I spent a little time this evening out evaluating the backyard. It's a pretty big space, with absolutely no grass. Instead, I have a healthy crop of weeds coming along nicely. the larger ones (spanish needle and poke berry) are waist high. There is virginia creeper and stinging nettles along with mimosa trees and a very prolific vine I can't identify. I think tomorrow I am going to try and hold back the invasives. There is a lawn mower shared between me and the other half of the duplex, so I'm going to do some bush hogging (I don't think mowing is the appropriate word for it). I'm also going to see what kind of hanging baskets they have at Lowe's.
also while we were outside, Ruby tried to exit through the gate - while it was closed. She is small enough to fit between the gate and the post, and she knows it. As she was trying to slip out, she looked back at me (because I was scolding her) and continued on. So I blocked her way with some extra pavers that were in the yard (you can see them in the picture above). She didn't think that was very sporting of me. Hopefully this can keep her contained when she is outside, at least for a little while. As soon as she realized her hole was plugged she started walking the fence line looking for another. She even got up on a log and looked like she was judging the distance over the fence. She is going to be a handful! I don't usually let her outside by herself, because she is so little, but occasionally I let her explore without me hovering over her. I think it's good for building her independence. She is also usually very good about coming when called mainly because she is rewarded with treats, but it works!