The wild life at home

Monday, May 14

What’s goin’ on around the ol’ home place lately?

Gee, it’s hard to know where to begin.

~ ~ ~

I give Reggie and Roger each a rib bone for chewing fun.  

They take their bone to their respective doggie beds and set to work on them.

They gnaw with intense determination.  Reggie tires first and, already conveniently in his bed, he nods off.

Roger sees an opportunity and takes it!

He locks his jaws on that bone and runs down the hall with it to the kitchen.  Reggie wakes up, sees his bone is gone, and takes off after Roger.

Reggie doesn’t attempt to take back the bone.  Physically, that is.  Instead he chooses non-violence:

The Accusatory Stare.  

For a moment Roger is caught.  Oh, the guilt!  He can’t look his best buddy in the eye.

I dispense justice.

“Nice try, Roger.  Drop it.”

~ ~ ~

We have rabbits!

At daybreak I open the back door and Reg and Rog charge out to the yard, ready to tackle any trespassers.  Usually the boys come upon a cottontail rabbit or two and commence chasing.  The rabbits zigzag their way to the gate and squeeze under it to safety.

~ ~ ~

And we have lizards and a horned toad.

The horned toad is actually a spiny lizard. You saw Roger with it in the previous post.

Another lizard (gecko?) suns himself on one of the yuccas where he makes his home.  I was too slow to catch a photo of Yucca Lizard. I’m not giving up on that.

The creature shown in photo lives near one of the water spigots.  Spigot Lizard moves more slowly than Yucca Lizard. He/she is about six inches long and has startled me more than once!

~ ~ ~

That ain’t all!

One late afternoon while strolling around the neighborhood with the crew, we meet a prior acquaintance and his dog.  We walk together and the conversation turns to wildlife.

“I opened my gate one morning (It’s a tall, cedar gate, part of his fencing) and just outside the gate were three beautiful deer.”

He continues, “We get javelina, too.  You’ll see them trotting up the street.”

Thank you, dear God, for chain link.

~ ~ ~

All creatures great and small . . . .

In Arizona, in places where there isn’t wastewater treatment, it is mandatory that any property being sold have a septic inspection and clean out.  This was done at our property and it left a large area in the back yard bare of any grass.  Correction: bare of any weeds.

I think this disturbance of the surface ground alerted Big Brown Ant Nation to move camp into our yard.  I discover the darn things are bivouacked  all over the place!

Fortunately they aren’t fire ants, nor are they those tiny black ants that like to invade kitchens.   They don’t bite and they aren’t interested in coming into the house.

Even so, I want them GONE!   Any suggestions?

~ ~ ~

Not all discoveries are problems.  

Most are delightful!

There’s a raised bed out the back door.  Nancy wants to plant a kitchen garden in it.  You know, all sorts of herbs to pluck for recipes.  Maybe some chili peppers, too, for my tostadas?

Looks like the kitchen garden is already started with a patch of spearmint I found this morning:

A reader asks in comments . . . .

“What are the sunrises and sunsets like at your house?”

Yesterday I could tell from what was visible from our yard that the sunset was a beauty. The view from the house isn’t as spectacular as what I usually photograph while camping.

However, it’s enough to bring forth grand memories.

I’m glad the best sunsets are seen away from our house.  If they were fully visible from this property, it would have carried a price tag far beyond our reach.  In real estate there’s such a thing as being “too good.”

I expect that some early evening I’ll step outside the house and a pink and purple sunset will beckon.   I won’t be able to resist.  The next morning, right after sunrise, I’ll hitch up the Best Little Trailer, grab the crew, and we’ll head out.

Not yet.  

I have a porch railing to paint.



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105 Responses to The wild life at home

  1. Susan in Dallas says:

    Ah, home sweet home with its own adventures right there!

  2. Dawn in NC says:

    Wow Sue, even at your home base you have an abundance of wildlife! Don’t know what to say about the ant hills. Love the pictures of the horned toad! Did Roger drop the bone when you told him too, or did he go racing off? It looks like you have tile floors. How nice to have when trying to stay cool. I have been working my little patootie off for a deadline at work. Man, I need some sleep. Your blog is a fresh, inspiring break from the work! Thanks for that. Can’t wait to see what you’re up to next. Are we going to get a Canine Corner with Reggie and Roger’s impression of their first house?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dawn,

      Roger stood frozen in place and loosened his jaws enough to let me remove the bone. 🙂

      Another appeal for the return of Canine Corner! I’ll see about that . .. .

      Don’t work too hard!

  3. Norman in San Diego says:

    Hi Sue,

    I miss a few episodes of the blog and all excitement breaks loose. How wonderful you have a home base here in the Southwest. Now you have the best of both worlds.
    I do wish sometime you would have a meet and greet with the blogorinos in Yuma.
    Have a good week.


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Norman. I’m looking forward to a good week. Lots of projects lined up.

      It is heartwarming how many readers have wholeheartedly agreed with the decision to purchase a house for a home base and to share with my sister.

      You have a good week, too.

  4. dave in missouri says:

    I Like the picture of the horned toad.
    I haven’t seen one of those since i was a kid.
    Looks like you are enjoying being off the road for a while.
    When it gets too hot you might try going up 191, and past the mine in Morenci as you get higher in altitude there are some great boondocking areas. but you are probably familiar with those areas already.

  5. Michael says:

    It often surprises people how much wildlife is around Arizona. I am happy for you enjoying your new home

  6. Jenny Johnson says:


  7. Mary says:

    peppermint loves to spread, much better to raise in a container, so it does not take over your garden.

    • Geri in the FL panhandle! says:

      But peppermint is great for the other plants as it keeps away the bugs that like to munch on your garden! Mosquitos hate it too!

    • Mary in CO says:

      Exactly, or you will have a raised bed of spearmint

  8. I am sooo happy for you and the crew!! Sounds like your new homebase is a good fit !!
    I stopped fulltiming last November and bought a cute little Mobil across the street from my son 💕
    I love it ! Now I am an anytimer …I come and go anytime I feel like it😄and my puppers love Love LOVE their own yard!
    I am in Drexel Heights AZ. ! There are so many close by boondocking areas that I do not have to travel very far to change my world!! 😄✌

  9. Glinda says:

    Sue I am so happy for you and the crew. Sounds like you have the best of both worlds.
    Congratulations on the new home. Please continue to keep us posted, you would truly be missed if we didn’t hear from you.
    God bless and have a great day!

  10. BioBob says:

    Those look like harvester ants that feed mostly on seeds. They should not bother anything indoors but if you must remove them, try placing a few covered commercial bait stations within a couple of feet around the entrance to their colony.

    If the ant bait you get does not interest the harvester ants, try a different sort of bait, based on sweet, protein, or oil or – best of all – a combo of all three like peanut butter & honey.

    • Lisa in San Diego says:

      please don’t use poison — horned lizards eat harvester ants, don’t want them hurt!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Horned lizards eat harvester ants — That’s good to know! I hope our horned lizard (commonly called horned toad) has lots of relatives to invite over for an all-you-can-eat buffet. 🙂

      • Thanks for thinking about that, Lisa! I’ve noticed that in the south-western states, using any kind of poisons are sometimes frowned upon because of the big ‘circle of life’ that’s so different created by the climate there. Perhaps someone on here (beneath this comment) will be ‘old-timers’ or ‘any-timers’ in the area who have had the same insect problems and come up with great ways to control so-called “unwelcome pests” safely! I really don’t “kill” anything with poison here, even in TX. I don’t even use spray poisons, but I have used those sticky flying traps and hang them HIGH inside the house. Having animals (I’m a foster mom to animals from the local shelter & I hand-feed orphan kittens.) makes me have to keep everything extremely clean to avoid attracting any insects.

  11. Stanley says:

    So the boys can not squeeze under the gate yet

  12. Carol Savournin says:

    I echo the advice about putting the spearmint into a container. The stuff goes wild if left to it’s own devices!
    Cornmeal will attract rodents, which will attract snakes. That is why I concentrate on hummingbirds to feed, instead of using birdseed close to the house. I recommend diatomaceous earth (cheap on Amazon!) which is not harmful to dogs or cats but will hurt the ants. It is really superb stuff, with many, MANY uses and perfectly safe.

    • Geri in the FL panhandle! says:


    • Barbara in Phoenix says:

      My husband uses diatomaceous earth and spreads a strip around the base of our house and especially the door openings to abate scorpions… they clean it off their bodies thus ingesting it and it kills them. We poured an ant killer directly into the colonies hole, as they are actively reproducing and it is this way you can get all of them. I don’t remember the name of the product, but he did pick it up at an extermanating supply store, being that we’re Arizona, we have a lot of these stores here.

      Also you may wish to educate yourself on the use of pre-emergents. Most folks here use this to keep weeds from overtaking their yards, driveways and to fire proof an area around their properties. Usually used in the spring and fall. It will save your back from pulling weeds. It keeps seeds from germinating.

  13. I’ve also heard Borax will kill ant colonies; I think that was what was used in Green Valley but don’t know much more about it, i.e if it is bad for other wildlife or environment. If you do a Google search you can find a recipe.

    Or, you could do like we did (inadvertently, we think) for the ants on our patio. One night we had chicken and apparently, a small piece was on the ground. We noticed it a few days later when we saw about 3 ants working together to carry the piece of chicken all the way across the patio to their “home” outside the wall. Turns out after about a week we never saw another ant so we’re wondering if my cooking killed them all! 🙂

  14. weather says:

    Prior occupants of your house may have planted peppermint as an ant deterrent, it’s one of several natural methods used for that. Because most are edible (probably not a good idea in the crew’s playground), or messy as all get out(diatomaceous earth) I would try spraying white vinegar where the ants are. Keep in mind that will stop grass or plants you want from growing in those spots, too, though. After the ants leave a few rainy days or times using a hose to water the area would remove enough of the vinegar to allow new vegetation to flourish again.

    It’s nice that the cottontails can visit AND escape. I trust you and Nancy know how to protect a garden from them should you choose to in the future. You may not carry your camera while walking Reggie and Roger around there.(?) Still, you may finally get to photograph javelina while exploring that area. It’s wonderful that you can see so much wildlife near your home.

  15. Columbus Calvin says:

    I want to mention how much I like the header picture. It’s just “my style” or something.

    Also, I like sunrise and sunset pictures, including the one in this post. I’m not a critic, I guess. I like all of them, especially Western ones.

    I leave every living thing alone unless I have a specific problem with it, even insects and snakes. You will do what suits you, of course.

    I’m not gardener enough to advise how to work with the peppermint, but I’m aware that it’s a very useful herb. One way or another, keep plenty growing.

    I’m aware of a horned lizard that’s called a horned toad. That last picture is clearly not a toad. Horned lizard?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Calvin,

      You caught two errors for me! Thank you. I meant to put Horned Toad at the bottom and include Spigot Lizard in the text. I fixed both. 🙂

      You make a good point about leaving living things alone. At this point the ants are an annoyance and I’m not doing anything about them. Maybe, like many problems, they will go away on their own, given time.

      • BioBob says:

        Average colony lifespan depends on colony size which can be from less than 500 up to 10,000 individuals with larger colonies lasting up to 30 years and small colonies just a few years.

        Diatomaceous earth can cause breathing issues in your dogs, so if you use that, it needs to be covered which is required outside anyway. Rainfall & wind will clump & disperse the particles and ruin their purpose & effect. Many commercial & homemade baits use naturally occurring borax which is mined in California’s Mohave Desert & other desert dry lakes. That’s best used in closed access bait feeding stations that the dogs can not eat. It really is not very toxic and is actually used in some food prep. If the dogs were to eat a good deal, their reproduction would be less successful, so not much of an issue in any case.

        If you find the ants too big of a nuisance, there is no reason to not remove them but they will soon be back. Ants produce an overabundance of queens to found new colonies by the billions each year. Most never make it anyway simply because some other queen’s territory is already there.

  16. Joe in TN says:

    Hi Sue,
    Hopefully, we’ll get to see a picture of a javelina. Looks like things are moving along swimmingly and you truly are blooming where you are planted. Looking forward to meeting Nancy and her crew. Best…

  17. Flyingslanted says:

    Ant eliminator: I use 1 part borax to 3 parts sugar. Mix well and apply on cotton balls. You can place the cotton balls into a plastic container like the ones for cottage cheese or yogurt. Just cut some small holes toward the bottom so the ants have a door to enter.

    Works in New England so hopefully your ants are not tougher than ours.

  18. Nice post and photos Sue, on the Ants to get rid of them, get a box of Malt-O-Meal plain and sprinkle it around the Ant entrance, they’ll leave soon,,,

    BTW, I been pulling Poison ivy out of the Garden Railroad layout today and yesterday my Okra and Black Beauty Zucchini came up, 2 rows each, they’re is Jalapeno peppers growing and Snap Pole Beans, Parsesly, Garlic, Lemon Balm, thym, Mint, Trailing Vince peach blush, Gypsophila, Forget-Me-not all coming up and soon I’ll be planting Watermelon, Tomatoes, Bell Peppers and later Big Red Beets,,

    I finished up building a all Wooden old fashioned windmill and been starting on going Battery power for the Train Engines to run using Radio Control, yea, I been busy and you have too,,

    This Wednesday is to start seeing the VA Doctors again and soon be getting 20/20, I’ve been falling down a bit and hurt my right Hip, but Piper and I go for our Morning and Evening walks anyway each day, just a little slower and my AC does a great job keeping us cool,,,

    Have a Pleasant week and give the Boys a huge hug from us and don’t let them eat the Lizards,,,,,LOL,,,🐾👣👣

    • Barb from Hoquiam! says:

      Hey Rusty, sorry to hear you are falling some. Any idea what is up with that? Your place sounds magical!

      Sue, I am so excited for you!
      One thing you can use that is safe for the critters is diatomaceous earth… It comes in a nice sized bag for about 6 bucks (I am still working on the one from last year).

      Hugs from Hoquiam where we hit 85 yesterday! Can you imagine???? I got a sunburn before August! Ya know we are not built for that!!!

      • Hi Barb, I keep tripping over stuff I’m unable to see, must remember to pick my feet up higher or remember to step lower, LOL, I fell over onto the toilet with my hip a week ago, huh, you say, the bathroom is a step lower than the main house, and I’m tripping over broken branches out in the woods, well that’ll be fixed next Tuesday after I get the Caterac removed and a New lens gets in at the Louaville VAMC,,,,,,,😉😄 ,,,, 🐾👣👣

        • Barb from Hoquiam says:

          Oh it is so hard, Rusty to keep up with the changes in things!!!! Can’t they just stay the same??? Lol I tell people I fall for a hobby. It is what it is.
          Glad you are having your cataracts removed!
          Always enjoy hearing your news!!!

          • Elizabeth in WA says:

            Isn’t falling part of getting older?? Hubby and I have our times too…or almost…not fun!! We finally are in a ground level…NO STEPS place…and that has helped!! Hope your cataract surgery goes well, Rusty!!

    • Cynthia from San Clemente says:

      Rusty: sit down because I am going to give you a lecture. You are a very busy, active man and that is a good thing because it keeps your blood flowing and your muscles limber.

      HOWEVER, as we get older (you are you know, we all are) you must move more slowly. Actually, what a physical therapist told me is that as we get older we must move more intentionally. We have to think about how we move and how we lift and how we reach. Our reactions are not quite as fast, our balance may not be as good, and our “core” may not be as strong. So we have to compensate by just being more careful and intentional, so we don’t hurt ourselves. Either that, or wrap yourself in bubble wrap!!!

      Your garden sounds wonderful. I could cook so many wonderful meals with all those goodies you’re growing!!!!

      • Your right Cynthia, I am feeling old and my mind wants to go, go ,go, LOL, I can’t believe it that I’ve made it this far with all I’ve done and gone, I’ll ask ” you know who” to slow me Down a bit, Don’t want to rush things, if ya follow my drift,, looking at how to make Cayjon Gumbo, it was definitely delicious at the VAMC in Louaville when I was there for a stay this last February, mmm mmm ya,,,,,,,,,,

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      Malt-o-meal…makes sense to me!! Had to eat far more of that stuff as a kid than I wanted!! YUCK!! Will have to remember that as ants do invade us at times in our ground level duplex here in rain forest-ville. By the way, last year my hubby got so tired of our other methods for trying to get rid of the ants, he finally just boiled water and poured down the holes outside…how many times I have forgotten…and once or twice did vinegar brought to a boil…the heat of course, kills them…but maybe the vinegar does something too…so far here we are in mid-may and I have not seen them…so am hoping!!

  19. Barb in Florida says:

    Thanks for your post and the sunset photo. That was me that asked. Your view is still less obstructed than mine. Anytime you’ve got one as good as that, I’d love to see it.

    Rainy here today. The lawn and new blueberry bushes are happy. They’re in 5-gallon buckets, Geri! Should’ve got some strawberries & cherry tomatoes based on your success. Happy day everybody. It usually is when Sue’s got a new post!

  20. Geri in the FL panhandle! says:

    Great post Sue! Funny about Roger sneaking the bone from Reggie as he slept! I would keep the mint! I have peppermint, spearmint and rosemary planted to deter mosquitoes, yellow flies and fleas from our living area!
    The mint might turn the ants away too, not sure!
    Rusty, your garden sounds great!😁 My grape tomatoes and jalapeno peppers are ready to eat! Yay!
    Sue, I love that you are keeping us included in your settling in! Thank you for that!💗

  21. Alex says:

    Boric acid or Borox should do the trick. It’s safe around the dogs, bunnies and lizards. Diatomaceous earth is a little more dangerous for the lizards if they eat any bugs that ingested it. It’s also more dangerous if breathed in, so be careful if you use it.
    Watch out for mint- its very invasive. The planting it in a pot idea is the best way to grow it.
    I’m enjoying your tales of homeownership! The thought of being able to take off on a whim is sooo attractive.

  22. Renee G says:

    Ah yes, wildlife around the ‘ol homestead. We too have that – quail, ducks, birds of all types, even raptors, coyotes, owls, snakes, mice, voles, and insects.

    What I use to get rid of garden pests including ants is diatomaceous earth. Works incredibly well and is not toxic to pets. It’s an organic compound made of microscopic plankton that kill insects when ingested. It’s the only thing that has killed the beetles that attack my zucchini every year.

    I too have a very healthy patch of spearmint that we grew for Mojito makings, but steep the leaves in hot water and make a tea. We drink it straight, no sugar, and it is a great sleep inducer. What’s great about spearmint is that it’s drought tolerant (good for you), but what’s bad is that it’s invasive and I have to pull the runners and seedlings that pop-up across the yard.

  23. Pat McClain says:

    Here is another ant killer. Mix 1 cup warm water, 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tbsp borax. Then soak cotton balls in the mixture and leave near any ant trails. My suggestion wold be to leave the cotton balls out overnight and pick them up in the morning. While the mixture won’t harm the boys, they might pick them up and carry them off.

  24. LeeJ in Northern California says:

    Horned toads eat ants…..balance of nature

    How did the comforter washing go? My washing machine I gave away was a Whirlpool, last year model. Maybe I just bought a dud.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The comforter came out of the wash fresh and clean. It didn’t make a good test though because it has several really bad, longtime stains, which is why it became a pallet for the crew. A better test were the throw rugs that I use in the BLT during cold months. They were in such bad shape I was ready to throw them away. I put them in the Maytag on the “power wash” setting. That setting runs for a very long time. It was worth it because the rugs look almost new again! Yay!

      • LeeJ in Northern California says:

        Great news!
        I have a feeling the particular model I got was a dud…I was so frustrated because I called multiple times, Sears, and they totally refused to send anyone out. Sears used to stand behind,their appliances, I even had bought a service warranty.
        I was told I just didn’t understand the new appliances, grr….

      • Renee G says:

        I don’t understand the problems with the top loaders with no agitator. I’ve always had a front loader and they’ve never had an agitator and everything I’ve washed have always come out great!

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        Glad to hear you are fine with how the washer is doing. I am fine with my daughter’s whirlpool which we mostly use too…except we have to be careful to get the water level right if washing things I do not want to see any soap residue on…could use liquid soap and avoid that…but I just use whatever daughter thinks is best for them. It is LONG wash time that you have to keep in mind. I end up washing several times a week…plus helping other days with hers…no way we can do too many washes in one day.

  25. Nancy in California says:

    Hi Sue!
    Funny story about Roger stealing Reggie’s rib bone! My two are always doing that. They both are given identical chews or bones, but not content with that. They watch each other like hawks, the first to wander away gets her treasure snatched by the other, to the incredulous look by the offended party. “How dare you?” Sometimes I intervene, usually, I just say, “Tough beans kiddo, snooze, you lose.”

    Those ants sure do look like harvester ants, like several of your blogorinos have noted. If so, they will bite defensively, like their relatives the fire ants.

    I really really hate to kill things..mostly you can avoid it, capture and release spiders in the house for instance. Some, just regretfully gotta go, mosquitoes, ticks, ants in the house who won’t listen to reason….

    With little dogs, I would want the ants gone too. Altho, they are fascinating, I read that they can travel 32 miles, yes miles, away from their nests, in search of food, yet find their way back via chemical trails. Who knew? Maybe you can flood their nest with water to induce them to relocate?? Instead of exterminating them outright??

  26. I’ve used a good ant deterrent, Peppermint oil. To keep them out of the house smear the oil with you finger around the door frames, and where the ants might get in. The oil eliminates the tracks the ants follow. I guess they leave a scent to follow to the food. Worked at my old house. Its also safe around the pups.

  27. mk reed says:

    Non-toxic ant killer ~ I know I get rid of my Georgia fire ants by pouring boiling water over the mound sometimes it takes several times but it works and no toxic stuff for the other wanted critters

  28. Tesaje says:

    Ants: my alma mater, UC Davis, did a study to determine just what worked and didn’t to get rid of ants. They tested all the commercial pesticides and traps and the folk lore and herbal remedies. What they found is that nothing really works. At least not for long. They came to the conclusion that ants do what they want, when they want, where they want, for their own reasons and nothing we do makes much difference. I did hear that ants deter termites. Better ants than termites. Big plus that they don’t bite.

    Cute critters. Lizards are good bug eaters.

  29. Cinandjules says:

    Glad to hear you are settling in….critters and all!
    Digging seems to have rustled them up…they will burrow themselves down again.
    Having a blast with your new washer and dryer!
    Lovely day today here in the zone!
    Are Rog and Reg wondering why you haven’t moved in 14 days?
    Have a wonderful evening!

  30. suzicruzi from the 'Couve says:

    Hi Sue,
    I love peppermint, and spearmint both! I grow it in pots and use the leaves in my green smoothies. Yum! Or torn up leaves and sprinkled over my fruit (mixed fruit bowl kind of thing). Yes, and of course; great for Mojitos! ha ha! True that it will take over your garden and then some.

    As for the ants, I think I’d wait and see if nature takes it’s course. Seems they were disturbed, and I bet they go back to doing what ants do in a bit, and not cause you any fuss. The other critters in your yard will probably take care of the problem anyway, over time, as others have mentioned. I like the diatomaceous earth fix myself, it you have to resort to taking action. It’s fine, and easy to use, but yes, don’t breathe it in, and wait for a non windy day to apply it.

    I have about 3 1/2 weeks left before retirement. I can’t stand it! 😉 Still packing. Why does packing up take so dang long anyway? Haven’t I been doing this for over a year now? Ugh… it’s a lot of work! But I’m counting on the payoff outweighing any inconveniences I may be suffering now: like having a house that echos every time we walk across the hard floor, or speak loudly. Or, frantically making the last minute trips to the Humane Society’s Thrift Shop “Retails”. What I haven’t sold, I’ve donated to my favorite pals. 🙂

    One of these ol’ days, I too will be posting from “the road”, like so many of your other Blogerinos. Seriously, I can’t wait!! Yippee!!!

    Have a good one, and thanks again for keeping us all in the loop!

  31. Nancy in California says:

    Oops! Shoulda done my research before I posted! Harvester ants are not related to any native or imported fire ants. They do however, (the harvester ants), bite and sting.
    I betcha Sue already knows all this and more! Have a good evening Sue and crew! Hope you got your porch railing all painted, then on to the next chore. I am thinking that a beautiful sunset WILL soon inspire you to hitch up the BLT to the PTV, and iff you will go for a little breather where the really wild things are, and the sky is as big as the world

  32. Cynthia from San Clemente says:

    Just got home from a week plus camping in Morro Bay – it was an awesome trip. The dogs are exhausted. They loved being there but, unlike R&R, they are NOT good travelers. Sammy paces back and forth, up and down the narrow aisle of the RV (narrow when the slides are pulled in for traveling), drooling as he goes.

    We hit awful L.A. traffic on the way home – there is absolutely no good time of day or night to go thru L.A. – and it made what should have been a 4 hour trip a 7 hour trip. Lucy sits in my lap and and is generally pretty relaxed unless we hit a bad patch of road surface (which most of California is!!) which causes her to tremble.

    Tomorrow, I’m calling our vet to find out what I can get to help them relax while we’re on the road. Jolene, if you’re reading this, I tried CBD treats and I don’t think it helped the dogs. The oil did help me – LOL!!!!

    I caught up on the last few posts and just love the photo a few posts back of R&R peeing on the same iris. Roger: “Hey Reg, watch it dude! I was here first. Go find yourself another plant to pee on.” Reggie: “Ha ha, incoming, incoming. Ya better duck or you’ll get wet.”

    I can totally understand how saying “good-night” to the BLT could be bittersweet. But I think you will love the ying and yang of being at home and being on the road. I love going on trips in our motorhome. When we’re gone, I appreciate the sights and sounds of different locales, the musical tones of unfamiliar birds, the unique rhythms of a new environment. But as we return home and drive up the hill to our house, I am filled with gratitude for the beauty of our mature pepper trees, for the breeze that blows in from the nearby ocean, and for the familiarity of neighbors with whom I have shared meals and wine and celebrations and losses. It is all good – the going and the coming back.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I enjoy your comments very much, Cynthia. Beautiful job describing your appreciation for the places you go in your motorhome as well as for coming home. Thank you.

    • Jan NH says:

      Cynthia, ‘Wheeling it’ blog recently posted some calming remedies they used for their trek across the ocean for their furry family members. The info is under the blog section “Europe Travel Tales – We Made it to France” if you are interested.

      • Cinandjules 🌵 says:

        AO got car sick ALL the time….drool and then up chucked!

        When we drove across the US..we were a bit concerned…uh okay A LOT bit concerned! The vet prescribed Cerenia- We were set until we read may cause diarrhea. OH that is ALL we needed right?
        Next was Acepromazine, nope…that is one of the three drugs administered for those headed to the rainbow bridge. I’ve seen too many cats OD while trying travel in a plane with their owners.

        We ended up opting for choice “C” using Adaptil spray for dogs on a bandana- worn loosely like a collar…and one 25mg benadryl. Benadryl was given 30 minutes before we left.

        AO threw up once as we drove off “the hill” winding road where we lived……Never again…made it to AZ and now no longer needs something to calm her.

        Benadryl is the name brand…generic diphenhydramine as long as it doesn’t have any other ingredients.

        Cerenia was $ 150 for 7 days
        Ace- was $150 for 7 days
        Walmart brand Equate Allergy relief was $2.88 for 100 tablets.
        Your vet can tell you how much to administer.

        • Columbus Calvin says:

          I want to note here that my carsickness is not psychological. A lifelong inner ear condition causes it. Could that be the cause in dogs?

        • Cynthia from San Clemente says:

          Thanks very much – I like the idea of Choice “C” – it seems the one least likely to have unintended consequences!!!

      • Cynthia from San Clemente says:

        Thank you Jan, I’ll take a look at Nina’s recommendations – she is always spot on!!

  33. Harriet says:

    Don’t know anything about Harvester ants but down here fire ants are a big problem . The way I get rid of them, pet safe, is to put on the kettle. Then take said tea kettle outside any pour the boiling water over mound. For those of you are a bit squeamish about this, you have not been bitten but those little demons. After you are finished with the ants, cut yourself some mint and follow this recipe, ( 1 teaspoon Powdered sugar, 2 oz. Bourbon whiskey, 2 teaspoons Water, 4 Mint leaves ), pour over ice and watch the sunset!

    • Nancy in California says:

      Love your recipe for watching the sunset! Makes me want to plant some mint asap!

    • Cynthia from San Clemente says:

      Oh my gosh Harriet – I read through your comment too quickly and thought you meant to feed the ants the bourbon mixture. I got this mental picture of a bunch of drunk ants swarming around like drunken sailors!!

  34. JazzLover says:

    What about growing chives? Perhaps someone mentioned it and I missed it, of course if you don’t use them, a moot point. Ok, washers and dryers, now companion planting. Boy, this is much better than a few magazines I subscribe to. Sue, I have to love you for being you and setting all this in motion. I only had one teacher I can compare you with, the late, most wonderful Barbara Lavigne who taught us at Sacred Hearts Academy in Fairhaven, Ma. back in the 60’s. You both made/ make us want to know more. Thanks for the tears, you are both special.

    • Cynthia from San Clemente says:

      Mine was Laura Noge in high school. I had her for English grammar (diagramming sentences, which I fear is a long lost art and the foundation of all good grammar) and for English composition (what you write after you’ve learned your grammar) and for English Lit (what you read after you’ve learned to appreciate good grammar and composition). I’ve tried to find her, using social media, to no avail. I’d like to thank her for all she taught me and all she encouraged me to learn. Sue is my adult teacher – an encourager of the curious, a provider of arcane yet interesting information, a keen observer of humans, animals, and botany.

    • JazzLover says:

      Sue, I’m sorry if I overstepped boundaries using names and school, got carried away with thoughts of the similarities with the two of you. Will not happen again.

      • Cynthia from San Clemente says:

        I will apologize if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Sue would be upset at all by your post. Because she treasures her privacy, she prefers to keep her whereabouts private, but I don’t think she objects to anyone else sharing information about their history or their current status.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        I don’t see any need for an apology. You paid a wonderful compliment to a teacher who touched your life in a positive way. I’m honored that you see something of her in me.

  35. Mel from north Texas says:

    Yep, javalina are part of the wildlife down there, there aren’t too bright, run in packs, normally nocturnal so if driving at night, be careful,, I speak from experience,, almost wiped out the front end of my rental car one year visiting my parents.. the darn things ran out into the road right in front of me..Yep,,those are pig tusk punctures in the radiator mister insurance agent! Anyway so happy for you.. you will love the Maytag washer.. we have one too..

  36. Judy in East Texas says:

    Sue and the crew, I am loving every second of this new adventure as much as I loved all the traveling you did.
    So please don’t think I have lost my mind BUT, the best way to rid your property of ants is TIDE washing powder. I live on a farm and have every kind of ant know to man, I went around (following the directions from a very old and wise person) sprinkling tide powder on all the beds I could find! My boys, who help me with the farm, thought I had lost touch with reality! Alas, to their surprise we have NO ants, no fire ants to kill our new born calves, or sting us! Red ants, leaf cutter ants and Big brown ants are all gone. So just run down to the dollar store and grab you a box to sprinkle. It really works.
    Now back to the little bone thief, that picture said it all. I had to giggle when I saw the look on his face.

    Stay safe out there my friend, Judy

  37. Ken says:

    I don’t know if they’re in all areas of AZ, but watch out for the Sonoran desert toads which are poisonous to dogs.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks for the warning, Ken. We talked about those poisonous toads under the previous post so I did some research on them. They live near standing water. Those toads wouldn’t like it here! 🙂

  38. Oh I remember those days when we had a lot of wild animals visit our house (back before development and freeways took over). Birds (hummers, geese, & blackbirds) use to migrate through our area. I still see them every so often. I didn’t like ants, snakes, scorpions, mice, ticks or spiders and still don’t. Last year we were invaded by desert termites and called an exterminator to spray front and back yard. It got rid of them, the ants, spiders, ticks and other insects included. I plan to have the yard sprayed again in mid July when monsoon happens. I still see lizards in our yard. This year the palo verde trees had abundant yellow blossoms. The lavender flowers also had tons of blossoms. I went out each morning to see bumble bees and honey bees in all the trees and lavender. Also one or two hummers.

    So what is the color scheme for interior of house? I won’t ask for exterior color for your privacy.

  39. Sandi Stewart says:

    Hi Sue,

    Not only do I enjoy reading each and every post, I also love the readers comments. So happy to hear from Rusty as well and hope he does non’t have any more falls.

    We are all so very excited in this new chapter of your life and wish you and yours well.


  40. chas anderson says:

    Thank your stars that you don’t have my porcupine problem.Had to take Eddie to emergency care once already.They have been visiting every night chewing on my deck post.They like the salty taste of the arsenic salt used to pressure treat lumber.A very dangerous animal for a dog.They are slow and can be cornered easily.We have a fenced yard but they can dig in occasionally,Fortunately, they are nocturnal and we keep an eye on Eddie and installed motion sensor lights out there.

  41. weather says:

    It’s been seasonably warm here recently. On most days while walking along the shoreline I only hear birdsong and the sound of water lapping the edge of the cove. It’s cooler and raining today so I just stayed in my doorway to hear the crashing of thunder and lake’s waves. I thought about how strange it seems to hear the furnace running in May, looked at the gauge on the kerosene tank, and was glad to see it’s full enough to not need filling until next December.

    That triggered a memory of a winter’s day when we discovered the cap to our fuel tank had frozen shut. My husband had said “Go inside where it’s warm, you don’t need to stand out here shivering.” My answer was “I don’t mind helping, I’m just grateful that we only have such high-class problems, aren’t you?” After that whenever we had to fix anything he’d grin and say “It’s high-class problem, we’re blessed to have the home of our dreams to take care of.”

    Something you said in your Exit Plan-Consider the desert lilies! post reminds me of all that. You wrote “…imagine me settling into a permanent space in an RV park or getting rid of the BLT to live in an apartment…after years of feeling a closeness with nature I’d surely lose my ever-lovin’ mind.” Thank God you have a far lovelier circumstance than what you’d imagined. Great house, yard and neighborhood, nice spot to keep the BLT, even your soil is teeming with wildlife 🙂 ! Ants and a porch railing that needs to be painted- I know you’re grateful to only have such high-class problems.

    • Geri in the FL panhandle! says:


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, weather,

      Thinking of you this morning as I read and see reports of severe thunderstorms in the Northeast with downed trees and power outages. Hope all is well in your neighborhood.

      • weather says:

        Thanks for checking on me, Sue. The most intense storms went by south of here. Looking around at sunrise this morning I found the only effects left here were a heavy fog and large deep mud puddles, there was no damage in this neighborhood .

        • Elizabeth in WA says:

          Glad to hear you are basically in better weather now…and glad you were not in danger from latest storms. We always worry during bad weather for our kin in NC…some of those storms are downright scary!! Nice to read of your good memories of your hubby!! May you be comforted as needed with many of them!! Things here with us are still as has been…and not over. Daughter had a bit of encouragement in another area that has been hard at her job…the trouble maker has taken a job elsewhere!! We are hopeful that trend will continue for our family in other areas!!

  42. Patricia O says:

    Sue, I was reading your latest posts… first of all, congrats on the new house. It looks really nice and that’s going to be great to share it with your sister. I am really happy for you!

    Then, I do not want to scare you but inform you. Maybe you thought about it, and maybe some blogorinos told you. I admit I do not read comments. But I have first hand experience in the following.
    Here I am living in Phoenix. This is a big city but I am at the edge of it. At the end of my street, there is a wash and a mountain. Sounds like your place, and your place sounds even more “wild” than mine.
    We do have cute wildlife like you: rabbits, lizards, quails, birds… but we also have predators such as coyotes and large owls. My husband leaves at 3am to go to work and he often sees a pack of coyotes cruising our street.
    There is not a week that pass when a cat or a small dog ends up disappearing somewhere in my neighborhood. We all have 6ft fences. Not a problem for coyotes. Owls are also looking around. I hear one every evening in a tree in my backyard.
    It is so intense that many neighbors are installing dog runs to protect their pets.
    Just so you know…

    Welcome in Arizona!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Patricia, for the congratulations and for your concern for the safety of my crew. I’m familiar with the threat of coyotes and owls, having seen and heard them around many of our camps. Reg and Rog are brought inside in late afternoon and don’t go outside alone until the sun is up the next day. If anything with legs (two or four) comes near our fenced yard, Roger sounds the alarm.

      Thanks also for the welcome to AZ. I love it here!

  43. Susan in south central WA says:

    Ah, memories of finding horny toads on the way to school when we moved from Seattle to Denver as a kid. Thanks!!!!

  44. Becki says:

    Sorry if someone else mentioned this about your visiting ants. When we volunteer at National Parks no poison is allowed so we were told to add Dawndishwashing soap to a gallon bucket, fill it with water then slowly pour over and around the ant hole. Don’t know why but they left for several weeks, then we just did the same process again.

  45. Rover Ronda (WA) says:


  46. rvsueandcrew says:

    Happy Wednesday, blogorinos!

    Thank you for commenting on how to rid one’s yard of ants. I’m taking a wait-and-see stance, hoping they will find more attractive real estate elsewhere or they will become meals for resident lizards.

    I appreciate all your comments. They’re fun and informative!

    Painting the porch railing was progressing well until this morning when I woke with a headache. I know the cause. I ate something yesterday that had too much salt in it. It’s almost gone now. Unfortunately it messed up my morning plans to put together a post. I’m short on photos anyway.

    Poor me. I’ll have to stop working and relax today. 🙂 You should’ve seen how sweet the boys were, trying to help me get over what ailed me.

    Love y’all,

    • Kitt, NW Wa says:

      Ooo, so sorry you were under the weather. Headaches can ruin a whole day. 😖 Hope you are better this evening.

    • Barb in Florida says:

      Hope you’re headache free by now. For some reason, the sun going down helps my son’s headaches to finally go away. Such sweet boys to know you’re not feeling good.

      Take a picture of your railing paint job so we can see the color and watch it dry:) Love & hugs to you & crew

    • Nancy in California says:

      Hoping you are back up to snuff, headache free and relaxed after a day off! Just got back from an overnighter to the Bishop, CA area. I like to go explore there. This trip I explored the Volcanic Tablelands, (again), and Lubkin Canyon into the Alabama Hills area by Lone Pine. Outstanding boondocking sites everywhere, I am noting for my near future. Last night, I spent at a lovely hotel in Bishop. Creekside Inn. Pricey, but I so needed it…I know, Sue, that you have spent time in the Alabama Hills. This time of year, just before summer season tourists overrun the joint, and backcoutry roads are clear and easy, is magical.

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      Ahhh…nothing quite like some doggie kisses and snuggles to make one feel better!! I try to drink water a lot with some lemon in it…no matter what ails me…to hurry the offending stuff from my body. Hope you feel better soon!!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Thank you, Elizabeth. By the end of the day, the headache was gone.

        New post coming up! 🙂

  47. Karen Hingel says:

    Hi Sue; I’ve followed your blog for years (probably since close to it’s inception), I don’t think I’ve ever commented. But I must weigh in on the ant issue. There is a product called “Terro” that comes in a variety of self-contained traps, for indoor and outdoor usage. It’s basically boric acid in a clear syrup medium. My house had a shockingly intense ant infestation when I bought it twenty years ago that varied with the seasons and the ant’s reproductive cycles. Then when I heard about Terro, I immediately ran out and got some indoor and outdoor traps. It initially will increase the ants for a few days, but then as they groom each other and eventually the queen, they start to disappear. I still have a few that appear every year but I put a few traps around, and that continues to do the job, so, I obviously highly recommend it! Good luck with ridding yourself of unwanted varmints, and congratulations on your new home! KH

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks for the tip, Karen! Congratulations on becoming a blogorino after all these years! Thanks also for riding with me and my crew. 🙂

  48. Robin Raber says:

    I like you new home base. I have a tiny home that I come back to after traveling around. Question, I haven’t seen the Amazon link on your page. I always try to use it. Last time I ordered I clicked on one of the items and got on Amazon that way. Will that work? Enjoy your new home. I miss seeing Horned toads around TX , They are endangered here after eradication of the red ant.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks for asking about Amazon, Robin, and for wanting to start your shopping from my blog. What you are doing is correct. 🙂

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