Anticipation! Creation of a maintenance lane

Sunday, November 25

Dennis and Gilbert put in another full day of work on the back yard privacy fence.

Now and then someone comes down the street, stops their vehicle, and hollers,”Lookin’ good!” or “I like your fence!”

Yesterday as the men are packing up at the end of their workday, one of my neighbors comes over to admire the fence.  At that time the only section of the fence completed is the line between his property and ours.

“Was it something I said?” he jokes.

“Ha!  Nothing personal, Tom,” I joke  back, patting his arm.  “Just think . . . You won’t have to look at the back end of my trailer.”  I can’t help but add, “nor the back end of me running around in my nightgown.”

Tom graciously changes the subject.

~ ~ ~

This morning it’s chilly.

Dennis and Gilbert wear jackets as they work.  I wear my “new” winter coat.

With his usual cheerfulness Dennis remarks, “This is good weather for getting work done.”

I add my two cents . . .  “And it’s good weather for watching work get done.”

We discuss where the gate should go to allow access to the back side of the fence, between our property and the property that isn’t being maintained.

Fast forward . . . .

This next photo shows you what we were talking about.

Roger inspects the completed “maintenance lane.”  (The gate is not installed as I type this. It would be out of photo frame.) The lane is four feet in width.

(The wood panel at the end is leaning there temporarily to keep the boys from leaving the yard before the job is done.  “Sorry, Rog.”)

The mess on the left is the original “fence.”  

It runs between our property and the property at the rear.  Dennis and Gilbert will clean up the brush, remove a stump on the property line, tear down the mess of haphazard wire and posts, and replace it all with chain link and posts they removed from elsewhere.

Why the double line of fencing?

The two lines of fence provide room to cut back weeds and to re-apply polyurethane to the wood every few years. Otherwise we would have to trespass in order to do so.

Besides the need for access for maintenance, it provides a buffer between properties.

Sometimes it’s wise to anticipate the worst:  Kids or other dogs on the other side of the fence making Reg and Rog crazy, the torture of hearing a basketball or tennis ball repeatedly pounding the wood fence, other noises, etc.  Also, our sounds will be muffled, too!

(In case the photos confuse you, the “good side” of the fence faces outward on the sides where seen by the general public from the street and alley lane.  At the back of the property the “good side” faces inward.  Got it?)

More fence updates as the work progresses!

Both Dennis and Gilbert have regular jobs and family responsibilities and therefore fence work isn’t done during the week.

~ ~ ~

Remember the two dining room chairs? 

I promised I would tell their story . . . .

They are a sad-looking pair sitting out front of the thrift shop.  Folks pass them by with hardly a glance.  I take a closer look.

The wood is scratched and worn but not badly.  A corner of the frame at the seat is coming loose.  

Hmm . . . I could knock that dowel back in place with my mallet.  Nice wide seat.  Some weave action going down the back.  This has potential . . . .

The seats are covered with a drab brown material showing dirt and wear.

I turn a chair over and see that the seat can be removed easily.

The chairs are marked $5 each.  I go inside the shop and find out that it’s half-price day.


To the woman who can’t stop grinning!

A few days after I acquire my “new” chairs, I’m at another thrift shop and find a bundle of this sturdy and colorful fabric.  Only a dollar for several yards.

Today I remove the chair seats, iron and cut the new fabric, staple the fabric to the seats, replace the seats, and presto!

What do you think of the results?

Smashing, eh?  I’m very pleased with the way they came out.   Total cost for a pretty dining room chair:  About $3.00 (and I have scads of fabric left over.)

If you want to give your chairs a make-over like I did, you need a staple gun.  This is the one I got from Amazon:  Surebonder 5525 Plastic Light Duty 1/4-Inch to 3/8-Inch StaplerIt fits my small hands and works well for me.

This morning Reggie discovers an excellent place to soak in those first, warm rays of the sun!


NOTE:  I could use your help:


By writing a review of a product available from Amazon, you can help readers with their holiday shopping.  I would like to include reader recommendations under future posts. (Include a specific description or, better yet, the ASIN number so I can find the product at Amazon.  No links please.)  Thank you for participating! — Sue


My Paperwhite ereader is one of my most enjoyed and practical possessions while living on the road or here at our house.  The holiday season is a great time to shop Amazon for a Kindle Paperwhite for yourself or for someone on your gift list. — Sue

Cyber Monday Deals Week – Save $40 on Kindle Paperwhite (Previous Generation)

Shop Amazon Devices – Introducing the all-new Kindle Paperwhite

RVSue and her canine crew is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.


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107 Responses to Anticipation! Creation of a maintenance lane

  1. Pat in Rochester says:

    I love that fabric. What a find! And brilliant idea, creating a maintenance lane.

  2. Elaine Magliacane says:

    Your fence is BEAUTIFUL… Reg and Rog will love it too, maybe not so great for the horny toad 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Elaine.

      Horned Toad will have a choice…. Live outside the fence in peace or live inside the fence with an alert eye on Roger or . . . like some of us, travel between two worlds. 🙂

  3. Linda, Molly & Midgy in Carmichael, CA says:

    Great job on the chairs!! I bought the new Paperwhite that’s water proof. It’s very light and small. I’m glad I bought it!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That was you, Linda! I saw that and wondered who… I’m happy for you!

      You can do so much with it… adjust the lighting and the font size, read horizontal or vertical, pull up book reviews, order books and have them immediately appear, download free books. . .and much more.

      Thank you for ordering through my blog. Much appreciated!

  4. Deena in Phoenix says:

    Fence is looking mighty spiffy. That seat cover is beautiful, wonderful colors and you did very well with the placement of the bird as a focal point.

    I am working on the finishing touches on some crochet items for gifts. Thinking about doing some holiday decorating on the patio, so am doing research on Amazon…have a big list of things to purchase this year…I always go through you to Amazon even for my researching so it has become a habit.

    Have to get my plants ready for the coldest nights, I place them all together on a lower shelf and cover with old king size sheets which are easy to lift up on warmer days for the sunlight). Today is one of the last nights of low 40 so I had better get a move on,

    Take Care

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Deena,

      Thanks for the reminder about the cold on its way and for the tip on protecting plants. I read somewhere a forecasted low in the 20s in a week or two!

      Thanks also for thinking of my blog when preparing to shop Amazon. Some habits I approve of! Ha! Also for the compliment on the chair make-over.

      Good luck with your patio decor…

  5. weather says:

    Testing, my last two attempts at commenting didn’t work.

    • weather says:

      Phew, I’m glad it’s working for me now.

      The chair has become beautiful, Sue! You did a great job, both in finding the chairs and cloth at those prices, and in covering the seat. I love the pictures on that fabric. Your fence looks better than I expected it to, and I expected it to look really good. What a wonderful improvement to your place, Wow! . You were wise to anticipate the problems you mentioned that not having the maintenance lane could have caused. It appears to be taller than you and most people, is that true?

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi, weather!

        I’m sorry you had difficulty posting your comment. Very annoying. I suspect it happens to others as well shortly after the new post appears. Glad you persevered!

        I’m happy you like the make-over of the chairs. I agree — that fabric was a great discovery. It really “pops!”

        Yes, the fence at six feet is taller than eye-level for most people. It did come out better than I expected, too. Trees, bushes, and other plants will accent it nicely.

        I’m debating whether to have stain applied with the poly-coating or to have the protective coating alone. At the moment I leaning toward the clear coating as some darkening will occur with it alone. Stain can be tricky to apply evenly and I don’t want it to be too dark.

        It’s fun sharing these projects with you and all my readers. 🙂 Thanks for commenting on the latest!

        • Beth and Rosie dog, Arizona says:

          Yes, stain is a pain! Don’t stain, just the clear coat is best, imo! 😉 I used to paint and stain houses with a group of teachers every summer for several years. I was the only female in our group of five teachers, but I could paint just as fast and as good as the guys. The only thing I couldn’t do was move the 32 foot extension ladder, it was too heavy for me when having to move it in it’s upright position! I could carry it when it was parallel to the ground, but watch out when it was perpendicular!

          Your fence looks awesome! And I like the chairs, too. You’re doing a wonderful job!

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Thanks, Beth!

            I hoped someone would comment on the stain vs. clear coat options. Unless someone can convince me otherwise, I’m going with the clear coat. Dennis told me about a fence like mine that he installed at another house in our neighborhood. He suggested I drive over there and see how the clear coat looks. I like it! It darkens the wood somewhat, over time, and that’s okay. It takes away the “just delivered from Home Depot” freshness so the fence doesn’t visually jump into your face.

            Wow! All that painting and staining! Hard to believe what we did when we were younger, right? I was a mason’s helper for a few days. Imagine being 118 lbs carrying a load of bricks up a scaffold for the masons. I think they paid me for watching my butt go up a scaffold, more than for the bricks I hauled.

            • Beth and Rosie dog, Arizona says:

              Don’t know if you’ll see this, being on an old blog, but not that old! I worked for a landscape company right before getting on with the teachers paint crew and I had to move two tons of dirt by wheelbarrow UP a hill one day. At the time I weighed 120 lbs and was 5’7” tall, skinny to be truthful. I think the boss had me doing that to break me, which I wouldn’t allow! I was blessed by getting on the painting crew, it paid lots more and better hours, it’s amazing how things work out. Never give up and always look for the good in everything.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Your moving tons of dirt story reminds me of the way things were in the 70s. I’m guessing that’s when this happened, although I don’t know your age. My mason helping job was at the same time. I took it for the same reason… better pay.

        • weather says:

          Sue, I really like the idea of staining a fence instead of painting it. Re-painting is very labor intensive in comparison to re-staining. Often, people think because paint lasts longer they will save money by using it, but when factoring in the cost of labor, I think staining is really the less expensive, and more attractive in appearance, option.

          Before you decide about using clear coating you may want to take a little time to read and research how the pigment in semi-transparent stain protects wood from uv damage. Completely clear stain has no pigment in it, and wood that’s unprotected from uv in areas with strong sunlight, like southern Arizona, can deteriorate more quickly than one would hope.

          If you hadn’t already made a serious investment in your fence I wouldn’t mention this and possibly dampen your enthusiasm about clear coat. I agree it offers an attractive appearance. Yet I have also seen lightly tinted products that allow the woods natural beauty to remain and show through , while having some very attractive colors, like Wheat-close to your fence’s current appearance, or Butternut- which is a lighter shade with more white pigment in it .

          Were I in your situation I might go to a Home Depot, see what choices they offer, get a couple of sample pints, and a small piece of plain wood to try them on. I’m just mentioning a few of my thoughts on the subject, I think whatever you go with will look great.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Good morning, weather! Thank you very much for pointing out the issue of UV rays. I hadn’t thought of that and will research the subject and products available.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            I did a little research (not extensive) and found that the product descriptions for clear wood sealant (the penetrating kind) include UV protection. I didn’t find an independent source comparing how much UV protection is given by various products, which is what I wanted to see.

            The prices range from $20 – $70 for 300 sq. ft. of coverage. BIG OWEE!

            Do you recall where you read about the need for stain for UV protection as opposed to clear sealant?

            Great suggestion to test color results on a small piece of plain wood.

            • BioBob says:

              I like the way a 50/50 mixture of linseed oil and turpentine look and it’s just about as cheap a sealant /treatment as you can get. You can reapply as often or infrequently as you like.

              Exposure to the sun will usually make the wood turn some shade of grey no matter what type of clear finish you apply. If you want a particular color, you will need to have pigment in whatever you finish with.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Interesting, BioBob. I’ll mention the linseed oil/turpentine mixture to Dennis and Gilbert. They probably won’t want to try anything with which they’re not familiar on a “customer’s” job (although Dennis and I are friends).

              Your last paragraph gives me pause. Home Depot does have a stain with Cedar in its name and the color is close to what the boards look like without anything on them.

              Thank you for stopping in here with a comment. I need all the help I can get making this pesky decision.

          • weather says:

            BIG OWEE, I agree! Yikes, that’s high. If the penetrating clear wood sealant works, that may be the way to go. After all, you liked the way your neighbor’s fence turned out with it. I hope you’re having a lovely day. Hug the boys for me 🙂

  6. Alice says:

    Love the material ! Sounds like things are really moving along, good for you !

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Alice! I love seeing the progress being made. After a lifetime of having to do any improvements or yard work by myself, it’s an absolute joy to see others doing work for us. I am very grateful and happy.

  7. Susan in Dallas says:

    I love, love, love the new chair covers! I have boring white covers on my dining room chairs and I need to do something with them. I’m “embracing the 50’s” with my decor in my house that was built in 1952.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Ooh, 50s decor is fun! And it’s very popular these days. You can have fun searching for vintage treasures, online or in the “real.” Good luck, Susan!

      • Donna 'N Girls says:

        I have a friend, who is 10 years younger than me, that likes to
        shop antique stores for “mid-century ” items. First time I heard her use that term, I thought, holy cow I remember all those things. I used to own those things, geez. I was born in ’46 so I guess I’m a pre mid-century antique.

  8. ReneeG from Idaho says:

    I too have recovered my chairs, but didn’t think to go to a thrift store for the fabric. I have to cover them again due to time and stains catching up with them.

    We don’t have a maintenance zone along our fence, but we have good neighbors, until one moves out that is. We did create a maintenance zone behind a shed we added. We placed it 4 feet from the fence and that was sure a wise decision. It made it easy to paint the shed and when we had the fence stripped and restained, it made it easier for the guy who did the fence work.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Renee!

      Smart to have a space behind your shed for maintenance and repair and also it provides a temporary holding place for anything you don’t want in view.

      One of our neighbors has a shed a few inches from his chain link — he didn’t put it there, it was up when he bought — and he’s going to paint the shed soon to match the new paint job on his house. I’m curious how he will manage it without painting the chain link, too.

  9. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    I love the the new fence, especially its height. I wish I had one here, but HOA won’t permit it. I could put one just around the patio, but that would be claustrophobic.

    I really love the nice bright print fabric on the chairs. The colors are the same as what I have picked out for my kitchen windows, except mine is more fruity and the dominant blues and yellows are swapped. Guess you could say we are colorful. Mine was fabric I had on hand. Enjoy!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barbara!

      Instead of a solid fence around your patio, there are alternatives. You can view them at Home Depot, for instance (online or in person). I’ve seen privacy created with privacy panels that have spaces between them filled in with shrubs. Makes for a lovely enclosure without claustrophobia…. Light and breeze comes through and you can look out over the plants.

      Here’s a link to several ideas, fun to browse through them. People are so creative! “Best 25+ Patio privacy ideas”

  10. Dawn in NC says:

    Wow! The chair and your fence look wonderful! It must be a great feeling to see the fence go up. Now, you can spend all day in your nightgown if you want. 😉 I have a little back patio that is fenced off from the neighbors. It’s nice to sit out, if I want and not see them. I don’t use it that often. I am missing my watch today. The little scamp of my new kittens must have played with it last night. I heard its alarm go off this morning. However, when I went to retrieve it, it was GONE! My kittens had a wild night last night and kept waking me up playing. My watch was on the floor, so I suspect that they dragged it some where. It’s the second night that I’ve let them sleep with me. Mac keeps me awake by pouncing on my feet. Kristy keeps trying to lick my face while I’m trying to sleep. Ack! I’m going to have to get more energy out of them before I go to bed tonight. Please give Roger and Reggie a belly scratch for me!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Dawn, your kitten updates are a delight! You are having a great time with them in your life, even when they hide your belongings. Funny how they pester you at night when you’re trying to sleep…. Remember these precious days and nights with your feline crew, memories to cherish forever….

      Belly scratches on the way to Rog and Reg! Thanks for the nice comment about the chair and fence. 🙂

  11. Dawn in NC says:

    Hi Sue, I left a comment, but I don’t see it yet. As for Amazon finds that I would recommend, I love the Armarkat B5701 57-Inch Cat Tree, Ivory
    by Armarkat. It’s easy to install, very well made and my cats LOVE it. I received one for a Christmas present last year and I highly recommend it!

  12. Suzicruzi says:

    Oh my Sue, the fence is how I envisioned it, and is coming along super. It’s interesting how your story goes from homeowner and yard chores in GA, to the road-vagabond life in the BLT, to a home life with yard chores in AZ. You have sure kept your life interesting and not a bit stagnant or predictable! Good on you!!

    And yes, Yaqui Pass was damn scary! And- we towed over it to boot, as we came from Julian, after having a massive slice of Apple pie. Ha!

    Cheers! Suzi. 😎

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Suzi!

      Hey, that sounds like you and Larry: “You have sure kept your life interesting and not a bit stagnant or predictable!”

      Oh my, towing over Yacqui Pass…. What brave souls! Amazing what you can do with good apple pie in your belly, eh?


      • Suzicruzi says:

        HaHa! No doubt! I’ve got my Larry, the school bus driver to take over the helm when I wimp out. Lucky me!

        We saw the sculptures today, and did a drive through of the State Park too. The visitor center is pretty neat as you had mentioned. We were trying to locate the Peg Leg “monument”, but “whaaat the heck” where is it? It should have been right there, where it was stated, but no sign of it. Did you by chance locate it?

        The WX has been so warm, and so nice, I think we’ll stay a bit. Time will tell what the weekend looks like here. Fingers crossed it won’t be bad. One of the gals in town said Thanksgiving weekend here was a “zoo”. Not my monkeys, not my circus! Lol 🤣

        Talk to you later Sue,
        Smooch those boys for me on the beak. 😚

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          IIFC, the peg leg monument is a small stone obelisk with a plaque, easily overlooked. Probably had an RV in front of it or something.

  13. That is a great looking fence!! Your whole place will feel brand new and so private now. It will be interesting to see how the pups react to hearing but not seeing – they’ll get used to it 🙂

    Beautiful chair seats. I might have to paint the chairs a muted orange (I’m weird like that). Always fun to make our own treasures!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jodee!

      As I told a neighbor, I hope the fence providing a visual block will cut back on the barking by Roger and Reggie. Not that anyone complained… Seems almost everyone around here has a dog or two or more and they all bark. That’s something that I marked in the “pro” column when evaluating this neighborhood. I’ll probably write about what changes the fence makes in the crew’s behavior (and maybe mine, too!).

      Galveston Island…. Woohoo for you! 🙂

  14. A 300 lb. three step Little Giant ladder with safety grip and holding tray is my suggestion for amazon buy. I recently purchased this ladder so that I could easy clean the top of my refrig, book case, take down curtains, dust fan blades and many other uses. Oh, also to take down cob webs in ceiling. My son suggested I buy this ladder because he is about 200 lbs and if he carries a load of 50 lbs he can still use the ladder. I’m gathering supplies to exterior paint the house before summer. I’m so happy with my purchase and the top of refrig and book case are done! Next the curtains and drapes come down for washing & the windows cleaned!!

    BTW you could post some of your old suggestions for purchase from Amazon i.e. binoculars, outdoor mats, etc. I purchased the Dutch oven and recipe book from your site a couple of years ago. My dad use to cook with dutch ovens and the food was amazingly delicious…he’d stack them with different ingredients i.e. biscuits, apple cobber, meat & potatoes, veggies. The Phoenix summer heat makes cooking inside a pain so I have a sort of outdoor kitchen in back yard. Repost the Webber grill and your lounging chair.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rita!

      Another great product review! Thank you! I’ll use it! I’m glad you like the ladder and have found many uses for it.

      I’ll be honest about posting my old reviews of products I’ve bought in the past. It is a lot of work to find them and bring them to a new post. Several of those items I’ve talked about a lot (blah, blah, blah).

      I find it interesting to learn what readers have bought from Amazon, are glad they did, how they use it, why they like it, etc. — like your ladder and the Dutch oven.

      Just look at all the newsy stuff you wrote while reviewing the ladder! Fun reading! Thank you! 🙂

  15. Cynthia in San Clemente says:

    The two parallel fences are a great idea – I don’t know that I’ve seen that done before, but it makes a lot of sense. And the new fence itself is beautiful. It looks like the guys used redwood for the uprights? If so, that was smart as redwood is more rot-resistant than other woods. And I love the chairs – the fabric is so “you,” Sue! Flowers and birds and bright colors! I have a small wooden chair that belonged to my great aunt, which I’ve placed at my bathroom vanity. I’ve refinished it and recovered the worn needlepoint seat with pretty fabric, but I think of her often when I sit there doing my hair and makeup. She was a Southern belle and I think she would like that it is used for “primping.” I love having things around me that have memories and meanings – some known only to me. I have a palm-sized rock with burn marks that I use as a paperweight on my desk. When we took my oldest grandson (now 19) on his first camping trip at age 4, he was cold so I found the rock, tossed it in the fire for a few minutes, and then pulled it out and let it cool a bit. When it was safe, he put it in the front pocket of his sweatshirt and held onto it to warm his hands. I never look at that rock without thinking of that special camping trip.

    Sammy is doing better each day. His breathing is totally normal and he slept alone (without mom) for the first time last night. He’s sleeping a lot, but I’m sure that’s normal after the stress of surgery and two nights at the vet’s. I’m so glad I’m retired now and can just hang at home to keep an eye on him – I’ve used the time to get all my Christmas decorating done! A couple of years ago, I looked back at some of my photos from past years and thought I went a little overboard – it looked a bit like “Christmas vomit.” So, on the theory that “less is more” I’ve been reducing the amount of decorations I put up the last couple of years. As I decorated this year, I pulled out anything I thought I wouldn’t use again and filled up two boxes that Jim took to the local thrift store for me. So if you decide to have a tree Sue, there’s some pretty stuff to be had here in San Clemente!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Cynthia… I love the glimpses into your life that you share here… Your great aunt, the chair at your vanity, the meaning held by the stone on your desk, the change in your Christmas decorating, and, of great importance right now, an update on Sammy.

      Such good news! Breathing normally and sleeping on his own…. I’m very relieved and happy for you and your household. Hi, Jim! 🙂

      About the fence… No, the posts aren’t redwood. The color is from being pressure treated. (I have to cut costs somewhere!) I decided against the redwood based on another fence in this neighborhood, the one belonging to Dan and his dog Buddy. That fence and posts aren’t redwood and they’ve been up for several years, doing fine. As long as the fence outlives me, I’m satisfied. 🙂

      Thank you for adding yourself to my blog. Tender pats to Sammy…

      • Cynthia in San Clemente says:

        I just had to add this, based on your comment that “as long as the fence outlives me, I’m satisfied.” Whenever Jim (age 73) and I are shopping for a major purchase now and the salesperson tells him it has a “lifetime guarantee,” he responds, “Look at me, does it look like I need a lifetime guarantee?” Gotta have a sense of humor if you’re gonna get old – and you certainly have one!!!

  16. Columbus Calvin says:

    The chairs are really outstanding! Is that as easy as you make it sound?

    My recommendation is a little “cranky.” I have one of the backlit Kindle readers, but I recommend the e-ink one I used to have. The backlit one eventually gives me a headache. (I read for long periods of time sometimes.)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Nothing “cranky” about the information you share, Calvin. It’s good to know for anyone who may be prone to light-induced headaches or who reads a lot in one sitting. I appreciate you sharing your experience.

      I’m sure you tried dimming the light to its lowest setting. I don’t know if you can turn it off completely. (Mine isn’t handy at the moment.)

      Yes, recovering the chair seats is very easy with a staple gun. Removed 4 screws, placed the seat on top of the fabric to know where to cut, a bit of stapling, screwed the seat back on…. Done!

      If it weren’t easy, I wouldn’t have attempted it. Really. It seems I don’t have the attention span any more for complicated projects. I get into something and I get restless to do something else…. like read. 🙂

      • Calvin Rittenhouse says:

        I get by with the Kindle I have for now, but eventually, I’ll get another one. I have a bad time throwing things away, but in time I’ll find another reader that doesn’t have their own Kindle and give this one away.

        I bet I’ll try recovering a chair before long. I have an excellent thrift shop or two for resources, and the price is certainly right the way you did it.

  17. Linda Sand says:

    I love your new fence! That maintenance aisle is a great idea. We bought a house that already had a chain-link fence set in about 6-inches from the lot line. When our back door neighbors put up a fence he asked permission to hook his side pieces up to our back piece. So we essentially ceded that 6-inches to them. Good thing that fence didn’t need maintaining. But they built their fence higher than mine thinking it would keep their big dog in their yard. Nope, it jumped the fence into our yard instead.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh dear, there are neighbors and . . . there are neighbors. Grab 6 inches of your property without a qualm….

      Which points out the reasoning behind the buffer zone. The property is unoccupied now. Someone could buy it “for a song,” give it a quick clean-up, and rent it or move in. There’s no guarantee we would have responsible, considerate people next door. Even good neighbors can be irritating at times, and that includes us. 🙂

      Thanks for the positive on the fence!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        “Asking first” is a time-worn method for taking advantage of people who don’t want to say “No,” like to a neighbor because of fear it will start bad feeling. Often the asking is paired with the element of surprise.

        A considerate person would have qualms about asking such a thing.

        “No,”always means no, but yes sometimes means “I wish you hadn’t asked that of me.”

        I stand by my statement.

        • Rick says:

          Well.. I can sure see… with your suspicious nature…. that the 6 foot buffer between you and your “ someday” neighbor is maybe enough. I was taught to ask permission…
          I was raised to be honest and forthright! I learned how to say no without guilt.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            How you were raised or what you learned is irrelevant to my point: Some people try very hard to get along with others, often at their own expense. Others don’t care about getting along with others; their priority is getting what they want.

            A gentle reminder: We don’t insult each other here. There are plenty of places available to you where that is acceptable. Please, go find them.

  18. Linda in NE says:

    Your fence looks great and so does your “new” chair! If you ever find a piece of wood furniture that could use a little help, Jo at talks about a product that she uses to make minor scratches & dings look better and just makes the old wood look brighter & prettier. Might have to scroll back a ways through her posts, but she mentions it every now and then.

  19. Rob, still in GA & heading for Florida tomorrow says:

    I like the ‘new’ chair! You do good work…

  20. Dawn in NC says:

    Hi Sue, I haven’t seen CinandJules here lately. Is everything OK with them?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Cindy and Jules are okay. I emailed them several weeks ago and inquired. I received a friendly reply letting me know they were fine, just life taking them away from the blog. They did make their annual trip to Vegas to celebrate Jules’ birthday. I miss Cinandjules but understand that few things are forever. Maybe someday we will hear from them again.

  21. Pauline in Mississippi says:

    Great post!!! I love the fence! It will make your backyard more of a personal oasis. You did a wonderful job on the chairs. The pattern and colors are so pretty. Really dresses up those chairs.

    Sending Hugs!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hugs received and appreciated!

      Hi, Pauline… Sunny, warm and breezy here this afternoon. I took a snooze in the lounger out in my semi-private, soon to be private, backyard oasis.

      Yeah, the chairs are bright and cheery. I figure they spend most of their time under the table — might as well make them bright.

      Love you! 🙂

  22. Jan NH says:

    The fabric for those chairs really makes a huge difference on those chairs. They look fabulous.

    Your new fence is looking awesome. I love the idea of your own private oasis. It is clear the installation was well thought out, leaving the 4′ path for maintenance. It is great that you found you have a neighbor to do this work.

    I have a chain link I installed for a big section of my yard a few years back for the dogs…would have loved to have done my whole back yard but it was too costly. Only one side of the fence faces neighbors and I am considering adding privacy material made for chain link so that the dogs aren’t constantly over on that side barking with all the comings and goings. I’m just not sure how well those panels work. I have only looked online and not in person so can’t tell if it is too thin to block the dogs from seeing when people come and go.
    Wondering if anyone here has experience with this type of material???

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jan,

      Thanks for the compliments on the fence and the chair coverings.

      I’ve seen the strips that one weaves through a chain link fence. I don’t know if that’s what you mean. The strips block view but they aren’t really thick because I’ve seen light coming through them. Dogs rely on sound and smell more than we do and your dogs will still have that through the chain link with privacy strips.

      To be honest, I don’t expect our solid wood fence will do much to deter the crew from barking.

      Blogorinos: Do you have experience with privacy material for chain link?

  23. Diann in MT says:

    Fence envy!!!
    I am Christmas shopping with you, Sue.
    I hope you reap a bunch of benefits this season.
    Your chairs are fabulous. That’s what you reap for being so handy for so long!

  24. Renee (Datil/North Ranch) says:

    Oh my goodness, Sue, the fence looks spectacular! What a HUGE improvement, and how nice to have the privacy (loved the “back end of me” comment….). And the fabric you found to recover the dining room seats is beautiful! So colorful! You’re sure sprucing up your place and making it your own. I’m so very happy for you, & am really enjoying coming along on your home acquisition & improvement journey.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Renee,

      Good to hear from you! Isn’t the fence great? I love it. It’s much better looking than I had anticipated. Thanks for the nice note. I’m glad you are following our “home journey.”

  25. Ruthie in Fontana says:

    Sue, love the chairs. My sister is an artist. She uses watercolor and paints various pictures of birds. Her paintings are a little subdued but very beautiful. I like the vibrant colors of your material.

    The fence is another great addition. The dogs will still bark a little because of any sounds but then stop barking because … what’s the use!… We have a block wall and whenever some walks down the sidewalk my dog Bailey runs back and forth. Then they are gone and he stops. I usually tell him “No Bark” so he stops barking but still gets the exercise. I love your blog and keeping up with the story of your life and the the lives of the other blogorinos.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I like to keep up with the stories of the blogorinos, too! 🙂

      Generally I like subdued colors such as I imagine your sister uses in her paintings. For these chairs, I went wild with color because I won’t be looking at the design all the time and won’t tire of it right away.

      It’s good for dogs to run and bark once in a while. That’s part of their nature. Bailey is only doing his job, right?

      Keep on loving my blog, Ruthie!

  26. Gumo says:

    I love buffer zones, too! I live in a small patio home and I don’t have much of a buffer area between neighbors but I relish what I have. Plus, the privacy fence is a real investment into privacy. You won’t regret it at all.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re right, Gumo. No regrets here on the fence. Privacy matters. My initial thought about the fence was… What the heck. Put up a bunch of boards. It may look terrible, yet with the privacy it gives, I’ll live with that. Plant bushes and trees in front of it. Whatever.

      Now that I see the “boards” up, I like the look as well as the privacy.

      Yeah, obtain and enjoy whatever buffer you can. Good to see you here, Gumo. 🙂

  27. Rover Ronda says:

    I love your new chairs!

    Favorite products:

    Zyliss Easy Pull Food Chopper and Manual Food Processor

    You don’t even need solar power for this chopper! It’s not difficult to pull the ripchord. In about 15 pulls or so I can have 2 jalapeño and 4 mini sweet peppers diced. It’s easy to clean too. You just hand wash, wipe the lid. You need to avoid getting water inside the lid. The rest can go in the dishwasher. The blades lift out easy from the bowl/container. I don’t have a dishwasher. It’s easy to wash by hand. The 2 blades are large and in opposite directions
    I am also VERY happy with the Hamilton Beach Food Processor my husband got me. It’s great for preparing big dishes. BUT if I put too much or too little in it some of the pieces don’t get chopped small enough while others get chopped too small if I continue. This little (2 cup?) chopper is awesome.

    Rubbermaid FreshWorks Produce Saver Food Storage Containers

    My husband and I are amazed at how long these containers keep food fresh.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks for the product reviews, Ronda. I hope to include them in future posts. I don’t think blogorinos will mind seeing your review again and, that way those who skip comments will read about the product, too.

      I’m putting the products in bold so I can come back here and find the reviews.

    • Rover Ronda says:

      Sorry I’ve been meaning to get back to this.
      Zyliss Easy Pull Food Chopper and Manual Food Chopper =B075VBZ4G2
      Hamilton Beach 12 cup Stack & Snap Food Processor =B00KHLN7K2
      FreshWorks 2 small rectangular 4c =B074TS9ZX3
      I found these in our recent order history. We liked the FreshWorks so much we bought more. I didn’t look back for the first set we got, but here’s the numbers for a set. FreshWorks 3 piece set B01FCR7MYM

      We bought a house in AZ! Eventually it will be our primary residence. This winter we’re just going for 4 weeks, which is the longest block of time my husband can get off. We’re going to be doing some painting and building a Murphy table. All very exciting!
      We’re only going for 4 weeks but I think I’m taking my Nutribullet (Nutribullet Pro 900w B0163K1Z3G) because I use it almost every day. I decided to put my Zyliss to the test and see if it would make a smoothie for me. It does! I break my bananas into 3 or 4 pieces when I freeze. So I had large chunks to start with along with frozen mixed berries and rice milk. I started slowly. I didn’t want to break the pull cord trying to pull the blade through the frozen banana. I gradually started pulling the cord faster. I have no idea how many times, but I pulled the cord for less than 1 min because I’m lazy. If I had added a little more rice milk and pulled longer I think I could have made a perfect smoothie. I was content with a few little chunk pieces in mine. It was delicious. I was impressed!

      We leave for AZ Sunday. I don’t think we are going to set up internet in the AZ house yet so you may not see me in comments for a while.

      Merry Christmas Sue 🎄🌠
      Merry Christmas Blogorinos🎄🌠
      Love, Ronda

  28. Suzicruzi says:

    I highly recommend “Luci Light” by Mpowered. Sue, I don’t know what the ASIN number, but a quick search for Luci Light brings it up. They are really great! Long lasting little solar lights, that charge easily and hold their charge for a long time (unused) so you can have them in case of power outages. They are small, waterproof, and pretty functional. One lights the interior of our Casita, 2 is almost as good as daylight! (Almost). Due to the cost and light weight, easy to use feature, they make great gifts! We first used them for backpacking as they weigh nothing, charge during the day on your pack, and stay lit a very long time. The directions say they stay on 12 hours, but we have found it’s more like 8-10 hrs on the low setting, which is still amazing. You gotta get a few! We have the original, but I’m kind of drooling over the newer colored ones for patio lanterns. Cheers!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Sounds like a great item! Thanks, Suzi!

      I think this is the one…. MPOWERD Luci Outdoor 2.0 – Inflatable Solar Light, Clear Finish, Adjustable Strap

    • Nivrapa in AZ says:

      Hi Suzi, you’re so right! These inflatable solar lanterns are great items. I have a different one made by LuminAID that has a USB charging port. In addition to being able to charge by solar, you can also charge via USB in about an hour. They are bright and hold a charge very well and seem durable enough to just live in my backpack for hiking so I always have a light source with me. Lighter than a flashlight and a reliable backup to my headlamp. I’ve had mine for several years and it is none the worse for wear and tear.

      Would make a great gift for some outdoor lover or folks who deal with occasional power outages. LuminAID Solar Inflatable Lantern powered by USB. Model LUMPLNVB ASIN B0716JV1SG—Audrey

  29. P.S. If the property ever sells next to your buffer fence, be sure and let them know the property line is at the chain link fence not the wooden fence. My neighbor east of me moved his property line a foot into my property so we had to settle it…but outside of court once I showed him the survey map and filed with the city. We bought the lot and had this small bungalow house built on it before the area developed. Now I-10 freeway and 202 Loop are around my neighborhood…no more cotton fields, orange groves, vegetable and fruit stands, nut trees…sad. My son says ‘Mom I’m glad you told me to play outside and enjoy the wide open spaces because you said in the future it will all go away.’ He’s a grown man now but he remembers sailing his paper boats down the little irrigation ditch a block from front yard which is now covered with a paved street and a warehouse on the other side of a block wall. The wall is nicely done with trees, bushes and flowers but the warehouse & wall cut my view off the Estrella Mountains south of me. Here I go blabbing again….

  30. Harriet says:

    Great idea about the buffer between the properties! Love you thrift store finds. That fabric is the bomb, it could be a nice sofa cushion, too. The chairs look like that’s how they should of been in the first place. Things are moving right along. My little Vito loves the morning sun in his backyard. Temps in the 50’# here but he loves to sun himself out there.

    • Columbus Calvin says:

      I’d be sunning myself too if we had temperatures in the 50s. It’s just not the same when the air temp is below freezing. Oh, well, this is Ohio. We get “any weather at any time,” so maybe the winter won’t be wintry.

  31. Liz says:

    Sue, the new fence is going to create such a wonderful private backyard for you and the boys – looks terrific. Putting the “smooth” side of the fence to the outside is neighbor friendly and actually safer for you, as there are no horizontal boards for someone to use to boost themselves up and over the fence. I think the inside looks more interesting and provides places for yard art and plants.

    As to the strips in chain link – ugh! They end up looking very tattered and shabby in a short period of time. Here in the frozen tundra, we have several neighbors who have added a fabric/vinyl piece with grommets that runs horizontally all along the fence line. Looks very nice, but only semi private.

  32. Paula in Indiana says:

    Sue, the fence is beautiful! I like the natural color with no stain. I also love the unique and colorful fabric you found for your new chairs – so pretty!

    I have to tell you about a purchase I made through your Amazon link two years ago. They are AT&T cordless phones. They still carry them, so I copied the heading:

    AT&T CRL81212 DECT 6.0 Phone with Caller ID/Call Waiting, 2 Cordless Handsets, Black/Silver

    My mom and I have had great luck with these phones. They have large buttons and big displays. Easier to see for older eyes. I can’t tell you how many times in the past two years one has accidentally been dropped on the hard kitchen tile floor, but it is still working just fine.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Paula… I searched for this phone and several results came up, but not for this particular model. If I had the ASIN number (under Product Information), I might be able to find it.

  33. LeeJ in Northern California says:

    Oh! The chairs! My husband’s aunt had those chairs and the table that match. I have to add that she was very discriminating in her taste and had the money to buy the best. So you have very high end chairs there!

    One of the products I love and amazon carries, is Howard-RF4016-Restor-A-Finish-16-Ounce. This stuff is amazing and comes in different colors, walnut, oak, etc. have oak furniture that I keep looking like new by yearly applications. It covers scratches and rubs perfectly. My bedroom set is over forty years old, I have had it probably thirty years. I bought it used back when I wanted quality furniture with dove tailed joints and solid wood and could only afford man made stuff, or used. I use the Howard’s on it too…. I just put on gloves and wipe it on with a piece of folded cheesecloth. It dries quickly and makes furniture or cabinets look like new.
    It has been so nice here, the rain has cleaned the air, taking a deep breath, lol.

    Love the fence too. One time we purchased new redwood fencing for our property to go between our house and one of the other houses on our property. The man that was renting was a contractor,…a bit vertically challenged….he offered to build the fence with our materials for money off his rent for his labor. So off to work I go…when I got home, he had methodicall cut every six foot fence board to 48 inches.and shortened the fence posts..and built a beautiful fence….perfect workmanship. I was not happy! I asked him why he did that, and he said…well I couldn’t see over the fence if I used the six foot boards….omg…. this is the same man that told me I should make my son keep his bedroom window closed in the summer so my son couldn’t hear their conversations while they were outside….see why I no longer rent my other houses? One is a guest house and one my brother in law lives I…. I was so happy to get my mortgage paid off and no longer need the income! I now count my blessings..

  34. Marilu in Northern California says:

    Hi Sue,
    Congratulations on your latest projects. I love the fabric! Maybe a you could make a throw pillow with some of the extra.

    I would like to recommend the Instant Pot I just order through your blog. I bought the smaller size a few months ago but found myself wanting the larger 6 quart size. I gave the mini to my daughter and just received the larger one. Imagine making fall off the bone baby back ribs in less than an hour, also soups and stews in 20 minutes that taste like they’ve been cooking all day. It can also be used to saute or as a slow cooker. Very versatile!

  35. MB Dillard says:

    Hi Sue,

    I love your fence. What some people may not understand is that with us introverts, it’s as much about giving us a sweet little private spot outside as it is about keeping others out….subtle difference. I will have one of some kind one day. I’ve wanted one since I read The Secret Garden as a girl. And wouldn’t it be great to be able to leave the door cracked so that Bella and Wyndy could come and go as they pleased while I work (on nice days) and be safe in their little oasis? 🙂 I’ll bet R&R will love it!

    Have a great day out there,
    MB, Wyn and Bella

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, MB!

      I get your “subtle difference.” It’s hard to explain but you did well! You, Wyn and Bella have a great day, too…..

  36. rvsueandcrew says:

    Hi, Blogorinos!

    Enjoying your comments, as usual. Thanks for the enthusiasm for the fence and chair make-over.

    Your product reviews and recommendations are great!

    A request: Please do not include anything about price in your comment. Affiliates are prohibited from doing this, so I assume the same rule applies to all information stated on one’s blog. This includes prices that are current (as you type) or back when you purchased the item. (If you forget, I’ll simply edit that part out.)

    You blogorinos rock! 🙂


  37. mary batt says:

    Hey Sue!

    Wow on the chair finds and new covers- makes the 2 of them a real ‘anchor’ or focal point! I could just keep looking at them!
    Love the fence – nicely done, lane and all!
    FYI Once at the rear of our lot, we let our new privacy fence ‘age’ some and then sealed with a clear coat. The coat enriched the areas of aging and the still new areas, creating a striated effect which really stood out at the rear of the lot as a backdrop for some crape myrtles. It was similar to ‘burning’ areas to get the same effect. Might be too much for all sides-or not!

    Love these posts!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, mary,

      I’m intrigued by your fence experience. I don’t know where you are (or were) for the fence to age that way.

      Thanks for letting me know you “love these posts.” Changing the focus of the blog from full-timing in a trailer to creating a home in an Arizona house is a transition that has probably lost me readers while, at the same time, gaining new ones.

  38. Barbara from Camano Island says:

    Love, love, love the fabric. I wouldn’t keep them under the table all the time!! And your fence is beautiful. Thanks for the fun blog.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Barbara! Yeah, ain’t that fabric purty? Maybe I should put the chairs up to the table with the seats facing outward. Ha!

  39. Linda in Ky. says:

    Sue, I love your fence. And you did a great job on the seat cover. I used to have an upholstery shop, and loved recovering furniture. Now I occupy my time mostly with sewing crafts. Give R & R a belly scratch for me. Linda

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Linda! Upholstering always seemed to me to be difficult work, something to avoid… and you loved it! I’m glad you found what you enjoy.

  40. AZ Jim says:

    Hi Missy! Just checking in. You sure are making your house a home with all the loving touches. We look forward to each of your posts and always read them with enjoyment.
    I have always put up privacy fences in each house we owned. I always put it about 18″ from my property line to give me room for maintenance and to establish security from anyone’s idea of making their own ideas of “decorating” on my fence. Keep up the good work and have fun…*Big hug!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Ooh, that big hug felt good! 🙂

      Smart to put a new fence within your property perimeter. I’m so thrilled with the effect this fence has on the “atmosphere” of the back yard. For me privacy is right up there with heat/cooling, a roof that doesn’t leak, and running water in importance!

      It’s reassuring that you and Detta look forward to my posts. Big hug for both of you!

  41. I love the fabric on your new-to-you chair – good job!!
    Also, like the pic the sunning puppy! I find that I’ve adopted a chihuahua mix and she LOVES laying in the sun!!

  42. Suzago in PNW says:

    Hi Sue, I bought this beach umbrella through your blog last spring: ASIN B074K4G9G2. I needed something removable I could attach to my apartment balcony, so I got this clamp: ASIN B00JZEQ89E. The setup works like a charm. What I LOVE about the umbrella is it has a lovely tropical leaf pattern printed on the bottom side, while the top is solid blue, so when you sit under it, it’s easy to imagine you’re under a canopy of trees. After years of living without a sewing machine, I decided to get one for household repairs, wardrobe adjustments, and gifts (nothing fancy). This Singer is fantastic for my purposes. Very smooth and easy to use. ASIN B003VWXZQ0. Hope someone finds these recommendations useful!

    I love all your improvements and developments. Congratulations on always moving forward.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I appreciate the product recommendations, Suzago. Thank you! I’m glad you’re happy with your Amazon purchases. The canopy-of-trees umbrella sounds lovely (I’ll take a look later). That’s something I might save for posting in the spring. The sewing machine is a great holiday gift suggestion . . . 🙂

  43. Pamela Campbell says:

    Love love love your fabric! What a difference! You have recycled two chairs and some fabric. Looking so good!

  44. Geri from the FL panhandle says:

    Yay! 💗. I really do love the chairs with their beautifully colored seats! A happy place to put my butt!😂
    Leaving that fence space to allow room for a buffer zone is a good idea ! I also like the idea of installing the used chain link fence along where the old tangled up mess once stood! That should be all you need to establish where your property line is!
    We are in for a rain soaked few days! We need the rain, but Radar and Tater don’t like walking in it and neither does Chuck!😕 But rain sounds so good dancing on the roof of the MotherShip! I 💗 Love it!
    Hug the boys from us! ( Radar is snug and sound asleep on my lap) We are so happy for you!

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