Good fences make good neighbors

Saturday, November 17, at home in Arizona

My recently acquired friend, Dennis, who is a native of Arizona and a local resident, comes by the house.  I met Dennis last spring when the crew and I camped in southeastern Arizona during our search for a property to purchase.

Dennis arrives and opens the front gate.

Before he closes it, Reggie and Roger scoot through and head down the street!

Dennis jumps back into his car and takes off after them.  I sit on the porch and wait because I know not to go after them.  If they see me, they run the other way.

Several minutes later here comes Dennis’s car creeping up the street and Roger is trotting in front of it.

What?  He’s herding Roger.  How in the world . . . ?

“How did you manage that?” I ask, once the boys are inside the fenced yard again.

“Well, I snuck up on Reggie, grabbed him, and put him in the car.  Roger wouldn’t let me get near.  He snapped at me.  After I put Reggie in the car, Roger was looking for him, so I rolled down the window enough for Reggie to stick his head out.”

“Oh, that’s why Roger was trotting with your car.  Those two can’t stand being separated.”

Anyway . . . 

Shortly after I became acquainted with Dennis last spring, I mentioned how the line between this property and the neighbor’s to the rear is an unsightly mess.  The property behind ours is unoccupied and is not being maintained.   Grass and weeds are waist high.

The fence is hardly secure and only because brush is growing through it.  (Also, after the purchase I patched the fence to keep Reggie and Roger from exploring the neighborhood on their own.)

“I don’t have the equipment to clean it up,” I explain to Dennis, “plus, even if I did, it’s too big a job for me to take on.”

I had asked Dennis if he knew anyone I could hire to clear away the mess and to put in a new fence.

He said he’d be glad to do it some weekend.  

However, he didn’t have the time due to family responsibilities filling up the weekends off from his regular job.

Months pass and now he can do the work!

We discuss the details of the brush and old fence removal, as well as the installation of a new fence.

“I’ll take care of it tomorrow,” he promises.

I’m so excited!  At last that awful mess will be cleaned up!

~ ~ ~

Sunday, November 18

Dennis hasn’t arrived yet.  In the meantime, let’s look at a treasure I pick up at the thrift store.

I love this thing!

What you see here is a mirror with a beveled edge, surrounded by hand-painted canvas.  The inside and outside frames are wood with a pretty stain-and-gold finish.

The photo doesn’t show how big it is — 30 inches across and 33 inches tall.  It’s going to make a lovely focal point for whatever room I hang it in.

I can’t believe I hesitated.

It takes me three visits to the thrift shop before I decide to buy it.  Hidden behind a stack of other large, framed pictures, dusty and neglected, it carries a tag of $20.

I keep thinking about it and I keep coming back to it.  That tells me to go ahead and open my wallet, for crying out loud.

Now I laugh at myself for balking at the twenty-dollar price.  It’s worth many times more to me.

I love the colors, the uniqueness, and the way the beveled mirror in the center catches the light.

I love it because I have to admire and enjoy the sight of it whenever I walk into the room.

It may find its home in the small sitting room, along with the dorky duck lamp.

(BTW, Dorky Duck gets a spa treatment with Murphy Oil Soap.That stuff is great and Dorky deserves it.)

Or I might put the mirror/grape painting in my bedroom . . . .

~ ~ ~

Gee, where’s Dennis?  I hope he isn’t going to cancel!



In this post I mention using Murphy Oil Soap to clean the wood of my duck lamp.

This is the kit I bought at Amazon:

Murphy Oil Soap Wood Cleaner Starter Kit – 32oz Pour, 22oz Spray, 2 packs of 18 Wipes

Shortly after it was delivered, I set to work using the spray on the wood cabinets in my kitchen.  I could see on the rag how much dirt it removed.  I hadn’t realized the cabinets had an accumulation of so much grime!

Then I remembered Dorky Duck and gave him a Murphy Oil Soap treatment, too.

I recommend this product.  It brings out the beauty in the wood!  — Sue


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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38 Responses to Good fences make good neighbors

  1. Kat and Cookie Dog in NYState says:

    Hi Sue and Crew!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It’s Kat and Cookie Dog, coming in at first place, all the way from NY State! Hooray for you! Well done!

  2. Kat and Cookie Dog in NYState says:

    Love your Mirror Sue. It was a steal at that price. And warn the crew not to be escaping, they might lose where home is! Can’t believe I am first-haven’t been in first three since last winter. Soon leaving cold NY for warm AZ. We can’t wait.

  3. Mary in CO says:

    Oh, that mirror is a find! A must have for sure. Your thrift store shopping is very worthwhile, I think! Makes me want to give it a go. But I’d better take some items to the thrift store to get rid of first!

  4. Suzicruzi says:

    Howdy from Joshua Tree Nat’l Pk Sue, boys, and all.

    Crazy busy here but beautiful, and you make your own fun, right? Campground life is NOT for us, although Larry is a lot more easy going about it than I. I roll with the punches, but I also am known to grumble under my breath too. Lol.. We didn’t consider Thanksgiving, and all the LA escapees to the mountains for the holidays. Plus I hear (and see) the valleys are full of smoke! Can’t say I blame them for wanting to come here for the holiday. However I’m ready to leave tomorrow and find boondocking at the S entrance at Cottonwood. We have been here 5 days today, in a little CG called Ryan, with zero cell service. It has gotten busier by the day, waking up each morning only to find another tent, campervan, or RV. Kids on bikes riding through all sites, and dogs off leash pooping wherever. (True). Oh well.. it goes with Nat’l Pk CG territory, and we wanted to stay in the park and do some hiking, so I really can’t complain. The weather has been awesome (freezing overnight) with highs in the high 60’s, and 72* one day.

    Prior, we were in Death Valley, and that was warm and amazing too! No cell service there either, hence my disappearance for this past week and a half. In Death Valley, we got a tip to try Mesquite Springs way at the North end by Scotty’s Castle (closed btw) for a quieter camping experience. It was a good tip! $7/night (senior) with water, dump, flush toilets. Quiet, spacious, nice views, and WAY nicer than the gravel lots in Furnace Creek. No boondocking in either park.

    Gotta run, laundry is ready to go in dryers. Gonna get gas and propane too, then head back to camp. Can’t wait to see Cottonwood Springs as a Ranger says it’s really nice down there. Also, we heard a lot of ATV people use that BLM land you mentioned down there near the park entrance, so we’ll see if it’s a quiet spot for us or not. I’ll keep you posted! Thanks as usual Sue, for all your tips and help! You have been pretty spot on thus far, and your experience has really helped us newbies!!

    Happy Thanksgiving All!!!

    Hugs, Suzi, Larry, Kitty 😸

    • chas anderson says:

      There is some boondocking in Death valley off some of the gravel roads.Some are pretty washboarded so you might not want to take your rig but I have done it.Been about 7 or 8 years so rules have changed.Also, north of the park towards Beatty there are some spots available .

      There are a surprising number of gravel roads within the park that many people are unaware of with a lot of old abandoned mines etc.

      • Suzicruzi says:

        Hi Chas, We did read the rules about camping in DV: we absorbed it, then inquired about it. What you say is true, but can be tricky to be writhin the rules, so being unfamiliar with those gravel roads, we opted to just take a CG and go explore from there. We did see some RVs and Campervans, although not many, parked wasaaay down a couple dirt roads. But since we didn’t want to waste a day trying to drive those roads with our camper, only to be turned away, and then it be late in the day trying to get a FCFS spot somewhere, we opted for the sure thing. I’d sure like more info if you’d care to share! Thanks so much for the nice reply. 😊

  5. Diann in MT says:

    Pretty mirror. Looks kinda bedroomy to me, but that’s me. When you read the accounts of the fires in the little towns in California, you gotta be thinking about clearing the underbrush from around the property. Good luck. I hope your helper gets there soon. Good day, Sue and Crew!

  6. Marilu in Northern California says:

    Hi Sue,
    You did find a treasure! Having done a little decorative painting myself I realize how many hours are involved in those grapes. Just lovely!
    It’s good to get your fence secured. Wouldn’t want those boys to go walkabout while you’re out trasure hunting.
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’m thankful you have taken all of us along on your life’s journey.

  7. LeeJ in Northern California says:

    Oh! I love that mirror. I paint so I am in love with the uniqueness of the painting.inspires me!
    I have a big oval mirror in my bathroom that could use just that treatment. I tend to paint flowers so mine will probably have a floral garland. Thanks!
    Hope your weed abatement goes as planned. It is such a good idea to get it cleared, weedy spots are prefect habitat for little critters and little critters are a buffet for snakes. Might as well get rid of the cafeteria!

  8. weather says:

    How clever of Dennis to round up the boys that way! He may still come today and have enough time to get the fence taken care of. If not, he must have a good reason. He sounds like a good, and responsible guy.

    That mirror is beautiful, and a great size, too. Quite the bargain, besides being so pretty, it will reflect light. It’s always nice to have bright spots in any room. The weekend after you had posted about the Empire Ranch festival (and shown the Raggedy Ann dolls being sold there) I added a bright spot to my bedroom. I helped my friends host a pre-Christmas season open house at their antique store, saw an orange haired Raggedy Ann and just could not leave her there 🙂 . My dresser is actually a very old wash stand with drawers that I keep clothes in. Attached to the top is a wooden frame on which to hang towels. I have her propped up on there, if she were on the bed Kyla and Polly would wreck her the way cats do with many toys. Plus, now when I enter the room, she is face level with me, and her smile makes me smile!

    • ApplegirlNY says:

      Weather, Your Raggedy Ann and wash stand display sound so charming. I’m sure she’d make me smile too.

      • weather says:

        You would probably appreciate the doll and washstand as much as I do, Annie. I know you like old-fashioned porches, and these would fit right in a really old house that had one of those. The doll was handmade, likely using a McCall’s pattern from 1970. Hand-stitched facial features, sewn on button eyes, cloth apron, bloomers and dress with sweet fabrics from that era – a one-of-a-kind cutie.

  9. Dawn in NC says:

    Glad you found a friend to help you. Those finds are priceless! Trying to type this with a kitty on my chest is challenging! I’m glad Dennis was able to get the two escapees back ok! That can be scary. Can’t wait to hear the next chapter in the story. I’m still on the mend and hopefully getting better.

  10. Jean in Southaven, says:

    Happy Sunday! We had snow and in the 20’s Wednesday and sunny and mid 70″s today. I sure hope Dennis did not fink out on you. I have some of the same issues with my back property too. It is grown up also, but mine is all on my side. Now that it is cooler, I will get out there and start cleaning up. When it is hot or warm I am afraid of snakes and yellowjackets. Here is Mississippi Honeysuckle takes over in a hurry. I guess the birds have dropped seeds, because I sure did not plant the Honeysuckle. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving. I love your life now and ohhhh the pictures. I just love them. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Laura says:

    Love the mirror, great find. It will be lovely wherever it ends up. Happy Thanksgiving to you and the crew.

  12. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    The mirror with that painted border is just lovely. I agree with Laura that is will be beautiful in whatever room you decide. My instincts say you will probably have more hours to enjoy it in the sitting room. My favorite color is purples and related colors, not DH’s though.
    Glad Dennis caught up with the boys. That was ingenious how he got Roger to follow the truck with Reggie inside. Hope he got the brush cleaned out and the fence area fixed.

  13. Lauri C. says:

    Beautiful little creatures! Back when Roger was entering the picture, I knew right away that he and Reggie were a match-made-in-heaven!! Those two were as alike as two peas in a pod; they fit together like a hand and glove; like peanut butter & jelly; Lucy & Ethel; and on some days like a hammer & nail! I love those two almost as much as you do!! Hahahaha.

    Thanks for another awesome entry in the life of….R&R!

  14. Joe in TN says:

    Hi, Sue,
    Our favorite activity on the road is browsing through thrift stores and flea markets, so I can relate. Plus, Helen and I describe our decorating style as “Early Attic”.
    Hope you get that brush cleared out. We just returned from Southern California and had the smoke from the Woolsey fire in our view the whole time.
    Have a Happy Thanksgiving. Can’t wait to see what the boys get on their plates!

  15. Columbus Calvin says:

    I agree with everyone else about the mirror. That’s a great piece, although I don’t think I’ve seen any like it before. I’m not a decorator at all, but I know what I’d do with it. I’d put it where I get good light and where I’d look at it often. There’s a specific spot where I live that’s like that, near the door. I’m sure you’ll find a good place for it.

    I’m glad Dennis was able to get R & R home. I wouldn’t have thought of doing it that way, so he’s better at retrieving dogs than I am. I’m sure you’ll get the fence cleaned up and let us in on the rest of that adventure later.

  16. Columbus Calvin says:

    For some reason, I didn’t get the confirmation to follow this one. I’ll try again.

  17. Ruthie in Fontana says:

    My decorating style is similar to yours I used to think boy it would be great if someone would come in and decorate my home and make everything magazine worthy. But I know it would not last. I have to feel like I can let my dogs jump up on the furniture, or lick and scratch. I always say I am an eclectic designer. I appreciate function over design. Loved the way Dennis got Roger to come back home so smart. Keep on with your shopping, it gives me ideas too.

  18. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Nice mirror, Sue! 🙂

  19. That looks like quite the job – glad you’ll have help to clear it out. Love the pretty mirror – it has such a soft prettiness to it.

    Great pics of the boys – so funny to use one to “bait” the other 🙂 Dennis is a smart guy!

  20. Besides the things that I bought new and collected from my travels over the years, I love the “old” stuff in my house that I’ve collected too … maybe not old but at least it was someone else’s before it came to me. Those things seem to have a wonderful spirit all their own, don’t they?

  21. AZ Jim says:

    My Detta and I want to wish Missy, Reggie and Roger and all the blogorinos a happy Thanksgiving. Our Granddaughter, her hubby and one Great granddaughter will come out from California to be with us for a couple of days. Detta has promised not to try and do too much. Detta is not well and needs to conserve her strength. We are thankful for you, Missy and always keep up even though we don’t always post. Love ya

    • ApplegirlNY says:

      Happy Thanksgiving to you too, Jim. Take care of Detta, while she’s taking care of everyone else. Enjoy your family visit. Hope it’s full of hugs and blessings.

    • weather says:

      It’s wonderful that they’re coming to visit you, Jim and Detta! Sending prayers for your good health, love and hugs to you both, weather.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim!

      I am thankful that you found my blog and for the years of loyal reading and writing. You and Detta are dear ones. I wish you both good health and the strength you need for every hour. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family! Love, Sue aka Missy 🙂

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Hi, Jim and Detta,

      Enjoy your visit with your family. Sending you wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving along with some love and **hugs**. You all are always in my thoughts and prayers. 🙂

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hope you will have a wonderful holiday Jim and Detta!! How nice kin are coming. We rented a pretty place on the water about an hour from our house and our NC daughter is here and the one nearby with her kids soon will be off work and coming too!! We are sure looking forward to our days together!!

      • Barbara (Nashville) says:

        Happy Thanksgiving Jim and Detta. Praying for your good health and enjoy your family celebration.

  22. ApplegirlNY says:

    Isn’t it wonderful how thrift stores can keep the loving work and artistry of someone alive. Just think, that beautiful mirror could have been relegated to the trash bin. Now it is enjoying renewed appreciation. – And at a bargain, no less!

    In case I don’t have time to check in again before the holiday….

    Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Count your blessings and share your hope.

  23. Terri in Tx., for now says:

    Great mirror! I have an old, beveled dresser mirror hanging on my wall! Old mirrors have character! I have recently discovered buy,sell,trade on Facebook and I am slowly and surely selling stuff we don’t want to move with. Each town we live near has a buy sell trade website on Facebook, so I can list stuff in each area. Its pretty neat! Better than a garage sale and you can make more money. Glad the boys were corralled back in the yard safely, and I hope Dennis came by! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  24. Elizabeth says:

    Sure hope your yard mess is fixed soon, Sue…such can be a worry. Those naughty boys!! We were so spoiled with our lovely Ebbie…found our gate open once…3 days after a workman had been there…she never left the yard. Now the other dog?? Heh, often went off when she could sneak off. Glad the boys were quickly and easily rounded up…guess you have no worry about anyone taking Roger away…heh!!

  25. Suzicruzi says:

    I walked my first “desert wash” today, and I am so proud. How many years ago was it you posted about this very same thing? OMGosh, I’m going to live this desert life! I bet it’s adictive isn’t it?

    We found a quiet spot for the night on the BLM land just S of Cottonwood. Perfect! Thank you. 😊

  26. mary batt says:

    Sue! What a find at the thrift! And the mirror will love it’s new home-just like Reggie and Roger do!

    I see the uniqueness (is that a word or maybe…uniquity?) in the painted canvas, frame gilt, elevated by the bevel in the mirror! Thumbs up

    It’s nice to have friendly neighbors, too! Happy Thanksgiving!

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