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What began in September has finally, FINALLY been completed: the fence that surrounds our new backyard is finished, putting me and The Mabellini on Cloud Nine!!

So, yeah, it only took us five months to build our fence. (No, we don’t hire out. Har har.) Before the autumn weather kissed Daylight Savings Time goodbye, the only time we had to work on the fence was in the evenings after our real-job workdays. We started on the 150-foot stretch across the back of the property because that was the least obtrusive to the construction crews who were still building our house. And after several weeks of that leg, we finally got to come up the side of the yard to the driveway. But then that’s where we lagged. Dom’s one ER visit and my NINE trips to the eye doctor to resolve the hell that began as wood dust blowing into my eye pretty much brought us to a standstill.

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After we moved in, we deliberated about where to connect the fence to the house, and how to shape it around the driveway (which has a lovely inwardly-rounded edge nearest the garage). Dom and I each had ideas of what we wanted, but those ideas didn’t always mesh together. Ultimately, the one thing we could agree on was that we just wanted it finished.

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For the most part, building the fence was a family affair. My parents and Dom’s dad spent many weekend mornings working on the fence with us. I daresay we would still have only half of a fence if it weren’t for all of them. Dom and I tackled a small part of the fence alone one blistery cold morning. (I live in Louisiana, folks. “Blistery” is anything below 50 degrees with the wind blowing.) We happened to be working in the soggiest part of the yard that day. I think I lasted 45 minutes before I finally huffed that I was freaking COLD thankyouverymuch, that I had stepped in a mud puddle which soaked through my shoe and into my sock, and I was DONE!! We accomplished so much more when the weather was good and we had help.

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Dom, Daddy, Pop and Mom in the home stretch!

As much of a pain as it might have been to plan and build the fence ourselves, the bigger pain was walking Mabel on a leash a thousand times a day, especially in the early morning or late evening when the temperature hovered well below what I consider comfortable. She tolerated the leash as well as could be expected, but she yearned to run free. Mason, on the other hand was never a flight risk. At age 13, the biggest problem for him is having the stamina to walk back to the house after wandering so far out into the yard. Both pups would benefit from a fenced backyard where we no longer had to be concerned for their safety.

"Which way is the door, man??"

“Which way is the door, man??”

As the last picket was being screwed into place, Victoria opened the back door to let Mabel out – without a leash for the first time in nearly two months. Mabel sprung out the door like a horse at the track. She raced as fast as she could back and forth across the yard, kicking up leaves as she dug in to change direction. I swear that dog was smiling the whole time.

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