes along but I doubt it'll be much inspiration - except to clean. It's full of dust and'll take forever to clean it up and repaint etc.

here's a few pics from today.

this is dbf's son with a load of dirt/stone mixture. the first of 2 for today.

this is the front as it was this morning. about 3/4 of the pic on the right use to have brush on it.

this is toward the back earlier today. there was a small drive to the back before for the water truck to get to the tank which is just off to the right of the pic about a third of the way down. there's a dark spot there I think might be part of the tank.

dbf says he'll be back tomorrow with more dirt/stone mixture.

the calves of my legs feel like someone has them in a vise grip thing today. a bit easier to walk today but still painful. I bought Tylenol the other week but can't remember where I put it... duh.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 7:55PM
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Steph. Have you tried CalMag for your legs? Might help with the cramping.

I so understand the excitement of this ground work. Sending you energy.

AND just so you do not feel bad. Our brand new house was filled with dust and dirt when it arrived. They sent some one to clean it. All she did was vacuum the living room rug. GGGRRR


    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 9:20PM
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wow steph this is like a whole new beginning. I'm not really sure what a double wide is though?

I hate that type of heat you're having, it's just seering :( as others have said always wear a hat, I never go out to work in the garden in summer without one and when it's that hot, wet it down and put it back on your head to help you stay cool. Also make sure you stay hydrated and drink lots of water throughout the day, it really helps to ward off the sickness or fainting

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 5:33AM
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shades - thx! they weren't cramping, just so sore that it hurt to walk. I think from up/down the steps so many times. it's eased up a lot as of this morning.

trance - a doublewide is a double manufactured home. it's 2 rooms deep. mine is something like 24' x 60'. they're drywalled inside like a regular house is. They make triple wides also. you can get about any configuration you want.

yrs ago I went to look at a new apt complex with my dd - very nice place. Later thinking about it I realized that new mfg homes were just as nice as that apt was - and would be just fine for me and the dogs. I'd much rather have a doublewide on my land than a regular house in the city on a lot.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 2:15PM
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What an exciting time! But do take care in the heat. I had heat problems like you one time and now it doesn't take anything to make me start feeling nauseous outside. I do all of the above suggestions and my favorite is a wet handtowel wrapped around my neck and tucked inside my shirt front. When my face gets hot, I just pull out a dripping end and cool my face.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 2:25PM
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Steph, I just found a book you might like. It costs about $20 from Better World Books, I'll put the link below.

It might be something to keep you in out of the noonday sun for a couple of hours.

Gives info about selecting plants that will survive and florish in a dry desert climate, and I know you'll be ready to pretty things up after the new dwelling gets on location.
Wish I could send it to you for a housewarming present!

Do you plant aloes? Agaves? I have some aloes that are huge and have very tall flower stems. Also you might try some yucca, which have darling tall bloom stalks, like hot dry.
One pot of aloe got so spikey that I had to wrap it in a blanket to move it, those little innocent edges turned hard as a steel needle.

Putting a patio for morning shade and another for evening shade will be a blessing. If you want vines to cover an arbor or pergola, put some annual seeds in a large pot so you only water the pot and not the ground. Terra Cotta not plastic pot. Shade the pot with something like a hay bale.

Keep on keeping on!

Here is a link that might be useful: Palm Springs Style Gardening

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 4:42PM
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marti - that's a good idea about the wet towel. and I noticed that the top part of my hat is mesh for circulation - thought that was a good thing!

moccasin - "Do you plant aloes? Agaves?"

I planted 2 aloes about 2 yrs ago - the rabbits got them. I caught 1 rabbit trying to pull a piece away with him and yelled at him. he froze in place - lol! even with chicken wire around them the rabbits won!

I've been wanting to plant agaves, just haven't yet. maybe in the fall. will have to check best time to do that.

yucca - love them also. had a yucca tree planted when I moved out here. it didn't survive either. guess I don't have a very good dry green thumb. now I have 2 yucca tree prints on the wall...

that book looks great and is only 16.47 at amazon - I put it on my book list to get when I find a 9.00 something (will check my list) to buy also so shipping is free.

I did chuckle at one review of that book - one person seemed a bit upset with it because it wasn't good for what to plant in San Diego. ???? weird.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 9:45PM
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it's tuesday night. a water truck showed up here last night about 8pm and was parked for use today. they watered the dirt. drove over it - and over and over it. added several truck loads of dirt/stone, watered it and drove over and over it again and again. then they did it again!

I didn't go out much - just when they were grading or dumping stuff up close to boy dog - to hold him back. he was fine when dbf was driving whatever machine but when dbf's son was driving my boy dog didn't like it so much.

when they left for the day the ground out front was built up quite a bit -
yes, one of them hit my rebar post that I cable girl dog to, but i think it'll still hold her. She's not as strong these days.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 12:55AM
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Wow Steph, Making progress. Are you going to do a cement foundation around the house?

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 1:37AM
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Steph, your blow by blow comments would make a great journal. Keep it in log form. It will be neat to read it again someday, when you want to remember what was done and by whom. If you have WORD do a doc for each day. Sounds like a plan?
You are already doing it here anyway. Maybe collect the posts you make into a thread to copy/paste onto your computer.

Sweet dreams. Did not realize it was already after 1 am here.
Was watching PBS program about filmmaker-esse Agnes Varda.
Quite surrealistic.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 2:18AM
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Steph - great progress! I'm with you re apartment vs. your own anything on your own land, especially where you are. There is just nothing like a desert sunset. The early morning purples are breathtaking as well.

Take it easy in the heat. Well, you know that by now from all the posts here!

I spent a year in Tucson so can relate to the heat. Searing during summer. Also lived inland So. Cal. for many years. Hated having to water all winter as well as summer......but I sure do miss the several epiphyllums (night blooming cirrus) that I cultivated from cuttings from a friend, as well as everything else I could keep alive under a patio cover LOL. Here in upstate NY, its a whole 'nother ballgame, but I'm happy to exchange for the change of seasons (except for the occasional humidity during summer).

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 4:54AM
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Wow, you are really moving along, it is just so exciting for you I am sure. Your new home sounds wonderful! Love the idea a a garden tub, even though you said you wouldn't use it, it might come in handy when you need to soak in cool water if you over heat once you start gardening after everything is finished. I am a shower girl myself too, but when I had the garden tub, I loved it just for the fun of it.
I am one of those people who prefer the dry heat (lived in AZ) compaired to humid heat, at least the sweat evaporates away with dry heat, with humidity it just sticks and you feel like you are drowning! Here in Virginia, we get lots of humidity, whereas at my moms home in Arizona it is dry, I just plop on a straw hat and I am good to go (and sunscreen)! The thing I loved about Arizona is the minute I get off the plane I can just "smell" the freshness of the air(despite it being an airport) compaired to living in other areas of the U.S. I guess it is those wide open spaces, there is just something very healthy feeling there. I must admit though, I miss all the "green" of the landscape compared to Virginia when I am in Arizona. But I know what you mean about the value of water there, not something that alot of people think about if they have never lived in the desert!

I am looking forward to seeing more pics of your progress, I am very excited for you!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 7:23AM
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thx everyone! 2 loads of dirt/stone already this morning. dbf called and told me to get all that dirt leveled before he gets here... what a joker!

"your blow by blow comments would make a great journal"

that is such a good idea! I will copy out of this thread and post to a doc. will post whole thread - it'll be fun to read your replies yrs down the road also (hoping I'm alive then to have my eyes open...). will be fun (maybe) someday for my gkids to read about weird granny who lived in the desert.

I moved here in the 80's from a midwest state - with seasons. most were humid, rainy or snowy tho! it was bad on my health. my knees hurt thru most of it and breathing was impaired by it too. that's why I moved here. it was a lot less populated then. we didn't even have any of those big city swirly freeway ramps, curves etc. Now we do and I stay away from them as much as I can!

when I first moved here I was just in awe of the mountains, blue skies, sunrises and sunsets. 20 some yrs later, I'm still in awe of them! I figured here if I wanted to see green, snow etc I could just drive up north. haven't done that yet.

shades - he tells me this stuff will be like cement after watered and packed - we'll see. He does a lot of cement work and had mentioned a few slabs front and back so we'll see on that also! He has his own cement place/mixers etc too. there are a few small slabs out here (he brought out last yr). will use 1 or 2 for the water tank(s). he said he had another tank to bring out. I hope he does!

well, he's here and brought me lunch... he's out on the grader now since he saw I didn't get it leveled for him.

I try to get a few pics each day. so will go take a pic, then go boil eggs and chop carrots for my furbabies!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 4:04PM
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Ok, that does it!
Now I have to put up a photo I saved off a website called SAILSHADEWORLD. You'll see why I am fascinated by both of these photos. Then to look at others, go to the link I'll give below.

I'm thinking that both DesertSteph and Marti8a will be able to imagine using this in their spaces. Let me know what you think. And probably also making an arbor cover too. (Where is PrairieGirl these days?)

If you visit the website, be sure to click on the gallery and slide show. Fantastic ideas. You don't have to wait for a tree to grow or huddle under a small umbrella or build a pergola or arbor.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sail Shade World

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 12:51PM
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ML, I saw a show on HGTV where they used sailcloth for a patio cover on a condo deck. It looked almost exactly like your pics.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 2:51PM
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Thanks ML, I saw something similar on a deck that had no cover like mine and they had criss-crossed two triangles.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 8:44PM
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You folks are the finest kind ever!
Open to suggestion and can "kick it up a notch."
Love to brain storm.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 8:49PM
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Oh Those sail things are neat. I might have to save up and buy another 100 foot of that shade cloth. It really is easy to sew on. thanks for this information ML.


    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 9:42PM
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those sail shades are great! how different too - that'd be a good way to shade a sliding glass door. I'll have to think of something like that with some shade cloth.

oh - I could do something like that over boy's new pen!

will post a pic of it tonight. haven't put on the computer yet. dbf had one put up out back for him yesterday. one end isn't finished.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 9:52PM
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Last Thursday dbf had some guys out to put up a fenced area for my boy. it isn't all together yet. there's an end piece laying on the ground and there's another 'pen' part with a roof on it too.

if the pic looks weird it's because it was getting dark out so the pic was dark - i lightened it up using just the tools on my computer.

someone was to bring out a street grader to finish up the front area yesterday but didn't show up - maybe this next week.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 7:02PM
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Steph it looks like a great yard for your Boy. I love your mountain view. Hope you are staying cooler. We had a high of 81 today. Was a lovely day.


    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 10:41PM
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Steph, every time you call him your Boy, I have to smile! My son has 2 dogs (a Lab mix and a Pit mix). They have strange names that I can never recall, so I call them Big dog and Little dog! They come every time I call, so I guess they think their names are Big and Little!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 11:47PM
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shades - i have a mtn view on all 4 sides! love it...
it'll get to about 104 or so today. 110 tomorrow. I'm staying in the a/c. was out some the last 2 days and that did me in.

idie - yep, he's my little 'boy'. I've always had girl dogs until I took him in 10 yrs ago - temporarily - until I found him a good home. I just fell in love with him so he stayed...he's very sweet - if you know him and he knows you. so far he's only really 'friends' with 4 humans. me, my dbf, my sister and the neighbor boy who used to come over to play with them (and me - I'd throw balls for him to hit and played marbles with him until my thumbs popped out of joint). well, he's about 19 now and doesn't come over to play anymore... boy still watches toward his house in hopes he'll come over.
I might call over there and see if he's home for the summer and wants to do some odd jobs for me - like wash down walls and paint. he's tall - probably wouldn't even need a ladder...

I need to measure from some boundaries to where the mfg home will set, draw a map to scale of it all and then I should be ready to go apply for the permit tomorrow!!

dbf has made some concrete 'skirting' for it. I've been told it is beautiful and made to look like stone. I hope I like it... I'll pretend I do anyway...

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 6:09PM
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wow - didn't realize it'd been so long since I posted here.

the guys came out and laser leveled the ground.

then it was a few days and dbf and his 2 boys came out and finished the pen. they were out there for about 6 hrs. I went out ...and back in. I was walking so slow they were probably taking bets on if I'd make it to the door - lol! I finally had to give up and stay inside.

my furboy's eyes were glued to dbf when he was within sight! they put his old pen inside his new one... not really what I wanted tho. he doesn't have the room to run I wanted him to have. and he didn't like it in there. I think he thought he was being punished. he couldn't see the road anymore - or his 'sister' when she was outside. or me as I go in and out thru out the night with her.

after 2 days of his moping tonight I went out and clipped his cable to the new pen and to him and let him on the outside of it. then I put my girl inside his pen. she wandered around in there for awhile, got in his pool and slipped and went boom on her butt! she didn't like that. that is exactly why she doesn't have a pool anymore...

he seemed much happier after being out of the pen - when it got dark i went out and put him back in for the night.

dbf decided to hire the installer to do the map and get the permit. They were both out here this a.m. to get copies of my paperwork. (I'd given dbf copies but his regular truck was in shop - along with all of those papers!)

He figures the mfg home will be here next week. It had bees in it - not nice ones either. he had to have an exterminator go there and get rid of them. and the boys were to go down and put wheels on it.

boy and his 'daddy'! dbf is not wearing his normal clothes. not sure he'll be able to anymore. (western hat, jeans and boots)

I'll be spending the next few days recouping - lol! I started tonight raking around boy's pen. lots of limbs and little branches from the brush they tore out. and lots of little wires on the ground - in the front also! I'm gonna put my 2 lawn chairs back by the pen so I can sit out there with him at night. I also need to clean the back steps 'cause I'll have to be using them when they're setting it up out front.

I do think we're to get a break in temp tho - 104 to 109 or so. I'll probably need a sweater... lol!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 4:35AM
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That is a really nice pen Steph. Is the tall metal roof for shade for your Boy?

I know how you feel not having things go exactly as planned. Maybe later you can some how connect the two areas so it is easier to get Boy in and out from the house. I bought what they call cattle panels to fence the courtyard so the pups can go out there. Easier to let them out that door when we are in this end of the house and it also gives them some grass to be on. Here the panels cost 25 each and are 16 foot long. Very stiff wire that holds itself up and all you need are a couple posts. Would make a good exercise run to and from your house. they are 52 inches tall so Boy would not be able to jump easily and would be safe for short periods for him. Our two are smaller border collies and they do not try to jump over.

Maybe after all the setting the house dust settles down you can connect the house and dog pen with this kind of panel.

This is in our courtyard and the fence posts do not need to be this close together. They are holding up the bed frames and I just hooked the wire to it.


Here is a link that might be useful: Cattle panel

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 10:22AM
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Hey Steph, take care, luv.
That heat has to sap the strength right out of you. And I was wondering if I understand the last post Shades made above this one, about cattle panels.

I was thinking about something they use for chickens, which are kept penned but the have what is a low tunnel-like apparatus called a CHICKEN TRACTOR, that is a long enclosure on wheels so the chicks can be allowed to range on new turf every couple of days, and then the tractor is moved over before they graze it bare. I realize that Boy is a bit tall for a chicken tractor, but there is also a child's toy which is a nylon fabric tunnel, on a coil frame, which can be collapsed for storage. The children crawl through it into a tent or playhouse. I had a shorter one, and the cats loved to hang out in it for their naps. But since it was not tied down, the wind would roll it around the yard.

While you are confined to the house, see if you can get a copy of THE WORST HARD TIME. I'm sure you will be able to identify with the survivors of the dust bowl. They would put wet rags/towels at the windows and at the door thresholds, but dust got inside anyway. It was a terrible time. With us entering a time of global warming, I'm sure there will be places experiencing the same situations in the near future. The book is a real weaving of the experiences of folks who SURVIVED those days. Many died.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 12:48PM
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"Would make a good exercise run to and from your house"

that's what I thought I'd do (ok, have dbf do) after I'm settled in. the price on those cattle panels is great but i don't think they'd hold boy. but they are worth checking out. we have at least 2 feed stores around here and a hdw that supplies a lot for this area - has for many yrs before the city folk moved here.

boy doesn't look so big in the pic - and he isn't that tall, but he weighs 75 lbs or more and is strong as an ox (almost). he pulled the door panel off of his original pen (the inner one in the pic) and flew thru the neighborhood dragging it behind him... he was rather easy to track tho - lol!

moccasin - I know the tunnels you mean - at least for the kids! but again, it'd never contain boy.

I do believe we are in for some hard times ahead. I've read and heard stories about those in this area before they had a/c here. They'd do that with wet towels, sheets etc - especially in order to sleep at night. That might have caused the birth of the evaporative cooler.

Our humidity (I think yesterday) was 58%. that's huge for us. the monsoons are hanging over us, but no rain yet. it's floating in disguise around us.

I do feel safer at night with boy in the pen with barbed wire around the top - safer from the mtn lions. when I filled his pool, I went in the pen and under the rooftop to check on the heat in there - it wasn't that hot at all and it was just after noon here.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 4:59PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

desertsteph--good to hear about your progress, and such a sweet pic with your dbf and your 'boy'. Our pets give so much and ask so little!

Your mention of evap. coolers reminds me of life in CO, where everyone had a 'swamp' on the roof.

LOL, idie, we have two cats, who can't get along (purely despised each other on sight), so we feed one in the barn loft, and one on the ground, prompting our grandson to call them 'up-cat' and 'down-cat.'

moccasin, we also have a play tunnel--very nice since it folds up to a fraction of the size, for storage. I once read a 'back-to-basics'-style book that used a variation of the chicken tractor. It was a large square pen that was dragged to new locations--having it on wheels would be so much easier.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 11:24AM
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Steph I was thinking more on the lines of what ML is in just creating a passage way for boy to and from pen. Maybe did not express that very well.Here is how we did it and since we already had the green panels we used them but at this house now we do not have the green panels in the court yard area just the cattle panels.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dogs yard last five pictures.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 1:37PM
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mama g - we have a lot of swamp coolers out here too. I had one in a rental house and I prefer it to a/c. it's a bit ruff in about August because of the higher humidity here but I still prefer it.

shades - I like the green rail panels. I'll have to stop by one of our feed supply stores and see them in real. those might work with some wire fencing on them.

I did notice something different with boy this past week or so. In the past even dbf had a hard time walking boy - he's that strong. dbf works a lot in concrete - using molds to make things like benches (he did some for local cities around here yrs back), slabs, you name it. he's used to heavy work and tho he has people who work for him, he often does a ton of it himself (I think he loves operating those machines like the dozer, grader etc). I was afraid for him to be too close to boy because of his foot(less) and loss of balance - didn't want boy jumping up on him. when it came time to move boy from the front to the new pen in back I put a leash on him in addition to the cable so we could both hold on to boy and his whole strength wouldn't be on either of us. I was shocked when boy just trotted along between us. looked like if he hadn't been on anything he'd have meekly followed dbf back to the new pen! (who took my real dog?)

Last night I hooked him up to a cable on the outside of his pen for a few hours. When it came time to unhook the cable and get him back into the pen i prepared for a tug of war with him. I hooked another cable on him (the one he was 'out' on didn't reach back to the door to the pen) and braced myself for the battle. There wasn't one - he just trotted right back thru the door to it. I was so shocked I forgot to take that cable off of him at first. I had to go back in and take it off since he doesn't need it and it could get hooked on some wire and keep him from his water. I'm still shocked at it all today.

It'll be interesting to see how it goes later when I put him out on the cable and then put him back in the pen. Maybe he senses the change in dbf or his own age (10 now) is settling him down a bit.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 4:09PM
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Steph that is interesting. I had surgery several years ago and our dog seemed to sense he could not be ruff around me. He moved slow and did not try to bump me. They seem to know. Good Boy!!! :^)


    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 5:06PM
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Yeah, a passageway like Shades has set up is a wonderful thing. it would also provide a space for planting vines, and creating a shady area in the middle. A tunnel always seems to make for breezes.

I like the picture #26, Shades, which looks like part of a "bimini" top on a boat. Even another panel of shade cloth on the top half of the forward poles could give some morning shade. I'm thinking it is set to provide evening shade, and also keep him from jumping out using the objects clustered within the shaded area.

And Steph, if you make a sort of cattle chute for boy to use going back and forth to his pen from the house, by covering it with either shade cloth or whatever, and building it LOW and not tall, he would not tend to stay in the tunnel, but move on toward the pen itself.

Ok, last we heard from you Steph was last weekend, so come on and tell what is going on now. That is one evermore big production you are involved with.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 3:39PM
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yes, it's a big production - but seems to be at a hault! dang it. dbf met the guy who will do the installation/set up here last week to give him info and paperwork to go get the permit, let him see the sight,etc. I do hope he has applied for that permit. dbf says he hasn't heard from him... the guy doing the actual moving of it needed to go to dbf's property in nearby town and rewrap each half (the AZ heat can disintegrate plastic in no time flat - it's been there about 4 yrs or so). he probably had some other jobs to get done also.
dbf had other jobs to do - and he was working on the concrete 'skirting' stuff. I don't know if he finished that yet. i remember him telling me something happened at one of his rental properties and he was working there all that day. I don't remember what it was now tho.

I rather collapsed this past week. I did some things I needed to do while I could be away from here - if those guys are here I want to be here also.

I got my hair cut (boy it was getting so long), got my car worked on, slept a lot, saw my sister... it's been cooler this past wk - until today. Seemed hotter today but was only 106. I was at mechanics on Sat for 2 hrs and it was 105 out and didn't bother me as much. They put a new door handle on the driver's side. I hadn't been able to open the door to get in (I had to crawl in on passenger side and open from inside). thank God that is over! This week he'll put in a/c fluid and do oil change.

otherwise been sleeping a lot and walking the girl dog. She now thinks the raised dirt pad out front is her runway... we walk. and we walk. my fault, I started it - thought a walk would be good for her and help build her muscles back. I created a monster... last night (this morning?) she didn't give up til about 3 am. About every 40 min or so she wanted out, not always to potty - sometimes just to walk. I was so tired.

been cabling boy on the outer NE corner of his pen - he can see the driveway there and the view he used to have (mostly).

So, while I SEE nothing being done, I really don't know if nothing is being done. might be waiting for the guy to move it here. As of tonight dbf hasn't heard from either.

while walking girl I've been trying to figure out where I want to plant what this fall. have looked up fast growing desert trees online and have about 4 picked out (probably 2 or 3 of each). drew out an outline of the wash and other trees (3) and bushes (tons) and telephone poles I want to block and other sights i want to block... maybe i'll have that done and can set it to the side until NOv then. (cool enough to plant... cool enough to do anything much).

I've been extra tired and having a few headaches (they're probably from the wind we've had or barometric pressure).

or my girl walking me to death... lol!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 4:13AM
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The weather here is odd too and I keep hearing people say they are tired, ache or having headaches. It is good you were able to nap and some errands done. You'll be available when the new stuff starts. And I know how hard it must be to "wait" without word. Men do this easier than we do.

You are going to be all over GW looking for plants and ideas. Another gardener here?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 6:03AM
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Wish I could help with the plants, Steph, but desert climate is so foreign to my experience I am no help.

My dear lifelong friend living in Las Vegas might be able to give me some suggestions though. They have created xeriscaped yards with no lawn area at their last two residences. I would not miss a grassy lawn as much as I'd miss the leafy green shrubs and trees.

I might suggest one thing to make keeping things watered though. You cluster the things you know will need watering, and put them close enough to a water supply that is dependable.

Is there ever any RAIN? What is your annual rainfall? Is there any way to collect what rolls off your roof? Even a 55 gallon drum of water is better than nothing.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 10:51AM
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It was good to get a few things done - and still this wk yet. It'll be good to have a/c in the car, that'll help when it goes over 107 again. and the hair! yikes, it'd gotten soooo long and was always in my way.

does the garden forum have much on desert planting? I'll have to take a look there.

ML - I'll be doing xeriscape also. I took a class in it with my sister about 12 yrs ago. There are a good number of desert trees, bushes, plants to use. I need to start out with fast growing ones. probably desert willow (love those), Palo Brea, Eucalyptus and Jacaranda. the Jacaranda has beautiful purplish blooms - a former co-worker had one in his front yard and I loved it. It grew a LOT in just 2 yrs. I want another mesquite too but will probably plant that in the spring. I have to check the root growth on a few because of the conduit underground. I'll put out a few Oleanders - not my favorite, but colorful and drought hardy. a few more Bird of Paradise plants and bougainvillea. I want colorful!

Several will be clumped but unfortunately a few will be loners (or I'll plant some flowering bush by them). I told dbf I wanted at least a spigot on each end of the mfg home. He did mention putting some irrigation pipes around too. If he'd do that in a few directions it'd help. 2 spigots would help a lot - I only have 1 out back now. probably only 1 tree will be difficult to water. most will be close to others I water. Want to put a tree on the westside of boy's pen also.

I want an ironwood out front so I can see it from the kitchen and porch - that's slower growing tho.
Organpipe cactus and prickly pear too! the prickly pear I can get cuttings from my sister.

Somewhere around here is my desert plant book - I need to look for it!

we do get water sometimes - usually during monsoon season. That's been rather iffy the past few yrs. We should have had rain by now. humidity is up, a lot of overcast days etc. got about 20 drops the other night. my steps were wet but you couldn't tell by the ground that even a drop hit it! sometimes we get lots of rain in the fall also.

the first yr when I was putting in the conduit for electrical it rained so long and hard I came out in the rain to dig the trench. my then roommate/co-worker felt sorry for me so he came to help. it'd rained so much we gave up and headed back to town. I had to follow his van in my corolla to see how high water was to his tires - just to know if it was a dip I could make it thru. I thought we'd drown.

the dogs' holes would become lakes out here! but I think total we get just 7-8 inches a yr. I do have 2 plastic barrels here - tho they will probably disintegrate when I touch them... will get something at the feed store to collect water. will have to see how it runs off of the 'new' roof. when I asked dbf why it didn't have gutters he looked at me like I was nuts. even with our little rain I think it should have something to direct the rain off of the roof.

Someone just came out to get the dozer. both the dozer and water truck need worked on. they took the water truck a few nights ago. I'd never know they were back there if boy didn't raise a ruckus. He thinks those are our machines now.

I did notice while out there that my head started hurting once in the humidity. ick.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 8:05PM
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Steph, there is a xeriscape board on the garden side. Check it out, I bet there are a lot of people in desert areas.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 10:42PM
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marti - thx. I started reading on there last night. trying to scan thru about 4 pages a day - i'm up to 10 now!

i posted last night and added in pics of some I'll be planting here - then my system froze and I lost that post. I hate that!

maybe I'll repost those pics today yet.

I did find on that forum that there is a version of lilac that will grow here - yeah! persian lilac. i'll probably plant 2 of those!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 4:47PM
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here's a few trees / bushes I'll be planting this fall.

Desert Willow - love these!

Bottle tree - these'll go where I want a tall tree.

Palo Brea - I love this one too!

Persian Lilac in tree form - I'll get bush form I think.

Ironwood - I love, love, love these. it's a slow grower tho. It won't look like this in my earthly lifetime.

Oleanders linked - after the first 20 rows you've seen more oleanders than you'll ever want to see! I want a hot pink or orange one. or one of each! Mine won't get any hair cuts tho.

Here is a link that might be useful: oleanders

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 11:16PM
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Great plants/trees to add to your landscape. I love the Ironwood. Hope you are feeling ok in the heat.


    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 12:04AM
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shades - I'm doing ok. the temps been down here this past wk. not over 106 I think. it's about 79 out now. we had over an hour of rain earlier. dbf had been wanting rain on the dirt pad prior to moving the mfg home here. it finally came! tho, he also wanted to bring it here in the next day or 2. I think it'll be too wet for a few days.

I was even able to turn the a/c off for a bit - and get fresh air.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 7:47PM
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Steph it is good to hear things are even a bit cooler for you. Take care. I hope your house will arrive soon.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 12:07AM
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